Q: I want to increase our natural search rankings. Currently we spend £2,000 a month for sales leads with Google AdWords and would like to reduce this by increasing our natural search through SEO. How do we go about it?
Direct marketing company
A: Following on from Part 1 last week where we looked at spending less on Google Adwords while winning more sales leads, here are some initial comments on your home page.
Readers please note: I’ve genericised the comments for a broader reading public. You may well find the comments relevant or close to issues you have with your own website.
Comment on website
In terms of perceived delivered benefit, your home page is so-so.
The central text box area containing your key sales messages does draw the eye in, but it contains statistics that are written in a large and cramped style.
The actual text of your proposition is also small and hard to read, and not formatted properly.
And the scrolling news at the bottom of the page distracts the eye from the key info.
The net result is that the eye is drawn to something relatively complex in terms of web-attention span time.
Contrast this with the fact that most visitors only give you a few seconds to impress them – and that’s it!
I’ve studied retinal scans of how people visually react to pages, and my guess is that you’re losing some traffic. Which is costing you sales leads.
You need to deliver an overall better clearer message, preferably as a simple engaging flash animation.
The sales message could be:
The best products in the UK
> Reach: 4.5M businesses, 23M consumers, 20k top corporate decision makers
> Choice: 2,000 lines available
> Action: Select from boxes below (plus include contact link and tele no)
Notice how this message gets immediately to the point, and invites the customer to take an immediate course of action.
People definitely prefer this sort of page where they can grasp its intention inside a couple of seconds (unlike many web pages which aren’t at all obvious about what is actually on offer)
Your central text information box could be redesigned and animated to spell out this improved sales message.
The animation will quickly spell out the choices/features/benefits and desired actions – all in one short engaging flash
Something like this would deliver you more click-throughs.
Less visitors will bounce.
Your SEO keyword text at the top of the page could be pasted underneath out of the way. You could then further optimise and lengthen this text, until you have at least 500 words of text on your page.
The next thing to take a look at are your most effective and profitable adword scripts.
You need to check if their profit performance could be improved by using different landing pages, rather than the current one-size-fits-all home page.
Remember: Searches are about solving problems and providing solutions.
Customer: Here’s how it works for me … I have a problem. The google search shows me an ad that appears to solve my problem. I click it. When I land I need to see my exact solution presented there – stylishly and quickly. Otherwise I’ll go to one of the other web pages I also have open.
The moral being that different adword scripts (ie, different solutions, or variations on solutions) need different landing pages, each presenting a different solution – depending on the adword that sent the visitor there in the first place.
These landing pages may be overall quite similar but they’re not identical, because each is designed to offer an immediate and unique solution to that particular problem.
Using tactical landing pages like this will further increase your click-throughs and reduce bounces.
Remember: Adwords is a numbers game, like Tesco’s and their shoppers. If you cover all the bases better than the competition then, overall, more customers are drawn in, and you’ll win more sales leads.
Search Engine Optimisation
SEO has two key stages:
> Optimise existing pages for keywords, maybe lengthening some pages, and adding some new ones. Not too difficult.
> Win links which is harder than it seems but still possible
NB: Reciprocal links are no good. Google now discounts these as cliques. You need one-way inbound links. Or you can restructure your site to generate more internal links.
The Truth about SEO
> It’s a long term thing
> It pays big when it works
> It comprises a myriad small things that combine to make a big thing.
> It requires the client (you) to change, to embrace new skills and new ways of seeing things
And the truth is that most people are afraid of learning, and make a million excuses not to (time, money, “not convinced”, too many other projects etc)
On the other hand, the go-getters plough lots of resources into their websites, have dedicated web staff, form close consultancy relationships, always aimed at keeping their websites permanently on the boil. And they win!
> Redesign your home page to catch the immediate attention. Use animation.
> Consider developing landing pages for different ads
> Optimise all your web pages for your keywords
> Win incoming links
> Be prepared to learn, as well as invest
Doing any or all of the above will increase your sales leads while reducing your Google Adwords spend.
© Studio Rossiter 2007