In Rugby (the sport, not the town) when a rugby player runs through the walls of muscle that are the opposing team, and slides facedown along the muddy pitch into the bit behind the goal posts, thereby scoring a ‘try’, his team is offered a sort of reward.
The battered, bruised, but triumphant try-earning warrior – of the cauliflower ears and bruised plums – gets to take a rest while a member of his team, known as a ‘kicker’ is giving a free go at hoofing rugby ball over the goalposts, and into the faces of the humans in the crowd. This is call a conversion.
In SEO earning a conversion can be very ‘trying’ indeed. See what we did.. Yeah of course you do. But what is a conversion in the world of digital marketing?
A conversion is what happens when a punter on your website does something that you want to them to. Some common examples of conversions include the following:
- Buying something
- Signing up for an email newsletter (hint hint)
- Downloading a file
- Making an enquiry using your contact form
- Ringing your helpline number because they’ve got themselves stuck somewhere (not as niche as you might think).
Why are Conversions important in SEO?
Without measuring conversions we have no idea whether a website is working properly. The conversions that SEO folk, business owners and marketing professionals sweat over the most are financial conversions.
If your website’s analytics are set up correctly then measuring conversions should be a breeze. But getting your analytics set up to properly measure conversions can be as challenging as escaping a rugby scrum and making a hopefully, but often doomed dash for the try line.
We must measure conversions, without conversion data we can’t get stuck into Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO). And without CRO we can’t build on our successes.
So how do we determine what a conversion might be on a web page that isn’t offering visitors the chance to part with their hard-earned cash? Start by deciding why the page exists, what is its goal, what are it’s hopes and dreams etc etc. We’re pushing the analogy a bit hard, but if you don’t know what the goal of a page is then you have to question whether that page should exist in the first place.
Once you have a conversion to measure you can use your SEO mad skillz to ensure you’re targeting the right keywords to drive motivated traffic to that page. If you’re a designer or copywriter then you can use your craft to measure whether conversions increase or decrease when you test small changes on the page (A/B testing).
It’s because of this focus on user experience that we included ‘conversions’ in our SEO Glossary. User experience (or UX) is an important part of SEO that is often overlooked. In ye olden days SEO professionals obsessed over metrics like bounce rates and how long visitors spend on websites. The metrics have changed (thankfully) but the obsession with constantly improving the UX of websites is still as important as it ever was.
Google know if people enjoy your website and if they find what they came looking for. So the more you look after your conversions, the better you will rank in the SERPs. In SEO success breeds success.
Conversions – explain them to me like I’m five years old, please!
The conversion is what people do on your website that you want them to do. For example, people might buy something or sign up for your newsletter.