Conversion Rate or Rankings?

sales-increaseMany SEO’s and clients main focus seems to be on rankings. “It’s all about where we show up in the SERP’s”. It is time to stop focusing on ranking in the top 5 organic positions in the search engine results. You may be sitting there disagreeing with me right now, but let me explain.

First I want to ask you, what is the main focus as a business? What is your number one goal as a business? I am sure your answer will be “Profit”. If course it is. Every business exists to make money. Not just make money but make a profit. Now let me ask you this. Does ranking in the top 5 positions make you money? The short answer… No! Does 1200 monthly sessions (visits) to your site make you money? Again, the short answer… No!

So what does make money for your business? Sales! How do we get sales? Encourage people to fill out the forms on your website or give them a reason to call. That’s right, we are now talking about “Conversion Rate Optimization” also known as CRO. Still not convinced?

What does it mean to you if you have 1200 monthly sessions on your website? You are thinking, “This is great! Ranking in the top 5 organic search results is paying off”. But WAIT! Out of those 1200 sessions, 200 people stuck around for more than 1 minute, 100 people viewed more than 3 pages on your site, and 7 people filled out the form and 3 of them turned into sales. The reason I mention these 3 metrics is because those are the strongest metrics that measure the quality of your content. That’s great you are ranking 2nd in the search results. People are clicking because you are there but your content is not what they want. Maybe what you’re offering is not what they want. It’s time to create better content and more incentive.

Now, let’s say you are ranking at the bottom of the first page on the SERP’s. You are unhappy about this, but WAIT! Yes your monthly sessions are down to 720. “Oh this is not good something is not right here”. This is what you are thinking. Let’s look at the numbers for a minute. Out of those 720 monthly sessions you had 320 people stay on your site for more than 1 minute, 280 of them viewed more than one page, 27 people filled out the form and 18 turned into sales. Well this is interesting… We are ranking lower, less monthly sessions but more conversions and more sales. This will happen if we have strong quality content and we have amazing incentives for potential customers to fill out forms or call your company.

This is scraping the surface and of course there is a lot more to talk about on this matter, but I only want to get the initial point across in this post. Please keep in mind these numbers may be extreme in some cases just for illustration purposes. You can find information from SEO professionals and marketing professionals all over the web. Here is a starting point for you.