Looking Beyond SEO
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is one of the most highly talked about topics between Webmasters and marketers. It is probably also the single topic that more webmasters obsess over than any other (in terms of their website anyway!). However, while SEO can be an excellent resource for targeted traffic, all website owners should concentrate their efforts on more than trying to squeeze one more percent out of keyword density, or beg one more PR5 link from an authoritative site. As well as sapping energy, causing breakdowns in family relationships, and being responsible for the onset of male pattern baldness it also causes us to lose sight of our ultimate goal.
You Mean There's More To Online Life Than SEO?
The ultimate goal for the vast majority of websites is to either make money or promote a service that makes money. How the site goes about it is entirely up to the Webmaster. Whether you choose to make money through affiliate links, PPC advertising, product sales, dropshipping, or any other method the single most important aspect of your website is your visitor. Visitors are those people that you attempt to attract to your site and they are the ones that will essentially make you some cash.
Don't Forget The Real People
The biggest problem with concentrating on SEO is that while the search engine spiders might be difficult to please they are a walk in the park, a piece of cake, and an absolute breeze when compared to real-life, living, breathing, walking, talking visitors. Search engines rely on mathematical algorithms to determine the quality of your site whereas the visitor relies solely on personal opinion. The next time you're attempting to inject 2 or 3 more instances of key phrases like "California Mesothelioma lawyer attorney" into your content try to remember that some poor soul might actually have to try and make sense of what you're writing.
Some Search Engines Are Complying
Fortunately for you and I, of course, some of the mathematical search engines are also coming round to this way of thinking. Google, in particular, want to offer users natural search results. They want to promote natural web pages, with natural content, using natural keywords, gaining natural links. This means that Webmasters are able to start obsessing over a number of other factors now instead:
Optimizing Your Content For Conversions
Conversion rates are not a part of SEO but should be a part of your business strategy. Consider how many people visit your site and the percentage of those people that either click through the links on your page or purchase a product. It is virtually impossible to predict with any certainty what your conversion rate SHOULD be but you should always strive to improve it. Your content should convert, your newsletter should convert, your mailing list should convert, and your emails should convert.
Improving Customer Retention Rates
Customer retention is also important. Once you sell a product or provide a service, even if you persuade a visitor to click a link and make a purchase you should do everything you can to ensure that you retain your customer base and they return to make purchases again. A big part of every successful business is repeat custom and without it you will always be fighting an uphill struggle to generate new leads and convert those leads into customers.
Ensuring that you offer the best service, the best prices, the best results, or the best information and help can generate good customer retention. However this isn't all of it. Company or website branding also plays a part, and following up with after sale emails and contact is also vital if you have the relevant information to hand. Use business cards and compliment slips whenever possible and always ensure that you include a company signature in all your email communications.
Generating Sales And Marketing Methods
Sales are obviously vital and without sales you will never achieve customer retention. In order to make sales it is important to acquire or generate leads. SEO is obviously a very beneficial way of generating leads but it isn't the only way. PPC, or Pay-Per-Click, advertising is a good way to instantly drive traffic to your site. SEO can take months to begin to generate results whereas you can truly hit the ground running with an effective PPC campaign. Ensure that you have a compelling advertisement lined up and also ensure that your website content is geared toward the conversion of any visitors you do receive.
Banners And Text Ads
Banner advertising and text advertising (I'm trying to ignore the temptation to mention their use in SEO) have taken a back seat to SEO and PPC, but for some sites they still have their uses. Find websites or newsletters that offer information relevant to your product or your service and then try out a small advertising campaign before you inject large amounts of money in a campaign that may not bear any fruit whatsoever.
Offline Advertising Methods
Offline advertising is also an option, though it can prove costly. For geographically targeted campaigns it may [rove particularly beneficial. Local radio stations, local newspapers, and even billboards are options that do still generate results. These can cost money though. Bear in mind that some websites have been known to take this a step further with skywriting and other unusual tactics. These are best left to the behemoth sites like Ebay in all honesty.
SEO is not the be-all and end-all of a website. It is a powerful online marketing technique that can in time generate large amounts of targeted traffic. However, it is important to remember that once that traffic arrives your site must be optimized for conversions and sales. You should also consider using other forms of advertising in order to gain more site visitors and a more diverse range of traffic.
About the Author: Matt Jackson is a website content copywriter for WebWiseWords and also a recovering SEO addict. Unfortunately, he still succumbs to the temptations once in a while and has been known to offer clients SEO content, link building, and other SEO copywritingservices.