Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Focus SEO on Conversions Not Keywords or Traffic

It should go without saying that web traffic is good and ranking highly for a coveted keyword is good. That’s like saying it’s smart to use a VPN service when traveling and using public Wi-Fi.

Still, there are other things to keep in mind when performing search engine optimization. For e-commerce sites, it’s good to remember that while traffic is great, conversions are king. Traffic is potential money, while conversions are actual money.

Consider Search Intent

When deciding what keywords to target in your SEO project, it is important to keep in mind the intent of people searching a particular keyword. For example “running shoes,” is a term that could be used by anyone looking up anything about running shoes. However, “buy running shoes,” or “good deals on running shoes,” are likely to be used by people who are ready to make a purchase.

Thus, those keywords should convert into sales at a higher rate. This should be the ultimate goal, and it needs to be discussed before any SEO project begins so that everyone is on the same page.

Far too often, the focus is solely on ranking on the first page or achieving the top ranking spot on Google. When business owners go into projects with these sorts of expectations they are not only hard to live up to for the SEO specialist but also detrimental to the bottom line of the business.

Of course, once the optimal keywords are being targeted, then the goal should be to achieve the highest ranking. However, ranking fifth on a keyword that converts at a higher rate than another keyword a site is in the top slot for could prove more profitable.

Monitor the Results

In order to find out what will be best for the bottom line, results have to be monitored and tracked by keyword. This should enable the SEO team to figure out what keywords are converting, what rate they are converting at and how much a conversion is worth. From here, some simple math will tell everyone which keywords are most profitable.


One final thought is to remember that SEO is an ongoing process. The conversion rates or value of keywords can change over time, as can the amount of competition. As such, it is important to always keep an eye on these factors and be prepared to make changes in strategy when necessary.

Melissa Tyler is a tech writer at VPN Ten – a place where you can read reviews about the best VPN providers. She is fond of sharing advice about online security, safety connections and VPN technology.