SEO strategists oftentimes are so concerned with driving traffic and rankings, that they forget about one crucial aspect: what happens to that traffic afterward? Is the messaging on your page in line with your buyer persona? Do these potential leads actually get in touch or they just leave without giving you a chance to show them what you can do?
Here at Miromind, we put great emphasis on conversions. Being a B2B SEO agency, it is obvious that the goal of our clients is not rankings, or traffic, or optimized pages. At the end of the day, there is one important aspect: ROI.
You are investing all this time, money and energy to be in the TOP10 on SERP, to get ‘x’ amount of visitors per day. But the bottom line that matters: what do you get in return?
Let’s imagine you are working with the SEO agency, you are committed, you know it takes time and investment. And when you see both traffic and rankings grow, you are going to start wondering: what are the benefits for my business? Am I getting actual leads? What is the ROI? And that’s when you start wondering about the conversions, or Conversion Rates.
Truth be told, this is something that every SEO strategist or business should consider before you start investing in your SEO campaign.
Top 3 Mistakes That We Come Across or Why My Traffic Does Not Convert Into Leads?
- Driving irrelevant traffic. For instance, your company offers the most upscale software development services, and you focus on enterprise-level organizations. But your website gets visited by small businesses that need small-scale IT solutions. This is not your target market. And despite the fact that you would get a lot more traffic, you will not sign these clients because your prices are too high. It becomes obvious that it is better to get 10 RELEVANT visitors per day and sign 1 as opposed to 100 irrelevant ones and sign none. And this is usually the problem of poor keyword research, or an attempt by your agency to drive ‘just any’ traffic to show the results.
- Not knowing the buyer persona. This point stems directly from the first point. Often the design, the messaging, and even keyword targeting are not aimed at the right person your company is trying to reach. And this, in turn, leads to the right audience not getting in touch with you, or not finding you at all. For example, you are (again) a software development company. At a very basic level, when building the service page, you have to decide whether you are targeting decision makers (top-level managers) or professionals (people who implement the solutions), or both. Because the former will want to know more information about the ROI, overall advantages of your proposal for their organization. The latter will want to know more technical details. If you go wrong in your messaging, then you are going to miss out on the potential customer.
- The page is not built for conversions. This is the combination of all of the above plus the structure of your page. Consider this: is your page targeting the right keywords? Is the messaging on your page addressing the pain points and offering a solution to the right buyer persona? Is your page user-friendly and does it make easy and obvious to the potential customer what they should do next (fill out a form, buy a subscription, download documentation, get a free trial)? Are you clearly explaining what it is you are offering? So often we get clients and it takes us a while to understand what it is actually they are doing when scrolling through their website. And imagine a customer? They focus so much on telling how amazing their company is, while failing to clearly communicate what is it they actually DO and specialize in.
Roadmap to the Most Converting Service Pages
Whether you are just planning to embark on an SEO journey and take over the SERP, or already have been working on SEO for a while and ran into a problem of low conversions, here is the roadmap which every SEO strategist at Miromind uses and which will hopefully help you maximize your SEO investments:
Wondering what does keyword research have to do with CRO? Our answer is: everything. Any conversion rate optimization journey starts with the laser-precision targeting.
Often we get clients who tell us ‘Oh, we already have keyword research’, and send us this huge Excel file with every keyword on earth which has a mention of their services. This is not keyword research.
Keyword research is not about downloading keywords from SEMRush. It is a long process which includes an in-depth understanding of what your company does, what markets and locations you are targeting, who is your ideal customer and why, what industries your customers are likely to be from, what services you offer (and this is EXTREMELY important as we have come to understand). All this is achieved with in-depth discussion, competitor analysis, and of course, lots and lots of research.
Then once you have all this information in place it is time to start ‘keyword clustering’. Each page, even when it talks about the same product/service, should target a specific ‘cluster of keywords’ or cluster of customers.
Imagine the company is selling 3D printers. First, you discover the types of 3D printers out there and the types of 3D printers the company sells. And then at a closer look, you discover industry-based searches. The company sells 3D printers suitable for healthcare, for education and there are substantial search volumes to benefit from in terms of sales. What do we do? Do we just make this huge content for each printer and include numerous keywords mentioning education/healthcare, thus creating keyword cannibalization and keyword overlap across the entire website? And then at the same time, if you do miraculously manage to rank for these keywords, the clients end up coming to a page which does not exactly address what they were looking for?
