Blog: SEO
Parcels and keyboard

The Truth About SEO and Sales

Avatar for John Locke

John Locke is a SEO consultant from Sacramento, CA. He helps manufacturing businesses rank higher through his web agency, Lockedown Design & SEO.

Your business had been around for a couple of years, maybe even longer, and you were doing fine on word of mouth alone. For the longest time, sales were doing great.

But then you noticed over time, that the sales weren’t there the way they used to be in the past. Referrals just weren’t cutting it anymore. You figured it was time to finally get a website. After all, everyone kept telling you that if you had a business website, things would improve right away.

But now you’re worried, because it’s been six months to a year, and your website is getting smoked in Google rankings by your competitors. Your anxiety level is a lot higher than you care to admit out loud.

Now, you’re trying to figure out how much it will cost to hire a SEO or marketing firm to get you ranking higher on Google and getting web traffic.

It’s not the website traffic that you’re after, but more sales. You need to do something, otherwise your business will starve.

Before you start spending on SEO, you probably owe it to yourself to see what the messaging on your website is. Is it written from the point of view of someone seeking your services? Or is it written from the point of view of what you want to sell them? These are not always the same thing.

While there are some reputable SEO companies out there, many of them are still using questionable techniques that are designed only to get you ranking higher and drive traffic.

Remember: It’s not the traffic you want, it’s the sales conversions.

What To Do When You’re Dead In The Water On Google

Words are the most important part of your design, and your marketing. If your words resonate with people, they will read them. Yet, those words are often dropped into a design template at the last possible minute before a site launch. This is a completely backwards way to work.

So what can you do?

As a business owner, start thinking about the types of customers that you already have. What questions do they usually ask you? What is their worldview? Why do they use your service or ones like it? What problem is that solving for them?

Think about their state of mind when they first contact your business. What is compelling them to spend their money? What is motivating them? What do they think will happen if they don’t make this investment with your business?

I believe that you could answer a different question about your industry every single day for the rest of your life, and not run out of things to say. Your target customer base is already looking for this information. Why shouldn’t you be the one who gives them those answers, who allays their fears, who speaks to what they are already thinking?

Be Seen As The Expert You Already Are

Your website isn’t done on launch day. In fact, it’s never done. All that knowledge that you’ve earned over the years is what makes your business the best choice. But no one will know that if you keep your light hidden under a bushel.

Words are what drive SEO. Words are what will help convince people they are in the right place when they land on your web pages. It’s a good idea to be a part of the process of determining what words and messages are being published on your website.

Some businesses get involved with SEO companies that simply keyword stuff their pages with the same phrase over and over. But guess what? When customers read these pages, it sounds unnatural. These pages may end up ranking well in Google, but they don’t convert well because they don’t sound like a person wrote these pages.

And Remember This —

Your web designer or SEO company can’t care more about your online success than you do.

You have to be involved in the process of optimizing your site content for search. Your marketing or SEO team can’t do it alone. You are the expert in your field, and they will need your insight to make sure your clients find exactly what they’re looking for.

It’s even better if you can contribute to producing content that answers customer questions or concerns. If you can find a way to do that on a regular basis — writing a post or doing a short video once a week, that will go a long way towards boosting your SEO and your sales.

Be involved in ownership of your website and your material. It makes a huge difference.

Avatar for John Locke

John Locke is a SEO consultant from Sacramento, CA. He helps manufacturing businesses rank higher through his web agency, Lockedown Design & SEO.

2 comments on “The Truth About SEO and Sales

  1. This is a great post, John.

    SEO is probably one of the most misunderstood aspects of online marketing. Obviously, a website won’t achieve its goals (sales or otherwise) by itself, and as you rightly mentioned, its “never done”.

    Some site owners hope for the opposite, however. They just want it to be done..finished..successful..making them a pile of cash.

    That’s perhaps why its so tempting to fall for the vague SEO promises of search ranking and page 1 positions.

    SEO is vital, but hardly in the way that most site owners expect it to be. Education is useful, but can be hard to accept, after expectations may have been assumed by site owners.

    In my opinion, the goal of “ranking high” in Google search results is no longer as important as it once was. The effects of “personalised search” and (in my opinion), the coming “social search” has changed all that. More important from an SEO and sales perspective, is conversions and “task completion” (as your article points out).

    Getting the right balance between on-page SEO and off-page tactics, is where a lot of site owners face challenges. Both aspects are needed for success; as is a good monitoring platform (e.g. an analytics platform).

    If SEO is not monitored, or tracked, it becomes difficult for a business to have visibility of its efforts. The result is that they look to “page 1 ranking” as an SEO success/sales KPI, which it isn’t.

    Nice post.

    1. Hi CJ:

      You make a good point that site owners have to measure what they are implementing, As an industry, we have to make sure we’re not selling them the reports, in order to look good, but measuring tangible results.

      I mention this because I’ve seen many business owners in this position, where they are shown SEO audit metrics that don’t have impact, or shown keyword phrases that they rank for, but there’s little ideation about how to reach more customers by thinking outside of the generic keyword phrases.

      I’d disagree somewhat that search isn’t important. Most businesses live and die by it, as the return on social media isn’t immediate, and so few businesses see the value in it. Marketing and SEO are the two things that perk everyone’s attention, at least this is what I’ve noticed in face-to-face conversations.

      The design of sticky content, regrettably, seems to be one of the hardest things to get owners to believe in, but it has the most long-term results. Most people have a concept of quick results being worth spending money on, but 80% of SEO companies destroy the credibility of sites with relentless keyword stuffing, which kills conversions dead.

      Clients want traffic and search rank, very few understand initially that customers need to be convinced, too. Few businesses obsess over differentiation, or have not enough depth of site content to convince customers of their expertise.

      I’d like it better if more business owners were part of the process, and more hands-on when it comes to brilliant content. It really comes down to time and effort commitment. Most people are willing to spend money rather than effort.

Join the Conversation

Your email address will be kept private. Required fields marked *.