Whenever you run a marketing campaign, you always need to be able to show a return on investment. It’s no different when you look at SEO.
Search Engine Optimisation is vital for your business. Without it, your site will likely be much further down in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) than your competitors. Worse still, it could incur penalties from Google for a whole host of reasons.
Though, a frequent question from marketers who are under pressure to deliver results, is how can SEO increase sales?
Increasing sales through SEO
The simplest answer to the question posed is simply by saying that SEO will drive more traffic to your website. which in turn should increase the sales. it’s quite a simplistic take on it. it helps to understand exactly why this is happening.
First and foremost, you have to put yourself in to the shoes of your customers. How do you want them to find the site and how will they find the site? This is a key piece of work which will likely form the first part of any SEO work on your site. It’s keyword research. following this by optimise your site for those keywords that were identified.
What you’re doing by optimising for these keywords and phrases is you’re making your website more visible to customers. this means, by doing this you drive traffic and will likely be moving up the search results.
Aim to be ranked first for your product or service. however for many, the first page of Google is still a significant achievement.
The more products and services that you optimised for, the more organic traffic you are going to see. The term ‘organic traffic’ essentially means non-paid for and not direct. The user has not clicked on an advert or typed your URL in, instead they have found you through a search engine by typing in the term they are interested in.
However, the end result from all of this SEO work should be that your website is now attracting more organic traffic. So, what about those extra sales?
A great way of visualising the traffic coming to your site ending in a sale is to imagine it as a giant funnel; a sales funnel.
The wide top of the funnel is where the traffic comes in. and the narrow end of the funnel is where the sale or transaction takes place. A conversion rate is the percentage of users that reach the bottom of the funnel to complete a transaction in relation to the number of users that come on to the website.
This is known as a ‘conversion rate’. Conversion rates will differ slightly depending on the type of industry you’re in and what product you sell. but as a general benchmark, in the UK the general conversion rate from landing page to completed transaction is 2.35%.
This is where we can come back to the question we asked at the outset; how can SEO increase my sales?
SEO should, if done correctly, drive a higher volume of organic traffic to your website as well as traffic that is looking for what you’re selling. i.e. they are searching for products identified in your keyword research. And so are more likely to purchase as they have found what they are looking for.
The more organic traffic you receive, the more users will enter your sales funnel, and thus, more will convert.
Converting those users is another interesting topic in the world of SEO. There is a major reliance on your website having good usability, as well as being optimised for eCommerce.
Your website’s position within the SERPs will now also be influenced by certain aspects of usability and security. No longer is it purely about optimising for keywords, your site must be designed, built and secured to standard.
Slow page load speeds or lack of mobile-friendly design are examples of two areas in which your site will be penalised from a usability perspective.
Finally, optimising your site for eCommerce. the chances of converting users on your website, is again heavily impacted by usability and should be a high priority. Along with this a clean and simple checkout process is important. minimal distractions and prominent trust signals (e.g. SSL certificate) will all drive high conversion rates as well as having some sort of impact on your SEO.