Oct 15 2012

Top Problem For Businesses New To SEO: Conversion

Category: organic seoTom Shivers

 

This is a classic issue that can come up for newcomers to SEO and most don’t know what they should be asking before engaging.

The basic assumption from people new to this space goes something like this: “Yeah, we’ve never done this before but we have to now, so tell us about your pricing.”

I cringe when I hear naivety. I try to help people who are in this situation, I really do, but education is a process and that’s the point of this post as are most of the entries on my blog.

Many people are sincere and have the money but something is still missing. It’s kind of like someone making it to the stage of X Factor and realizing for the first time that they aren’t quite ready to be there… at least not yet. The judges help contestants see what they haven’t seen or cannot see – sometimes with brutal honesty.

So, here we go…

Who is most qualified to produce content?

A client of mine referred a business associate of his to me who has never done SEO before. He said he hadn’t done SEO because “never felt like I could trust anyone who does this.” Of course he was interested in working with me because he saw how well his buddy’s site was doing in Google, they are in the same industry but do not compete against each other.

I was impressed with the man’s knowledge about SEO because while I went over the basics of developing a strategy, he began wondering about implementation. For instance, when I discussed the content strategy he wanted to know who would be responsible for implementing it. So I asked him a question…

Who is more qualified to produce content that convinces the prospect that you are an authority on this subject so they take action, a marketing company or an expert in your industry?

Typically I get two different answers to this question depending on the mindset of the novice.

If he/she thinks rankings are most important, or that they have no time for content creation, their answer is the marketing company should produce the content. But there are risks to this approach when search engine traffic begins to hit the landing page:

  • Doubts creep in the prospect’s mind due to a surface level discussion
  • Questions instead of “ah-has” come up for the prospect due to salesy talk or excessive use of keywords
  • BS detector goes off in the prospect’s mind

On the other hand, if he/she believes conversions are most important, the answer to this question will be an expert on the topic should produce this type of content.

I prefer working with the latter, those who believe that content speak directly to the motivation behind the searcher’s intent with expertise and/or authority.

Why? Because people who are motivated to take action are searching for:

  • Alignment with the problem or aspirations they have
  • Credible info that builds confidence
  • Communication in the way real people talk
  • A solution or goal that stimulates a desire in the prospect

If your content is not designed to get a decision from a motivated prospect (one way or the other), then they will never, ever take action.

Sorry, but rankings do not produce conversions.

Now, I do believe copywriters and content producers can help with content that is intended to get a decision, especially if the copywriter has solid experience with the target audience and the industry. But expecting someone outside the industry to come in and be able to produce content that converts is a bit naïve.

But I still want top rankings

There’s more to SEO than content and link building, but the point of this post is to help people who are new to SEO understand why it is critical to create content that is designed to get a decision from a motivated prospect.

In other words, the time and money invested in SEO must begin producing monetary results, or it may not be long until there is no more time or money.

Photo credit: cliff1066

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