We were recently at a well-attended business exhibition in London and it was interesting to observe the differences in numbers of people attending the various types of workshops.
Whereas some types of workshops had empty seats, those that were related to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) were packed out, with people spilling out the back and sides of the room.
Observing this, we took note of the business names on the badges of those in and around one of the SEO workshops and although it wasn’t a huge number (32) it was random enough to be representative.
Looking at those 32 websites we saw very few that were very good, some that were ok, some mediocre, and the others that were awful. The biggest number (21) were mediocre.
These people, crammed in to try and get information related to SEO, fit the mould of what we call ‘Search Engine Obsession’. Or, to put that another way:
If our website is high in Google then we have won the battle and will get customers.
It’s insanity – furious scribbling of SEO-related notes, ready to take back to work and implement methods intended to drive more traffic to websites ….. those being websites that aren’t strong enough to convert good numbers of visitors to enquiries!
With our A1WebStats software, businesses are mainly interested in the names of companies that visit their websites. Where there’s less interest is in the fact that those company visitors have not found enough to make them want to get in contact. Instead, the focus is on trying to build contact within those companies. While we understand why it’s attractive to be able to identify visiting company names, we think that a better strategy would be to make the website strong enough to convert those company visitors into enquirers.
Stop the obsessing!
While we agree that in a numbers game, more people seeing a website should result in more enquiries, it makes more sense to focus on the website strength than obsessing about driving more traffic to it.
Let’s say you have 500 website visitors a month and 5 make contact with you. That’s 1%.
You pump resource into SEO and you raise your traffic to 1,000 visitors a month but your website hasn’t changed so you still get 1% converting to enquiries. Your enquiries have doubled to 10.
You feel like you’ve achieved something but in reality, you’ve focused in the wrong direction because if your competitor is converting a higher percentage of website visitors to enquiries, then, quite frankly, they’re doing better than you. For example, if they also have 1,000 visitors and are converting at 3% then their 30 enquiries vs your 10 enquiries is likely to lead to more business for them, which makes them financially stronger and better able to put more resources into getting more results from their website.
Suppose instead you really analysed your 500 website visitors and you identified that 200 of them were going to certain pages, but weren’t making contact as a result (you can do this with A1WebStats – ask us how if you don’t know). That gets you thinking about possible website weaknesses and you get them fixed, which leads, in the next month’s analysis to:
500 (still) website visitors converting to 10 enquiries (up from 5). You now have a 2% enquiry rate but it’s not enough. You analyse your data further with the intention to get it up to 3%, and so on.
At some point your conversion rate is looking much stronger and you’ve not touched ‘SEO’. You’ve done the right thing by not being search engine obsessed and are now in a much better position to get better results from looking at SEO again (to drive more traffic to a website that’s converting so much better).