Instead, you could select industries which offer the most substantial search volume in line with your product offering. And take time to create a page which will list benefits of your offer specifically for the education industry, perhaps list the products and why these products are most suitable for this specific industry. That way you will be talking directly to your customer, creating a personalized experience, and not just any customer by mentioning the right keywords in subheadings.
NB: Keyword overlaps and keyword cannibalization occur when two or more pages across your website target or rank for the same set of keywords. This practice causes your own pages to compete against each other on SERP thus decreasing the relevance of each of such pages.
Firstly, your page which specifically targets a certain set of keywords aimed at the user query, optimized along with the best SEO practices, is more likely to perform better on SERP. Secondly, the potential customer is more likely to choose your website over the competitor’s as you are offering a unique solution to their requirements, address their pain points and appear to be familiar with the best solution for their needs.
Thus, quality keyword research is essential not just for rankings, but for creating the right messaging, targeting the right buyer persona and, essentially, improving your conversions.
Does not matter whether you are a SaaS company or an e-commerce business. You have to have an in-depth knowledge of WHO your customer is to build pages that convert. Sometimes a SaaS company offering just one software-as-a-service product can have 10 different buyer personas within 10 different industries that have completely different requirements, goals, and needs that your software can offer.
Keyword research is a helpful solution for identifying these buyer personas. Not only that, but it also helps you to identify the pain points of your potential customers and address concerns, and offer the most applicable and unique solutions.
Not only that, but the look and feel of your website, the layout also depend on your buyer persona. After all, your website is built according to your brand image and based on the customers you are building this image for.
Page Layout and Structure
Now that you have done your keyword research, built a wireframe of your website structure and determined what customers you are targeting, it is time to build a prototype of your typical service page and determine how you are going to structure it.
As we are talking about the ‘Service’ pages here, we are going to focus on those companies that offer services, thus making the initial ‘Contact’ (filling out a form) a conversion goal.
Each customer should follow a certain path which leads to a decision to reach out to you for more information. If the customer ended up on your ‘service’ page, whether it is via your blog, paid ad or direct organic search, then we have to assume that they are already aware of the problem and are looking for a solution to their problem.
The easiest way to ‘capture’ your customer is to make them aware that you, as a service provider, are familiar with the issues the customer might have. And here you have to use the knowledge you gained from keyword research and buyer persona research to make that assumption. Now it becomes evident why you needed to go through all this effort with the laser-targeted approach to identify variations of keywords, issues, and customer types. Now you are able to ‘speak’ to your customer via highly targeted messaging. So firstly, list out the pain points your services are going to address.
Then offer a solution (thus your service) to their problem: outline all the important benefits that your services will deliver to this specific customer.
Now that the customer is aware that you have what he/she needs, tell them why your company is the best choice: it could be a unique way of doing things, years of experience, major clients you’ve worked with. Basically, anything that makes you stand out.
Round it up by offering a proven track record of you successfully delivering these services in the past: case studies, customer reviews or awards usually do the trick.
And then the important thing: options to get hold of you. More often companies use CTA buttons like ‘Get a free quote’ or ‘Free Assessment’ or simply ‘Contact us’. These work, but make sure they are clearly visible, put in all the right places, and in line with the messaging.
However, what we have personally found, is that the companies that convert the most customers offer a form that is right there on the page as opposed to taking a user to a separate ‘Contact us’ page via a CTA. When the potential client sees the form right there in front of them, the fields that need to be filled out in order to get in touch then it is more likely that you will be contacted.
Here is a prototype of the ‘average’ service page the way we see it (please keep in mind that each business is different and the unique approach is still the best):
Hopefully, this guide will be a good starting point for your incredibly converting service pages. Please keep in mind though that every business, and to us – every page, is unique. You have to build the experience around your business and your client. Put yourself in client’s shoes, consider your options, check the facts and work from there. Always keep track, analyze, tweak. Regularly perform content audits (aside from your regular SEO website audits) to ensure you have everything covered and not missing something. The most converting service pages depend on the research and effort that you put in to build that experience for your customer.
Every day you hear about new tricks, SEO techniques, CRO best practices, however, what it boils down to is that the best performing websites are those that are built around the user experience, customers’ needs and goals. So whatever you do ask yourself this: ‘If I were Sally from X company, would I get in touch and if so, why would I do it?’