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Friday, October 07, 2011

Guest Post: Why Acquire When You Can Convert?

Many businesses make the mistake of thinking that search engine optimization is only a tool for customer acquisition. Why worry about increasing acquisition with search engine optimization when you can just convert more of the customers that you already have?


  • Experiment with keywords: You need to know exactly what your customers are typing into that search engine query box. Long tail keywords are the key. You may want to set up a beta site or two which redirect to your landing page. That way, you can test more than one keyword or keyword phrase at once.
    The reason to experiment with more precise long tail keywords is that the more precise you get, the lower your acquisition, but the higher your conversion. After you find what the people who are actually buying are typing into the search engine box, you can tailor your online pitch to appeal to them.
  • Multivariate testing: What does your summary say in your search engine listing? Is it turning people off or inspiring them to click through? And most importantly, are these the people that are buying your product or service? Test different summaries and compare the conversion rates there as well.
  • Tailor your web page to the phrases that work: Once you find the phrases that put you at the top of the search engine and bring in paying customers, make sure to optimize your landing page to those keywords or phrases. Place phrases that bring in the most paying traffic in highly prominent positions on your page (single lines, bold text, H1 tags, etc.), and secondary phrases in secondary places (H2 tags, inside paragraphs, as names of pictures, etc.) This will do two things:
      1. Increase your acquisition, and
      2. Increase the conversion rates of the acquired customers.


  • Make the mistake of thinking that higher acquisition means higher conversion: Make it a point to become more precise in your search engine optimization, not less. You can always acquire more views by generalizing your keywords or your landing page focus. However, this is not what you need, especially as search engines are attempting to localize results as much as they can.
  • Neglect the impact of social media: Major search engines are on the cusp of incorporating social media into search engine results. (for instance, Google social media profiles are currently set to show only results that friends approve, a practice that they are expanding). Search engine optimization now includes your social media profiles and the way that you are viewed on major review sites. Place keywords inside of your answers to comments. Do not spam, however.
  • The one question that every business should ask itself: Is it better to hire a third party to keep up with all of this or is it better to just wear that hat?
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