Can SEO Improve Onsite Conversion?
When most people think about SEO, they think about getting people onto a website and onto certain landing pages.
It’s all about rankings and gaining that visibility to earn those clicks, and then on-site conversions happen because of other factors. For example, what you’re doing on your actual site (imagine that).
However, by now, we know that SEO can encompass quite a few different things and indirectly help several different aspects of a marketing strategy. This, then, begs the question: Can SEO Improve onsite conversions too?
How to Use Your SEO Knowledge to Increase Your Onsite Conversion Numbers
As discussed above, all of the SEO in the world is not going to improve your onsite conversion rate by itself. SEO is about visibility and, hopefully, increasing traffic levels.
- SEO forces you to use proper heading tags to help keep things clear for the search engine bots as well as users. This organization should also help your onsite conversion rates improve.
- SEO says that you need to have clear and focused headlines as opposed to buzzy-y or flashy headlines, which should also improve your onsite conversion rates.
- SEO asks that you focus your webpages on a specific product or topic. Again, this should help your conversion rates because it keeps things organized onsite.
- If you’re focusing on quality content for SEO reasons (to get you links), that will still help you with conversion optimization (to get you customers) and vice versa.
- Aspects like load time and how frequently you update your site matter for both SEO and onsite conversion rates.
On the flip side, focusing on onsite conversion rates will force you to keep things user-friendly and easy to read, which will help your SEO by giving you a better chance of receiving natural mentions (backlinks), social shares, and even referrals.
As you can see, the points above are how SEO and onsite conversion rates overlap; however, there is one big way that you can strategically create your SEO strategy in order to improve onsite conversion: Use Google Analytics SEO Reports.
Use your Google Analytics Reports to Learn about Visitors’ Onsite Needs
SEO Reports have been a part of Google Analytics for a few years now and can be found in the Traffic Sources section of your account.
They aim to give you insight into how your site appears in different Google searches: how often your site was seen, it’s average position, individual page performance numbers, the geographic location of those who saw your site on a SERP, etc. But this information can also be used to improve your onsite conversion rates if you know where to look.
A few different metrics to consider and how to use that data:
- Average position. This will help you narrow down which pages need onsite conversion optimization and which pages are doing well.
Obviously pages with an average position of over 100 need some work in terms of SEO, and, in most cases, these pages won’t have many visitors because no one can find them through a Google search.
However, these numbers can also help tell you where you need to improve your onsite conversions. Even though this number isn’t telling you anything about onsite conversions, it is telling you where the traffic is probably headed and where it needs some work.
As discussed above, the two go hand-in-hand, so this data can help. After all, sometimes your onsite work is wonderful and it really is the fault of your SEO efforts.
- Bounce Rate. This is another common SEO metric, but it can help you see why onsite conversions maybe aren’t happening.
I like to look at these numbers to see if people aren’t even visiting your conversion pages and where they are falling short. If you’re noticing that your bounce rate from the page just before visitors reach a conversion page is very high, then it’s that page that needs the work.
Moral of the story: Your SEO reports can help you see if it’s your conversion pages that need the help of if maybe it’s another SEO issue.
If you’ve never used SEO Reports before, check out this tutorial to learn how to get started. I also recommend visiting here to learn a few more techniques about onsite conversions in general. This article focuses on how SEO affects onsite conversions, but there are many, many other factors that are important to understand first.
Extra Tips and Answering the Big Question
As a side note, it’s worth mentioning that sometimes, when marketers are trying to improve their onsite conversions, they forget all about SEO. We talked with Adam Heitzman, managing partner of SEO Company HigherVisibility, who explained that,
“Whenever you are running a conversion optimization test, it’s important to make sure your efforts aren’t hurting your SEO. Use a proper [conversion rate optimization] CRO tool, add your variation pages to your robots.txt file to avoid duplicate content penalties, and use a 301 redirect if you decide to replace an old page with a new page.”
Back to the question: SEO does improve onsite conversions by nature. If you want to rank well on a SERP then you’re going to have to do a few things onsite that will inevitably improve your site and therefore your conversions.
There are other things you can do that probably have a bigger impact on your onsite conversions that maybe don’t have anything to do with SEO, but this doesn’t mean that SEO is completely useless. It’s true that the two work separately on many tasks, but sometimes they work together.
Now you: Do you think that SEO can help improve your onsite conversion rates? Do you have any tips or insight into helping the two work together? Let us know your story and your thoughts in the comment section below.
Read other Crazy Egg articles by Amanda DiSilvestro.