Is search engagement optimisation the new SEO?
The biggest problem for most businesses today is not about simply using SEO to drive traffic to their website, it is more around how to convert strangers into customers. Is that true?
Whatever acronym you decided to use -- SEO, SEM or whatever -- at the end of the day it's one single package to bring a visitor with intention to buy all the way to the end of checkout or signup process. Driving visitors to your website helps, but it's only a start. The goal has always been taking the visitor through the tunnel to become a customer, and will always be.
I guess for the "SEO-experts" out there that sell you only the traffic might not be doing a good enough job.
I can't claim to be an expert in engagement-optimisation. In fact I wasn't really paying attention to it until last year where someone from Google offered some help in tuning my site's User Experience (as we use their AdSense product quite extensively). It involves people going over your site, understanding your goal, working out workflows, and doing lots of testing. A/B testing for example to check whether new method is guiding more people through the tunnel. Quite a lot of tedious process.
It is absolutely true! We are living in an understandable un-trusting world. The public has very burned fingers and badly bruised confidence and scepticism so it is vital to build relationships of trust. The chances of someone coming to your website and wanting to do business straight away is slim. Very slim. We need to answer the questions going on in their mind. "Why should I do business with you, compared to all the other xxx out there?". We need to work hard to gain their confidence and build trust over time. People buy when they are ready to buy - not when we want to make a sale.
Totally agree Scott. Getting people to your website is only the start. Unless you have a process to build the relationship over time and position as THE expert who can solve their problems, your more savvy competitor will get their business!
Well that is the problem with many SEO companies they focus on Rankings and not on Revenue.
Its great that you might rank for keyword X but really is that going to drive revenue and sales?
So many times in the past I have taken on accounts where we have to re educate the business on their SEO goals, many focus on ranking for 3 head terms, but really you can drive so much more revenue from an effective long tail strategy.
I agree it is about making the sale. Getting customers to a site is not hard, making the sale is a different story.
There is a real need to look at where customers are taken to on your site and how they travel through your site. Few merchants spend a lot of time within Google analytics to understand what customers are doing and then testing ways to improve conversion rates.
Web visits are like foot traffic in a retail store. You need them, but they're not enough on their own. But 'convert strangers into customers' is a bit too simplified. You might want to convert them into acquaintances (leads) or friends (prospects) before you go all the way - especially if you're selling something high value, tailored or intangible. In these cases, the goal of the website may be lead generation for sales people or principals to convert at a later date. Simple things like asking them to subscribe to a blog or newsletter, or enter a competition, or vote in a poll, or share something via social media, can get you some contact details / social connections, giving you an opportunity to invite them back.
Both are challenging and both need to work well to convert. Great discussion topic.