Effective SEO! Great, You’re Halfway There!

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Too often I hear people obsess with having top ten if not number one rankings for what they consider to be their top terms. The fact that makes me want to pull my hair out is that no matter where they rank they will never convert visitors if their site is not geared towards these terms. The following tips will hopefully show you how your site visitors digest your content and how you can turn these visitors into customers.

It doesn’t matter if your SEO campaign has increased your site traffic by ten-fold, when your leads, sales or other conversion metrics increases by…”zero-fold”. It is time to get out of your head, and into your visitors.

First things first, what do you want to your visitors to know? What are your top keywords? What do you want your visitors to do? Talk about this on your homepage, landing page, or every page for that matter! You cannot expect your visitors to know exactly what you want them to do. This is where “content is king”,  I believe informative and instructive content is better than a cool Flash intro any day. Once you have addressed the questions above and included this in your content you are ready for the next step. Where do you want your visitors to go next? Text links to your top product/category/service pages must be in your body copy and anchored on compelling keyword-rich text. Flashy image call to actions linked to these other site pages help as well but if you are pitching visitors with your message or offering in your body copy, you must provide text links to these site pages.

Once you have completed all of the above you are not done just yet. It is now time to assess, refine, test and repeat. There are several methods for assessing how site visitors interact with your content. One of the best methods is through eye-tracking studies to address where users attention is drawn to on your site pages. I like to dig much further than this to a granular level, to take advantage of analytics for the very reason why we utilize this data.

Quick Tips for Assessing Site Visitor Behavior(Google Analytics):
1.  Define your most important site pages, those who rank the highest, top landing pages, have the most link weight, or are a conversion goal.
2. Now, first assess the overall bounce rate of these pages, especially the pages with higher traffic.
3. By referred keyword, analyze the average time on page and the bounce rate.
4. Assess the Entrance Paths of the page to see what site pages visitors travel to next. Follow this path to understand how the majority of visitors from your top keywords traverse your site.
5. Utilize the Site Overlay function to get a visual representation of where the most utilized links reside on these pages.
6. As an added tip I suggest creating a spreadsheet which includes an individual page’s top keywords their current rankings, referral numbers, potential search volume, and individual bounce rate. This gives you a clear picture of where you need to improve in regard to SEO and in on-page usability.

Another method to deciding site abandonment is to analyze reverse goal paths and such but I prefer to research in a forward-facing manner. Assessing your site as a visitor will help you do something with the traffic you are receiving. Understanding your visitor behavior will help you to present a clear message to your audience.

Your SEO has opened the door to your site’s potential, it’s time to do something with it!
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