Search Engine Guide

September 30, 2009 - Navigation: Articles - Readers Respond - Video - Small Biz Talk



Miriam Ellis

Google Maps Place Pages Widen Local Horizons

by Miriam Ellis

If you've not visited Maps in the last couple of days, you are in for a surprise! Google has just rolled out a whole new user interface which they've dubbed Place Pages. If you're into Local SEO or are running a local business, it's time to check this new UI out!...

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Mike Moran

The All-Time Top-Secret Search Marketing Trick

by Mike Moran

Sometimes I can tell just by the way they sidle up to me at a conference. They look around to make sure no one is watching, and then they half-whisper to me out of the side of their mouths, "Just between you and me, what is the trick to search marketing?"...

Scott Buresh

Adding Search to Your Marketing Mix, Part II

by Scott Buresh

Achieving internal buy-in, leveraging your existing assets, and understanding the unique challenges of outsourcing to a search engine optimization company....

Stoney deGeyter

7 Steps to Improving Conversion Rates

by Stoney deGeyter

Each entry point of your site (wherever the visitor lands first, not just the home page) needs to be treated as the starting point that will lead your visitors step by step toward the conversion goal. In order to guide your visitors from this starting point to the end point, you need to make sure each step along the way is aligned with the next; in sync and unbroken.

Eric Brown

Focus on Your Core Community

by Eric Brown

So, You have a Company Blog, are your getting the results you expected? And, what about when your company blog is NOT about your core product. Perhaps a company blog that has nothing to do with your Core Product, but everything to do with your Core Community is the best choice....

Jennifer Laycock

Friday Fun - The SEO Song

by Jennifer Laycock

Had an email this morning from Oliver Blake over at The Creare Group pointing me to a video on YouTube that stars Creare Group web designer Michael Angrave. Now normally, I wouldn't bother to click a link to a random video, but since Oliver claimed this video featured "The SEO Song," I thought I'd give it a try.

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Video Cast

Sage Lewis

Sage Lewis

To Retweet or Not To Retweet

by Sage Lewis

Dan Zarella has spent nine months analyzing roughly 5 million tweets and 40 million retweets. The findings show that there is a recipe for tweets that get retweeted. Check out this video to learn how you can become a retweet master. Oh. And PLEASE RETWEET THIS!...

Sage Lewis

Tiger Direct Must Not Like Money

by Sage Lewis

I just bought something from Tiger Direct. But they tried really hard to make me not take my money. Fortunately, I'm obsessed with forcing my money on people. And I was able to overcome their desire to get me to not pay them. Don't let this kind of thing happen to you in your shopping experience....

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Readers Respond

In response to... What's Your True Conversion Rate?

Agreed. It's important to take the metric that is most logical or practical for you to measure and then trend off it to chart your progress. Comparing to other companies is often more trouble than it's worth when it comes to the absolute number on conversion rate. My post "Conversion Rates: How High is Up?" goes deeper into what you need to account for if you do decide to start comparing your rate vs theirs.

In addition to the issues you've mentioned (visits vs unique visitors), we've run up against some other complexities. Many of our visitors come to the main website (the "marketing site") just to log-in to their subscription-based (SaaS) product. And many visitors come to the main site just as the first page on their journey to the Support content. Still more come through the main site to register the product they just purchased.

If you really cared about some absolute number that represented how well you are at moving product, you would want NONE of these visitors to count towards your "conversion rate" metric. Each method of excluding them (tag based, report based, behavior based) has its pros and cons. Through one of these approached you could derive your "qualified lead conversion rate". But is that what the others in my benchmarking category are using? Do they have the same issues with logins/support/registrations? To the same degree?

Luckily, by using the baseline-then-trend approach, we can avoid these headaches. Then we're only confronted with worrying about the potential seasonality of those non-qualified visitor segments.

Jared Waxman
Benchmark-Analytics.com



In response to... 7 Steps to Improving Conversion Rates

Hi Stoney,

Well written article, I enjoyed reading it. I agree with your points about optimising the conversion path by using testing and analytics. Too often landing pages go unloved and without measurement and if conversion is low, people give up. It is impossible to design the perfect page given the diversity of an audience - testing, customer surveys and analytics can help you optimise and improve performance.

However, I don't agree that conversion is the only goal to target. Metrics like open rate, click through rate, average transaction value, return on ad spend etc can be equally as valuable. If I have a static conversion rate and increase my click through, I'm going to see a higher total number of conversions (whatever that conversion might be). I can then also optimise the process to drive the conversion rate. If you ignore open/click through then you ignore the impact of your upfront marketing. If click through is low there is a problem with the relevancy/impact of the message.

Optimisation should take into account all metrics that reflect customer interest and satisfaction. I've worked with clients where ROI is the target and they don't care what happens to increase it - if it is achieved by increasing click through and average order value, they are happy. If we optimise landing pages to drive conversion they are happy. I think a sensible strategy is to optimise each metric one step at a time with the end goal of an optimised marketing campaign, not just an optimised conversion funnel.

I'd be interested in your thoughts.

Thanks
James

James Gurd
eCommerce & Marketing Consultant



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