SEO for Conversion:  Who Knew!

At its core, SEO or ‘search engine optimization’ is all about generating organic traffic — meaning that your site gets to rank highly in search engines for relevant queries WITHOUT you needing to pay for that prominent placement. This status is earned via several ‘white hat’ SEO techniques, all of which are worth exploring moving forward.

The Basics of SEO for Conversion

Above all else, the key to ranking highly in search engines like Google involves two types of optimization; on-page and off-page. On-page includes crafting as much quality, original content as possible. Not only must it offer something of true value to your readers, but it needs to be content they can’t get anywhere else besides your site. Original content is what Google looks for to consider your site a valuable contributor to your visitors. The latter are off-page optimizations which include code optimizations and meta data use. Off-page optimizations typically require a technical person to aide in their development.

The key here is that we want to rank words that will convert. Conversion has to do with Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) and the call-to-action in the metadata.

The Finer Points of Keyword Research

Equally important is keyword research — something that can be done using tools like the Google Keyword Planner. Important note: you must be running an active keyword paid campaign for the tool to provide actual visitor / search volume data. You may set up a small test campaign with a limited budget to identify keyword volume. Or, you may retain an ad agency that has many active campaigns and expertise. Once you find out which short and long tail keywords are the most relevant and popular for your target audience, start making sure they appear in as much of your content as possible. Generally speaking, these words should make up about 5% of your content. Any more could be seen as keyword stuffing, which will lead to Google and other engines penalizing your site. You should also mix both long tail keywords (lower volume, longer phrases) with middle volume and high volume phrases.

Off-Page Optimizations

Your website platform and structure have an impact on your performance. Google rewards 100% html sites that do not enable WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editors. This means you need a developer to add content to your site or a content management system that enables you to inject html without adding additional and non-relevant code. WordPress has also been a favored WYSIWYG platform that Google ranks well. Additional off-page optimizations include adding the following meta-data: Meta Title, Meta Key Words, Meta Description, Alt+ tags on images, and Title Links on URLs.

It’s important to note that your meta-description is what is typically rendered in the SERP unless Google finds it not relevant and replaces it. Google typically renders your meta description in the SERP. Be sure to make this action oriented as though you are selling — get the user to click.

Another off-page opportunity to rank is by submitting your site map to Google Search Console. This enables Google to find all the pages on your site in expedient manner by also designating image, copy, and video content.

Building Authority

Another way to focus on SEO for the purposes of conversion involves building as much authority as possible. If you can get relevant and authoritative sites to link to the content you’re creating, it will give your own efforts a boost. Keep in mind that sites with .EDU extensions and legitimate industry publications will always have the highest impact on your ranking with relevant links to your site.

Other Considerations

When you do get started creating content, keep in mind that all pages should have at least 300 words.

Likewise, make sure that your site map is always accurate and up-to-date — this will help Google’s ‘spiders’ crawl your page faster. Links from your content to other pages will also help to that end.

Finally, you should absolutely be making use of resources like the Google Search Console. It’s a perfect opportunity to see not only your overall rankings but also your click-through rate, traffic from natural searches, and more. The Google Search Console is where you submit your site map for review, and it allows you to see any speed issues that your users may be experiencing. You can also link GA and Search Console to help optimize your landing pages for specific keywords. When used together, these tools can significantly aide in your understanding of ranking and how you can impact it.


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