Welcome to the SEO life podcast, in this episode I’m going to explain whether you should focus on getting more organic search traffic or instead focusing on converting the traffic you already have. Let’s jump in.
Every business owner or founder has or will encounter this internal debate at some point. You know you need traffic to make sales, but more traffic doesn’t sales problems. On the other hand, if you only focus on sales, but not traffic, you won’t even know if your sales process is effective because not enough people are going through it.
So, what do you do?
The annoying answer is that there needs to be a fine balance of both. Focusing too much on one is clearly going to take away from the other. That’s the biggest problem I see. Especially businesses that want to use SEO to grow their businesses.
They believe that TRAFFIC is their problem so they go all in on SEO. Then, when their organic search traffic starts to pick up, but their sales stay flat, they blame SEO as the culprit. But deep down inside, you know that SEO isn’t the problem in most cases. If you’re getting more qualified traffic (given you did keyword research correctly) and you’re getting more conversions, then there is a conversion problem.
How you define a “conversion” is going to be different for every business. For example, a conversion for local wedding photographer would be a contact form submission or phone call from a lead. On the other hand, an e-com store would consider a conversion to be a direct sale. And lastly, in an information business like mine, I have two types of conversions. First, someone joining my email list is a conversion because that eventually leads to a sales funnel. My second conversion is going to be on the sales level.
So, on the other hand, if your conversions are solid and your closed a high percentage of leads, you then know that you should focus on driving for traffic to the top of your funnel. Your conversions may be high on a small scale, but you really won’t know how effective your sales process is until you get a large number of people to go through it. Traffic is the solution.
But what I just outlined is critical. You need to establish a strong conversion and sales foundation BEFORE you focus on traffic. Then, you’ll be able to iterate on this process as more prospects go through your funnel. In reality, most people just immediately jump into getting more traffic because this is what most Internet Marketers push. I’m someone who’s obsessed with driving organic traffic from search engines, but I’m telling you that your conversion and sales process is far more important.
It doesn’t matter how much traffic you get if you can’t turn those prospects into customers. It’s no different than have 20,000 Facebook fans who never buy from you. Having a lot of traffic or lots of Facebook fans is practically worthless if people aren’t buying from you.
You have to spend your days figuring out how to get more people to buy from your brand. SEO will NOT solve your business problems. I would say that most businesses I’ve worked with do not need to prioritize traffic growth. They need to prioritize optimizing their sales funnel.
In fact, I believe that it’s a much better use of resources to test your sales funnel using paid advertising. SEO campaigns are a big investment and you won’t know if your sales funnel is effective or not for at least 6-12 months in most scenarios.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do SEO. It just means that it’s not a great channel for testing sales funnels. Paid traffic is the clear winner for that purpose. The beauty of this strategy is that you can test your funnel using cold and warm traffic. Then you can iterate on your funnel and make it more effective WHILE your SEO campaign is in its early stages.
As a side note, this is good reason why you shouldn’t purely rely on SEO as your primary channel. Sure, I believe it’s the best channel because it’s organic and you know exactly what people are looking for when they come to your website. However, relying on one of anything is generally a bad idea. There are so many marketing channels that a business can tap into outside of search that it would be borderline insane not to at least test them.
In my experience the best move to combine organic search with paid advertising. My favorite combo is SEO and Facebook ads. The latter may change as I test other ad platforms, but throwing in paid advertising is a great way to continue growing your business while you wait for your SEO campaign to start getting results.
Plus, like I said, it’s one of the best channels for testing your sales funnel. And by the time your organic search traffic has picked up, you’ll have a fully tested and optimized sales funnel so you can start converting this traffic right out of the gate.
So, with that said, this episode of the SEO life podcast was a major rant, but I hope it helped you understand that you need to develop, test, and optimize your sales funnel BEFORE you begin focusing on organic search traffic growth,
That’s all for today. Thank you so much for listening and we’ll talk soon!