Search engine optimization isn’t just about on-page technical elements. Not anymore. These days, it’s as much about user experience as it is how well you can appeal to search engine robots. And a big part of that is conversion mapping—understanding the route your leads take from their first click to their purchase.
You’ve done your research. You’ve got a strong presence on Facebook and Twitter, and you know exactly which conversational and long-tail keywords your audience is searching for to find your page. You’ve even set up a Google business page for your organization.
But do you know how people are using your website? Do you know what journey each individual lead takes through your website as they move along the sales funnel? If not, then you still aren’t doing enough.
Modern search engine optimization is about more than keyword research and on-page SEO. It’s about more than social media and content creation. It is, as its core, about the user—about providing visitors to your site with the most positive experience and highest value possible.
You cannot achieve that without visibility into the activity of each visitor to your site, including and especially your leads. It’s why conversion rate optimization and search engine optimization are so closely related. At the end of the day, you cannot have one without the other.
For each person who visits your site, you should be able to determine the following information.
- Where they originated from. Did they click on a social ad or find you through the SERP?
- What device they’re using.
- Whether or not this is their first visit to the site.
- How long they spend on each page they access.
- What they click on.
- Where they let their browser linger when scrolling through a page.
- What they do on your site. Did they sign up for a mailing list, purchase a product, or look up your address?
- For successful conversions, what they purchased and how much.
Knowing this information not only gives you deeper insights into your target demographic but also allows you to locate and eliminate bottlenecks. For example, the drop-down menu for one of your services might be confusingly worded and poorly laid out, such that the people interested in that product or service cannot find it. Without examining heatmaps, bounce rates, clickthroughs, and abandonment rates, you might never be made aware of the issue.
And that means you’ll be missing out on a ton of potential conversion.
As for where search engine optimization comes in, it should be obvious to those of you who’ve been keeping up with the news. Google has made no secret of the fact that it places a premium on a positive user experience when determining how it ranks websites. A page with a low conversion rate and high bounce rate can and will end up getting penalized in the SERP.
At the end of the day, you’re here to provide your audience with something of value. And just as a physical retail outlet that doesn’t organize its products will suffer, a website whose webmaster doesn’t optimize for usability cannot reach its full potential. It’s why conversion mapping is important for more than just search engine optimization—it’s at the core of your brand’s digital success.
Terry Cane is the COO at SEOHost.net, a reliable and supportive SEO hosting partner.
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