A recent article published by Search Engine Journal called Beyond SEO: Retaining the Visitor caught my attention.

It was particularly interesting because I was just discussing one of our clients who is getting great visibility results in their SEO Campaign. However, it seems they are struggling with converting all their SEO generated traffic into customers.

One of our campaign managers described the situation well: “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t force it to drink. In this case we’ve led a whole flock to the watering hole but the client isn’t doing anything to entice their visitors to take action!”

Josh McCoy, SEJ author and SEO Strategist hits this SEO nail right on the head when he says,

“I had spent years placing all my concern SEO-ing sites to the fullest to maximize traffic potential. At the end of the day I realized that hordes of traffic mean nothing if they don’t convert.”

Are you a website owner using SEO techniques to get hordes of traffic but are struggling to convert and retain your customers? Here are some simple pointers for improving your site in order to retain your customers.

Make Your Page Title, Sub-Headings, Meta Titles & Descriptions Relevant

Have you ever searched in Google for a term, found a good listing that sparked your interest only to reach the page and find it has nothing to do with what you wanted?

Google is working hard to improve the relevance of its listings to address this problem but you can also address the relevancy issue for your pages on your own.

First make sure there is a strong correlation between your page title, your Meta Title that is displayed in the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs) and the content on your landing page. Does the page fully support the description? Does the page satisfy the visitor’s interest that was originally sparked by your Meta title?

Don’t be afraid to bring outsiders into the discussion as a fresh set of eyes – when you write the description and page content it’s easy to be biased.

Second, address the low correlation issue by making sure that your headings (H1, H2, H3 etc. tags) are structured in a format that answers your visitors’ questions and continues the conversation you started in the SERPs. Visitors will only take a few seconds to scan the page for value and will use the headings and sub-headings as cues to the content. If the headings don’t address their needs they will click away.

Again, use your unbiased outsiders to quickly scan the page and ask them to summarize what the page is about – this will give you an idea of what your visitors’ first impressions will be.

Relevancy Earns More Qualified Visitors!

I am glad that McCoy points out the fact that 100 visitors who do something are more valuable than a thousand who do nothing. Don’t be so worried about potentially losing traffic when you change your Meta Titles to better correlate to the page content. Wouldn’t you rather have 100 qualified visitors who do something than a 1000 unqualified visitors who do nothing?

Funnel Your SEO Visitors Using “AIDA”

Remember the AIDA acronym from marketing class?

Use it to shape your online sales funnel when designing your content pages and Meta Titles:

Attention – Grab the visitor’s attention with an exciting Meta Title in the SERPs as well as interesting headings and sub-headings that go beyond just the keyword phrase you are targeting. When the visitor reaches your page you have only a few seconds to catch their attention.
Interest – Generate interest in your product or service through creative discussion of benefits over features.
Desire – Create a desire for the visitor to use your product or service, which often occurs by addressing a particular need or want.
Action – Lead the visitor to take an action such as picking up the phone, filling out a form or sending in an email.

All of your content pages should be designed with the purpose of funneling visitors into your company and turning them into customers.

Connect with your Visitors on a Social Level

Unless you have been under a rock for the past five years you will understand the social aspect of your online presence. You likely have a Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn accounts in full swing.

Why not take the traffic garnered from your SEO efforts and direct it towards your social platforms?

This can be as simple as adding a graphic link to your Facebook profile. McCoy reminds us all to be mindful of how your social profile opens. You want to ensure it opens in a new tab or new window – you don’t want to direct traffic off of your website!

Create a Seamless User Experience

Part of creating a great user experience is getting rid of those broken links. Isn’t it frustrating to navigate a website only to reach the page you want and find that it has a 404 error?

Google Webmaster Tools provides some great tools for monitoring broken links on your site pages as well as where other linking websites may have your web pages wrong.

The second part of creating a great user experience is making sure that your website renders properly on whatever platform the user chooses. Test and retest your website on multiple browsers as well as devices such as mobile phones and tablets. Check out our article on Mobile Search to learn best practices for mobile search optimization.

Be Prepared for Customer Phone Calls and Email Inquiries

An important aspect of retaining your online customers is having a strong offline customer service and sales department to respond to visitors.

A lot of our clients use their websites as a way to collect leads where there is no guaranteed income until they follow through with visitor contact requests. If your website is designed to generate leads you need to make sure that when the leads come in – either through phone or email – that your salesperson or customer service rep connects with the interested visitor immediately. Don’t underestimate the power of prompt service.

We often install call tracking data to know exactly how many phone calls a website generates. One of our clients received nearly 150 calls last month. When looking at the details of each call there were several calls only 10 seconds in length – showing that reception or the sales department wasn’t even answering their phone! Think of how many sales the website could have generated if the sales department was devoted to answering all phone calls and becoming more effective at closing the sale!

Remember that your visitors are actively searching for your products or services and are interested in doing business – do everything you can in your offline business efforts to make sure you follow through.

For additional tips and information on Search Engine Optimization or on retaining your online visitors please contact 1st on the List Promotion Inc today. Call toll free at 1-888-262-6687 or Contact our SEO Experts.