Use Search engine marketing (SEM) to convert website visitors to leads

Most online marketers that actually take the time to analyse their visitor statistics, get excited when they see traffic volumes increasing (don’t we all?). The thing about raw traffic is that it doesn’t necessarily drive targeted sales leads. Generating visitor traffic is not the most difficult thing; converting them into tangible sales leads More…

I read an interesting blog post by Prashant Kaw from HubSpot, where he states, “…unless you are tracking your conversion rates it is easy to be deceived by the illusion of growth.” He postulates that it is quite possible that despite traffic growth, your conversion rate could actually be dropping.

Prashant believes that businesses today are buying or ‘leasing’ traffic through email list rental, PPC AdWords, banner ads, press releases etc, which drives a flood of unqualified visitors to your website. The problem is that once your ‘paid for’ campaign concludes so does the traffic flow.

Qualified traffic can be generated by optimising your website for organic Google SERP results. The great thing about search engine optimisation (SEO) is that your optimised content remains indexed for a long time, creating excellent residual marketing value long after the content has been posted.

The task of converting visitor traffic into sales leads lies in the art of search engine marketing or SEM as it’s also known. The problem is that many webmasters think of their homepage as the primary landing page.

This is only true for direct traffic generated by typing your web address into the browser. As you start to build organic traffic through Google SEO, much of it will land on any number of sub-pages in your site, and not necessarily your homepage.

If you focus your efforts exclusively on making your homepage compelling with lots of ‘stickiness and a strong call-to-action and you ignore the rest of your pages, you run the risk of only converting homepage visitors and losing visitors on other pages.

You have to think of every page on your site as a landing page. Make sure that if a visitor arrived on it ‘cold’, they would find it interesting, engaging and relevant to their search term. Having landed on the page and read the content, you need to tell them exactly what you want them to do next i.e. have a call-to-action.

The basic rule of website design is, ‘don’t make me think’. Make the next step and action that you want them to take blatantly obvious. It may be to subscribe to a newsletter, call your company, send an email enquiry, bookmark or share the page etc.

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