You should know by now that optimizing your site for SEO is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your site and improve your conversion rate. However, many marketers focus solely on keyword research, social media, and external link building, and not enough on how those things affect how people behave once on their website.
In other words, marketers don’t focus on how they’ll convince people to subscribe, sign up, or purchase once they’re on their website. To better understand the link between SEO and conversion rate optimization (CRO), let’s take a look at some of biggest SEO mistakes you might be making that are hurting (rather than helping) your site’s conversion rates.
1. Using the Wrong Keywords
No matter how much time and effort you put into your keyword research, if you use the wrong ones on your website you’ll negatively affect:
- How well your site ranks in search results?
- What kind of traffic comes to your website?
- How many people visit your site?
- How many subscribers and customers you convert?
While short-tail keywords are useful, they may be too general, even for website crawlers. And if that’s the case, you’ll find tons of people coming to your website and immediately abandoning because your content is not what they were looking for.
Longtail keywords, on the other hand, are more in line with how people actually talk and can be very specific to what people are looking for. For example, instead of typing “running shoes,” a person might search “best running shoes for women.”
To find competitive longtail keywords, try using tools like the KWFinder. Start by entering a generic keyword related to your niche and clicking on Find keywords. This online tool will then automate a list of longtail keywords that you will be able to use in your own content and rank well for. Find out information about each longtail keyword such as:
- Search volume.
- The average cost per click in Google AdWords.
- Competition in Google AdWords.
- Keyword difficulty.
- Popular websites already ranking for those words.
Unless you’re a well-established business selling products online from home with lots of daily traffic, aim to find longtail keywords with a difficulty ranging from 0-50. This way you have a chance of ranking on the first page of Google, having people see your content, and getting a conversion out of the leads you generate.
Recommended for you: The Useful & Ultimate Guide of Successful SEO in 2019.
2. Not Improving Website Speed
40% of people will abandon your website if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds, regardless of what you have to offer. This means you’ll lose out on lots of conversion opportunities if your website doesn’t load fast enough for your site visitors. Site speed is not only an important SEO ranking factor, but it’s also a way for you to provide an exceptional user experience to anyone navigating your website.
To find out how fast your website is on both desktops and mobile devices, enter your site’s URL in Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. If you feel your website isn’t loading fast enough, take some of the suggestions Google has for you for optimizing the speed and performance of your website:
- Compress images into smaller files, so they load quicker.
- Minify CSS, JS, and HTML files.
- Enable browser caching for repeat visitors.
- Use a reliable hosting provider.
- Reduce server response times.
Lastly, you can use a CDN to deliver your site’s content across the globe to users almost instantly. CDNs use a network of servers in various locations throughout the world so that when a site visitor clicks on your site, the server closest geographically to your site visitor delivers your site’s content. This not only reduces latency and speeds up your website; it improves the user experience and increases the likelihood of a conversion.
3. Not Linking Internally
External link building is an important part of establishing yourself as an authority in your industry, driving high-quality leads to your website, and expanding your brand’s reach. But once people land on your site, you need to guide them to the most important parts of your website if you want them to convert. And, the only way to do this is to link internally throughout your website so people can easily follow the links you provide and explore other parts of your site.
Search engine crawlers rely on your site’s internal links to better understand the structure of your website so they can index you in the right search results. At the same time, site visitors rely on your site’s internal links to find relevant content, product pages, and more. Just make sure your internal links have proper anchor text so crawlers can know what the link is about and how it will benefit site visitors. If you use nothing but “click here” anchor text, your content will not rank in the right search results, which means a loss in high-quality traffic and a miss in conversion opportunities.
4. Forgetting About the Mobile Experience
With nearly half of all internet traffic coming from mobile devices, it’s a huge mistake on your part if you don’t focus on making your website mobile-friendly. Luckily, you can tell if your website is mobile-friendly by entering your URL into the Responsive Checker tool. Doing this will show you whether your website is mobile-friendly or not. It will also give you the chance to see how your site renders on different mobile devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
Lastly, you can interact with your website, navigating to different webpages, to make sure the user experience is perfect for everyone that visits your site on the go. To make your website more mobile-friendlier and easy to use, follow these best practices:
- Use responsive design.
- Create a separate mobile website if need be.
- Use readable typography and bold color schemes.
- Make CTA buttons clear and easy to push.
- Minimize the need for users to pinch, scroll, or zoom.
- Test the functionality of your site on a regular basis to make sure everything works.
- Avoid annoying popups that can be difficult to close on small devices.
5. Using Duplicate Content
No matter what kind of website you run, duplicate content is harmful to your search rankings. If Google finds that two websites have similar content, the ranking of both sites can be affected negatively. And in extreme cases, Google will penalize the sites.
Though most website owners don’t have to worry about duplicate content, many dropshipping businesses do. That’s because dropshipping sites don’t hold inventory. They only process customer orders and let the suppliers handle inventory, storage, packaging, and shipping. Because of this, many drop shippers use product titles, descriptions, and images sent by the suppliers (in what is known as a data feed) on their website’s product pages.
When the supplier provides multiple dropshipping businesses with the same products, that means many different websites are using the same data feed. If this happens, Google has a hard time deciding which website to rank first. If Google doesn’t choose your site, you end up with poor search rankings, fewer click-throughs, and ultimately fewer sales. Here are some ways to avoid duplicate content on your dropshipping site:
- Use unique, original product images.
- Always include custom product titles and descriptions.
- Add alt attributes to all product images.
- Include additional product specs if possible.
You may also like: Optimize SEO for Greater Organic Lead Generation and Conversion.
Optimizing your website for better search rankings is not supposed to be difficult. However, while it’s easy to work on SEO optimization, it’s also easy to make mistakes that inadvertently ruin your conversion rates. When you get started with your SEO strategies in hopes of driving better traffic to your site; think about what you want to happen on your site once people arrive. This is how you’ll grow your following or business and become a success in your industry. Remember, SEO is not a singular task; there is much more to driving traffic and increasing conversions than ranking well in organic search results.
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