We’ve pleasantly lectured you about creating personas to help you empathize with your customers; to understand WHY they do what they do, so you can create a buying process that gives visitors what they want. This, in turn, lets you achieve your goals and increase conversion.
You have probably used some kind of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactics to help you drive more traffic. Chances are, you’ve managed to increase traffic to your site using these techniques alone. More people are seeing your result, clicking on it and landing on your web site.
You are probably tracking your results; you know how many people are coming to your site through the result, and you know how many sales you are making or leads you are generating. You assume if you keep implementing these SEO tactics, you’ll continue to increase traffic and will therefore continue to increase your sales or leads.
Let’s assume that you’re converting two percent of your visitors. Sadly, this is more or less the industry average. You can tell yourself you made two out of every hundred visitors to your site happy (you hope). You should be asking yourself how come you couldn’t make the other 98 happy.
So you drive more traffic – this will increase your sales. It will also dramatically increase the number of site visitors you leave frustrated and unsatisfied.
Let’s take it one step further. Let’s assume you are using some SEO’s ‘worst practices.’ What are the worst practices in SEO Land? Overusing keywords on your pages. Listing indexes of keywords you know will bring you more traffic but don’t provide relevance for your visitor.
Have you considered that these techniques fail to build confidence in your visitors? That you’re not just thwarting a one-time mission, but potentially damaging your credibility and your brand long-term?
Don’t assume just because you’re making some sales and generating some leads that you’re pleasing the customer. Don’t assume just because you’ve optimized your search engine rankings and are getting visitors to click on your Search Engine result that you are pleasing the customer. Don’t assume just because you made your site “usable” that you are pleasing your customer.
Does your site satisfy the intention behind their keywords? Does your site address your visitors’ motivations for wanting what you offer? Does your site speak to your visitors at different stages of the buying decision process? Do you know who your visitors are? Do you know why they buy from you? Do you know how they buy from you? Do you translate this knowledge into scenarios that help your visitors buy from you right now or later today or next week or even next year?
If you haven’t planned the scenarios on your site from the perspective of your visitors, you can’t assume you’re pleasing them. SEO tactics may be critical to driving more qualified traffic, but they’re only a benefit if you’ve optimized your sales process before you go prospecting for traffic.
You have far more to lose than you ever stand to gain by optimizing your online strategies backwards. That’s like ringing the dinner bell before you’ve put food on the table.
Pair that with using unprofessional SEO tactics that offer no value to the customer and spamming the search engines for the sole purpose of driving more traffic, and you will suffer the long term consequences!