I’m going to share an idea with you today, which will help you get far better results from your website. It’s a subtle change, yet it can have a massive positive impact on your sales.
The SEO challenge
There has always been a problem with search engine optimization (SEO). It’s to do with that word: optimization. According to The Oxford English Dictionary, optimize comes from the Latin optimus, which means best.
The challenge comes when you want your site to be best for search engines AND best for people. When you want your site to put search engines first, and simultaneously put people first.
By default, most small business websites focus on making their SEO as powerful at attracting search traffic as possible. They then have a common problem. Sure, people will visit their site from search engines, but they attract way, way too few sales or client enquiries.
This happens because you have to optimize differently for search engines, than you do for people. So people arrive on these sites and leave just as fast as they came. Here’s just one important example of how optimizing content for search can ruin your sales results:
- Search engines value over-long content. The more words the better.
- People value brevity. The fewer words the better. They want you to get to the point. People are busy and if they can’t quickly find what they need… you lose them.
Why am I sharing this?
I spoke with 2 business owners last week. They are in different industries, yet they have the exact same problem. They can’t convert web traffic into sales. They needed to know why.
In both cases, their websites were search engine optimized and the reading experience was poor. Long, rambling pages and constant repetition of keywords and key phrases, to keep Google happy. They were attracting traffic, but dangerously few sales.
In each instance, I recommended a subtle shift in their SEO strategy.
Keep the search engines happy, but optimize for people
There’s a balance you can strike, which works beautifully.
Make your website search engine friendly, but optimize your content for people.
Make sure your website uses good, clean code. And use alt tags, title tags and meta tags, etc, correctly. Install a powerful SEO plugin, so you can present an SEO friendly version of your site to search engines. I use and recommend Yoast’s SEO Plugin for WordPress.
But make your site a people first experience.
Write with your prospective customer at the front of your mind. Give them what they need. Use words that will convert them from readers into customers.
There’s another huge benefit to this approach
When you get the balance right, not only will you attract traffic from search engines, and convert more of that traffic into sales… you’ll also find more people share your website with their friends.
Because you put them first.
You wrote with them in mind.
And when people find a website that truly talks to them and their needs, it forms a connection. The kind of connection that inspires trust. Only when people trust you, will they buy from you or recommend you.