The Conversion Chronicles, resources for improving your online conversion rates

7 Tips for Converting Search Engine Traffic

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Search engine marketing is like inviting folks to play a game of catch. You put the ball in motion with a relevant strategy that motivates folks to click through to your Web site. Your visitors' click-throughs mean they're taking up the game and throwing the ball
back to you. The last thing you want to do is drop the ball!

So what do you do after you've fueled your audience's propensity to buy? How do you sustain and build upon the momentum that brought
those visitors to you in the first place? Here are seven tactics culled from "Call to Action," our new anthology on conversion-rate marketing, that will help you keep the ball in pl

Make Sure the Link Will Work

A no-brainer, you say? It's amazing how many times the link for a pay-per-click or search engine result doesn't go through. The enthusiastic person clicking on the link gets a big error message
proclaiming the connection couldn't be made or the site couldn't be located. That person doesn't understand what goes on behind the scenes; she just knows the business behind that link isn't reliably available to her. So she decides to go play catch with someone else. You're stuck with the ball and wasted marketing expenses.

Show Them the Bathroom Door

In one of the many industry specialist contributions to our book, Tamara Adlin pleads, "For heaven's sake, let them pee!" Imagine your visitors desperately need to use the facilities. You've been there, right? How interested in distractions are you when this sort of urgency rules? Now, apply this perspective to your SEM scenarios. The very first thing you do is show those goal-driven folks the bathroom door. Don't make them find it from your home page; put the doorknob in their hands!

Create Specific Landing Pages

Don't adopt a one-size-fits-all approach for directing traffic to your site. Creating specific landing pages that address the implicit promise and sustain the message of your SEM link is mandatory.

Keywords Must Rule

The very words your audience types into the search engine must also be the words that appear in the message on your landing pages. This not
only improves your ranking in the search engines, it satisfies your visitors and validates their action. The most effective and persuasive ways to use keywords is to place them in your call-to-action and points-of-resolution hyperlinks.

Reinforce and Expand on Your Value Proposition

Even after the first back and forth of catch, your visitors are still not fully committed to the game. The page to which you take them must reinforce the value proposition of the link that brought them there.
And it must take the next step as well: expand on the value proposition, develop rapport appropriate to the exchange, build confidence, and offer an opportunity to further qualify their needs.

Provide Assurances

We call them Point of Action Assurances. These little phrases are invaluable to persuading action: We value your privacy; Shop with confidence; You can always remove it later; Exchanges are easy. It
isn't enough that you express these somewhere on your site. They must appear in the places where visitors are going to take the action. Ask
yourself what reassurances your visitors might need when they arrive on your SEM landing page, then reassure away!

Be Available

Post offline contact options for your visitors -- make sure those landing pages offer your visitors a toll-free phone number through which they can reach you. Consider it your anti-bail lifeline. And
if you'd like to track the effectiveness of the offline option, make it a discrete number associated only with the landing page or marketing campaign.

Search engine marketing is an excellent way to direct qualified traffic to your site, but it fulfills its promise only when your site is able to convert the people who come. They're there to play ball with you. Are you prepared to orchestrate a satisfying game of catch?
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Bryan EisenbergAuthor: Bryan Eisenberg, CPO - Future Now Inc

Bryan Eisenberg is co-founder and chief persuasion officer of Future Now. Bryan also writes the award winning GrokDotCom Newsletter.