Rugby, rugby rugby, rah rah rah!! While beefy students up and down the country dentist chair themselves into oblivion at nine in the morning to support their country, internet marketers are keeping their eyes on different kinds of conversions altogether…
At the same time as Jonny Wilkinson was optimising his foot in 2003 to bring the Web Ellis cup home to England, online marketers were beginning to really uncover the depth and potential that search engine optimisation could bring to a brand. Two things have happened since that incredible victory in Australia – England have gone to shit, and SEO has entered the mainstream as a valuable marketing tool for businesses in any industry.#
The power of conversions
The one thing both rugby and SEO have in common is the importance of conversions. Conversions in rugby win you matches, online conversions earn you money. A simple philosophy, but one that a surprising number of business owners fail to grasp when it comes to a search marketing campaign. They may understand the importance of driving new traffic to their website, but struggle to build the link between getting more hits on their site and shifting their products.
That’s likely through no fault of their own, of course, and certainly not through want of trying. But there are probably a lot of factors and issues relevant to the website in question and campaign as a whole that need addressing before physical products start flying off virtual shelves. One issue we always notice when it comes to conversion rate optimisation is proximity – a lot of business owners are so blinkered by their pre-existing online project that they find it hard to be critical about ‘their baby’.
Employ a ‘Jonny Wilkinson’ attitude
Well, a ‘Jonny Wilkinson 2003’ attitude. If you employ his 2011 attitude then you’ll likely end up in France somewhere and grow barnacles on your bottom from being on the treatment table for too long. The point is that Jonny Wilkinson practised and practised his kicking technique after hours, with the fruits of that extra effort the difference between England being international contenders to world champions. Jonny Wilkinson always took a step back from his current abilities, analysed his level with a perceptive eye and understood there was always room for improvement.
Anybody who wants to succeed online and sell more products via their website has to employ the same mentality if they want success. There is ALWAYS room for improvement when it comes to a website – it will never be perfect. That doesn’t mean that it will never maximise its potential or fully represent your brand online. It just means that there’s always room for growth, change and fine-tuning. Think Jonny Wilkinson kicked a brilliant conversion in training one day then went home? Of course he didn’t, he did it again and again until it became a natural instinct to him.
Stop your search stubbornness!
So, do you think your website is still the best looking in your industry, even though your customers are telling you that it looks like Martin Johnson? You’re going to have to drop that stubborn streak and consider how your website performs from an objective point of view. And there’s probably a lot to dissect! How in-depth are your product descriptions? Are your product images large, clear and crisp? Does your website let customers find related products easily enough? How about the payment gateway you’re using, is it trusted? Would you honestly enter your own credit card details into it as a consumer?
The bottom line is – as England and every world cup winner since will testify – a good, critical eye, practice and positive change is key to increasing your on-site conversions and being successful. Work on your weaknesses, and your customers will notice and appreciate your efforts. You might not go as far as winning the equivalent of a world cup in a matter of months, but it’ll certainly improve the online face of your business and your return on investment (ROI) in the long run.
This post was written by Dan Taylor, Director of Search at SEOwned Limited