Editor’s Note: Rich Harshaw is the keynote speaker at this year’s Window & Door Dealer Day, held Monday, Sept. 16, in Atlanta. This year’s programming is centered on digital marketing, online identity, SEO, geotargeting and geofencing, in addition to an industry benchmarking and exclusive market forecast session.
Want to juice your SEO rankings? Simple! Just create and post a ton of great content on your website.
Want your website to do a better job of converting lookers into buyers? Simple! Just create and post a ton of great content on your website. Is it really that simple? Yes and no.
Both disciplines—SEO and website conversion—are fairly complex and multi-faceted. To maximize website conversion, businesses need an attractive, aesthetically pleasing site, a rock-solid identity, plenty of evidence and social proof, and a few strategic engagement tools including forms, pop-ups, calls to action, and so on. And, maximizing SEO effectiveness requires mastery of on-page coding (what I call nerd-coding), back linking, social media posting, keyword selection and more.
The bedrock foundation of both: great content. Lots and lots of relevant, interesting, recent, case-building content. There are a few kinds of content that can push websites speedily toward a positive destination in both categories.
Core content // Core content is the information on the main pages of a website that’s dedicated to selling a company and its products/services. It’s the home page, the services pages, reputation pages, the “about us” page and so forth. Essentially, it’s whatever should be live on a website the day it launches. Obviously, it’s imperative that this core content is powerful, precise and passionate. It should be dripping with identity and build a case for the company and its products.
Blog postings and articles // Most site owners know that blog postings are important for SEO, but these articles/posts will only do their job if they’re relevant and interesting. If they are relevant and interesting, guess what? People will actually want to read them, which will lead to better conversion. Don’t focus on low-quality articles and blogs just for the sake of having content. However, in real life, this is a challenge, and there is a bit of a trade-off—it’s difficult to write massively engrossing content two or three times a week. At a bare minimum, post 10 articles a month; aim for a ratio of at least three great articles and seven good articles. Some mediocre articles may slip in there but hold them to a minimum. Avoid poor articles.
Online reviews // Online reviews are perhaps one of the most important conversion tools for website prospects. People love to read what others think about a company—it allows them to shortcut their due diligence and still get a pretty good idea of what to expect if they hire the company. For conversion, online reviews are not optional. They’re mandatory. But online reviews are also an excellent source of content for SEO purposes. Most website owners don’t think of reviews as “content,” but that’s exactly what they are. Consider hiring a company that specializes in online reviews that will automate the process. In this case, company owners never really have to think about it—the online reviews pile up high and deep on the website. Google will also love the regency and frequency of the new reviews—as well as their keyword-rich granularity. Over time, the website’s rankings will rise steadily, and the site will get more traffic.
Case studies // Case studies are essentially online reviews on steroids. A good case study involves an interview with a happy client that digs into the “before, during and after” of their experience with a company. Common elements include:
- Why the client wanted to do this kind of project in the first place
- How long they were thinking about and researching it
- How they chose your company over competitors
- Their experience during the sales process
- Challenges that came up during the project and how they were resolved
- Actions, products or people on your staff that impressed them during the project
- Their satisfaction with the price
- Overall impressions and recommendations after the project.
Once the data is gathered, get as many pictures from the project as possible (before, during, after, if possible) and hand it all over to a skillful copywriter to make it into something readable and interesting.
Prospects will love it because it shows a detailed snapshot of what it’s like to work with your company.
Google will love it because case studies are naturally keyword dense and people tend to stay on these pages for a long time. I recommend adding one case study per month to your website. It’s not easy to do, but very worth it.
There you have it—conversion and SEO all in one big ball of wax, whatever that means. Now pick up your rock and throw it at a couple of birds.