You’ve invested in SEO. Analytics tells you you’re getting traffic to your website. But what’s going on? You don’t seem to be getting any business.
You may have “put the cart before the horse.” All of the traffic in the world will not convert to business if your site isn’t ready for it.
You don’t have to be a designer to know when something is wrong on a website. If navigating the site is difficult and confusing, your site visitors will not stick around long enough to discover what you have to offer. If the site has outdated information and shows error pages, or is very amateur looking, potential customers are likely to lose trust. Studies show that it takes web visitors 10 seconds or less to judge whether they will stay with your website or move on.
In addition to visitors liking and trusting your website, Google and the other search engines need to “like it” too. In this case “like it” means respect it enough to rank it well. How do you earn the respect of Google? For one, your website needs to load promptly; Google has measured and judged website load time since 2011. Your website content should be well written and contain solid information. Your website needs to be mobile friendly. As of April 21, 2015, websites that are not mobile friendly started seeing drops in their Google rankings. This is because a site that is not mobile-friendly is not designed with the visitor in mind, and Google wants to deliver the best results to users.
A good website “converts”
A conversion is defined as persuading a website visitor to do something you want them to do. It can be any number of actions. Obvious ones would be filling out a contact form or or signing up for an email list. For an ecommerce site, completing a purchase is the most obvious conversion. But a conversion could also be something more subtle. Maybe you want your visitors to watch a video on your home page, request more information, or post a comment on your blog.
You should always be trying to boost your conversion rate. Websites without a solid design foundation—without a usable layout, clear and consistent navigation, reasonable load times, and a consistent design throughout pages and devices—are likely to work against your conversion rate. Fewer visitors are likely to trust an unsound and inconsistent website enough to engage with it to the point of a conversion.
So when you’re trying to improve the amount of business you get through digital efforts, don’t separate SEO and other steps you take to boost local visibility from the quality of your website. Everything works together.