To hear most business owners tell it, a top search ranking for a high-traffic keyword on Google could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, or even more. There is some truth to that – having good search visibility gives you an enormous advantage when it comes to generating sales or leads online.

However, this is really only half the story, and it leads small business owners to get search engine optimization half right. That’s because there is a key detail that’s being overlooked: traffic is useless without conversions.

In other words, you probably will get lots of visits to your website if you have a top spot on Google. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to affect your bottom line in a positive way. To make sure your search engine optimization campaigns do pay off, there are a few things you have to remember…

Visitors Aren’t Always Buyers

A lot of business owners target search phrases that bring them the most traffic, even if they don’t necessarily signal a buying intent. It’s no good bringing people to your website if they aren’t going to buy, however. Only target search terms that suggest a conversion is going to be possible.

Your Landing Pages Have to Persuade

Just because you put a form or a “buy now” button on your website doesn’t mean visitors are going to take the next step. It’s your job – through the writing, images, and videos on your landing pages – to convince them to take action. Otherwise, even interested searchers are going to leave your site without doing anything.

Usability and UX are Critical

Even when your search engine optimization campaigns are wildly successful, not every visitor to your site is going to find the content they are looking for immediately. That’s why usability, easy navigation, and a clean interface are so important. If searchers can’t locate the answers they’re looking for right away, they might click away to a competitor.

The Right Call to Action is Important

A strong call to action is the culmination of your search visibility and conversion efforts. It’s important that the offer you make to visitors be clear and compelling. Searchers have to know exactly what you want them to do, and why it’s in their best interest to take the next step.

Web Analytics Can Show You the Way

Most search engine optimization plans require a bit of adjustment as they go. By studying your web analytics, you can see which search terms are working for you, where conversions are coming from, and what parts of your website aren’t doing as well as they could be. Without that information, you’re just flying blind and hoping for the best.

Make no mistake: it’s a good idea to optimize your site for search engine visibility, since earning a good ranking on Google is often the first step towards making your website profitable. Just don’t fall for the trap of confusing “hits” with sales. They are different things, and one doesn’t always lead to another.

Need a creative partner who can help you get more from your website? Call our team today to schedule a free consultation so we can evaluate your website and show you what we’ve been able to do for other companies like yours.