When you decide to redesign your website, you must always consider how the look and structure of the site is going to impact your marketing and sales initiatives. This may seem obvious, but far too many businesses suffer because they have a web design firm retool their online presence without thinking about the traffic and conversion of the site.
Unfortunately, most web designers don’t have an online marketing background. As a result, you may invest a huge amount of time and money building a site that does not optimize for the two things that are essential for growing your business on the web: driving more traffic to your site, and converting more traffic into leads and sales.
Your site must be built by incorporating best practices for Search Engine Optimization (to drive more traffic from Search) and Conversion Rate Optimization (to turn clicks into customers).
Fortunately, SEO and Conversion are mutually beneficially and intertwines marketing tactics; what improves your site’s conversion rate will almost certainly improve your SEO, and vice versa. That’s because Google and Bing’s search results place a premium on ranking websites with a strong user experience and friendly navigation.
SEO and Conversion weren’t always such a perfect marketing mix. In the early days of SEO, you could stuff your site with over-optimized content and see your rankings and traffic explode. But that’s not the case anymore. Thanks to Google search algorithm updates such as the Panda Update and the Penguin Update, crawlers are better able to detect if a website is really providing its visitors with the best possible experience, and they reward sites with a strong functionality and penalize sites that are poorly structured and confusing.
Google and Bing are obsesses with the quality of your site’s functionality because they want to ensure they’re providing their own users with the best possible search results – that’s how they get people to keep coming back to use their search engine, and it’s how they make all their money from advertising. The better Google and Bing can display the most relevant, user-friendly websites, the more successful they will be.
But how are Google and Bing measuring your site’s effectiveness? The search algorithms are now taking into account website performance metrics such as conversion rate, time on site, bounce rates, returning visitors vs. new visitors and page goals achieved to figure out if your website is guiding visitors through your sales funnel and providing them with the information they are seeking.
Website usability isn’t the only SEO factor in driving your rankings and traffic, but it is an increasingly important one.
When you build your website, you must always prioritize function over form. How well your site actually generates traffic, leads and sales is far more important than whether or not it has a design you think is cool. Trackable results are more important than subjective claims for “a nice look and feel.”
At the end of the day, your website exists to grow your business. To do that, you need visitors to come to your site and convert to paying customers as quickly as possible.
All of the tips offered in this guide are designed to increase your conversions and profitability. But indirectly, they will also improve your SEO and your traffic because they help you build an intuitive website with strong functionality.