Archive for June, 2009

Higher Search Rankings will Increase Your Conversions

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

Conversion rates matter! If your website can’t convert visitors into customers then why do you even have a website? I’m primarily a local search marketer helping small businesses get noticed in the search engines to send them local web traffic. But as a web designer too I also like to focus on structuring a site so it’s easy to use, easy to navigate, and most importantly, converts well. I’ve got some tried and true techniques I like to use because I know they work.

I’ve just officially added a new one to my list. Ranking higher in Google search is a sure fire way to increase your conversion rate. Works for Organic and for PPC. Not sure yet about Maps, but I do presume the same.

Why do Rankings Influence Conversions?

Many people in the search marketing biz might assume that by ranking higher in Google you instill more trust to the visitors finding your website through search. “Google thinks these guy’s are number 1, so they must be good”. I think this is probably true but there is another factor I think might be stronger.

Not everyone shops around! The first click that brings a visitor to a site that offers exactly what they were looking for may very well be good enough for them. Ranking higher means more of those “one-clickers” land on your site first. Simple as that.

Now this might be different for e-commerce shopping websites where prices are posted up front, but for many local small businesses, especially service based businesses where a conversion is simply counted as an email lead or phone call, it appears rankings do influence conversions, in a big way.

I noticed this on a quantitative level inside Google Adwords. After lots of testing of ad copy, keywords and tweaking landing pages I had reached a nice conversions rate, and associated cost per conversion my client was very happy with. After some time of seeing some great success from that campaign I was then given the go ahead to up the bids so as to bump the average ad positions up a bit (I was getting tapped out on improving Quality Scores). Simply capturing more traffic was the purpose of increasing bids. Account wide average for our ads had been position #4. Raising bids bumped the average account wide position up to #3. We got that increase in traffic we were looking for by appearing a little higher but more importantly, the conversion rate doubled!

I’ve been seeing this for the past 10 days and then yesterday I had a discussion with earlpearl, aka localoptimizer, a local SEO guy like the rest of these chumps. Anyways, he had been digging deeply into his web stats and found that when his organic rankings were higher, so were his conversion rates. I won’t share any of his specific numbers other than to say they were significant.

As Dave says;

Frigging gotta be #1 where it counts. :D

So make sure your site can convert visitors into customers, then get it to the top of search. To truly dominate, and reap the benefits, go for the trifecta of high rankings in maps, organic and pay per click. And if you’re heavy into PPC you probably should be bidding on those same keywords you already rank well for organically, except in that case you may not want to bid for #1 spot there. Instead aim for #3 or #4 so it compliments your #1 or #2 organic ranking.