Any online marketing activity you invest in has to ultimately contribute towards improving conversion. While a robust, carefully executed SEO strategy is essential for moving the needle in the right direction, search compliance and accessibility to your optimised content is only one part of the puzzle.
All too often brands and businesses only focus on SEO and are often left surprised when their newly acquired stack of anonymous web traffic doesn’t deliver the conversion uplift they were hoping for.
This is why to really supercharge your Digital Strategy you’re going to need to combine the Holy Trinity of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), User Experience (UX) and Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) to really rack-up the results.
Put simply, SEO is about enticing visitors to your ‘shop’, CRO is about getting them to buy something and UX prevents them from tripping over the doormat. Therefore, by creating an alliance between your SEO, UX and CRO strategies your digital goals become more achievable. Not only will this drive more targeted traffic, but visitors will also get the best possible online experience which in turn, will increase your number of conversions.
Planning your digital strategy
Before you can start crafting a world-beating Digital Strategy and get your SEO, UX and CRO all signing from the same hymn sheet, you need to make sure you follow these three steps.
First of all, you have got to know your target audience inside-out and understand what you want them to do when they visit your website. A majority of the data needed for building persona profiles for your “ideal” web customer is available in Google Analytics. By measuring the actions of users with varying demographical statistics, such as age, sex, location, affinity interests, in-market segments and the technology used to visit your website, it is possible to segment these user types and track their activity across your site. Analysis of the data will then allow you to identify the best and worst converting user personas.
Then you must have a strong knowledge of your current website visitors and exactly what they get up to when they visit. Digging deep into data from your web analytics platform (such as Google Analytics) will give you a wealth of information, such as best/worst performing content, user engagement metrics etc, conversion goals and goal funnel visualisations to measure your visitor’s journeys from start to finish. If you really want to look through the microscope at user interactions, I advise setting up heatmapping tools, in addition to tracking clicks and events using Google Tag Manager.
The final thing to worry about at this stage is your organic presence. This is about discovering how your website can be improved for search engines. Comprehensive SEO and content audits will provide you with a list of “fixes” and “improvements” that can be prioritised and integrated into a development roadmap, alongside UX and conversion improvements.
To get to the bottom of these digital dilemmas you can start by asking yourself quite a few questions, such as:
- Does my website have a good structure and seen as “good quality” in the eyes of the search engines?
- What is my position in search results against my competitors?
- Is my website secure, fast loading and mobile-friendly?
- Where do my visitors come from and what is their intent?
- Does my content fulfil the intent of these visitors?
- Are my visitors landing on the right pages?
- How can my content be improved?
- How do I work with my design team to ensure that changes to my website are user/ search friendly?
Knowledge is power
While this probably sounds like a lot of investigative work, knowledge and insight are the most important driving factors for any decisions you make towards successful changes to your website.
This applies to anything from the addition of a brand USP on your homepage, to a CTA (Call To Action) button on one of your landing pages, a whole new responsive website and anything in-between.
You can gather this intelligence from a range of different places, such as technical audits, user behaviour analysis, data analysis, a structured methodology of testing, testing, and more testing. But most importantly, a measurement plan to identify the insights and turn them into actionable steps.
The goal is to deliver the best possible content to both users and search engines, so understanding how site visitors will react in line with key goals and objectives is vital.