SEO specialist, UK

Many times companies will get involved in an SEO campaign to promote their website while seemingly forgetting that even if the potential customers arrive, they will not be converted to a sale if the website is not designed correctly. This article aims to layout some of the pit falls in the link between an SEO (search engine optimisation) campaign and the website it is promoting.

Search engines and directories account for nearly 90% of Internet traffic generated daily, however if you are not attracting this potential revenue stream to your website then you are missing out on a huge sales opportunity.

The people who use search engines are looking for something specific. They know what they want and are looking specifically for a place that provides it. On average they will use 2 or more key words to search for what they want and will rarely look beyond the first 3 pages of results generated. They are pre-qualified traffic!

An SEO campaign in one form or another is essential to be successful on the Internet by today's standards. As the web has expanded so too has the content it contains, along with an ever-increasing difficulty for the search engines to sort the vast amounts of information. Trying to get in front of the crowd is a specialised skill in itself and this is where SEO companies are more important than ever for a website to be successful, and indeed profitable.

This article assumes your website has undergone an SEO campaign and is bringing traffic in.

Not only you use your website
It is paramount that visitors to your website can use it. As straightforward as this sounds it is surprising that at least 73% of websites are difficult for users to understand or navigate which in turn drives them to a competitors website instead, losing them the sale and repeat custom.

The most important thing is a clean, clear and understandable site layout, navigation being paramount. If users are unable to locate what they want quickly they will leave your website. FACT!

It is good practice to include an easily visible 'call to action' on your main pages for your most popular service or product. An image of a book with "20% off first order to all new customers" is likely to get a user to make their purchase with you as they can get their product and they save money.

You now have their details and a potential repeat customer that will have used you before and become 'comfortable' using your website and services which will also go to help your word of mouth advertising when they tell others how easy your website was to use. The more accessible you make your information to users the more likely they are to find and purchase it. But this is just one benefit of making sure you have a well structured and clear website.

Search engines are users too
Having a well-structured site that is linked logically and uniformly will make things easy for the search engines to collect the content and index it. This goes to help your search engine ranking, attracting more potential customers, which brings more sales. Any professional SEO company will highlight any potential issues that there may be with navigation and linking structure in order to be sure that the SEO work performed will have full effect.

The correctly indexed information can then be served up to the users and help them to find what they are searching for, the advantage being that they will find it with you, on your website.

A touch of class
Even though the general attitude to purchase items online has been gradually changing over recent years there are still a large percentage of people who really need to trust a site before they will start handing out card details.

Trust can be achieved through a website simply by having a clean and professional design, decent products, good prices, ideally some form of customer testimonials or accreditations / affiliations with other businesses and be sure to include easy to find contact details. You are trying to build up credibility to your potential customers and assure them that you are a professional company supplying quality services and products.

It is again another case of making sure that your site is correctly designed and has appropriate functionality in order to ensure an easy user experience once they have found the website via the search engines.

Goals to achieve in order to convert SEO to sales
Get into a good SEO campaign with a reputable company that will not only perform initial optimisation, but will also supply an ongoing optimisation strategy that will help your website progress in the long term.

Be sure that your website is of professional quality, being clear, crisp, concise, and simple for the user to understand.

Employ a straightforward navigation system that is both easy to view and easy to use. It should also not hinder the search engines from being able to crawl your website and index the content it contains.

Make primary information available to users straight away by including plenty of call to action’ links and imagery that will help guide the user experience to the final purchase, either online or offline.

Stay professional and stay in contact with your customers. The best way to keep any repeat sales is to stay in the customers mind.

Continue to adjust information and add new content to your website to help with your SEO campaign and further improve your rankings within the search engines and Internet directories. Content is King!
A great example of a website that has achieved all of the goals required to be successful is Amazon. They have a great web reach to potential customers; they have simple design and navigation, and plenty of customer feedback on most of their products.

Amazon started out like any other company but have gained this reputation and have an unbelievable number of repeat customers, simply due to the fact that everything is so easy to do and they have achieved all of the goals above.

So consider your website design, navigation and content when you go for search engine optimisation. All of these things go hand in hand to converting your SEO campaign users into successful website customers.

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