9 tips for converting more organic traffic

Attracting good traffic to your website and related properties is a great achievement in SEO. Pat yourself on the back for being good enough at keyword research, metadata, UX, etc., to get those traffic numbers up!

OK, celebration time is over. How much of that traffic is actually converting?

SEOs don’t have the luxury of focusing only on transactional keywords and/or relying on direct response-focused landing pages.

Much of the content we create (or help optimize) is focused on education and awareness – think position pieces, guides and how-to blog posts – so acquisition rates tend to be lower than those of paid traffic sources. 

That’s not an excuse to accept low numbers. Smart brands (or clients, if you work at an agency) will push you to do better in converting your traffic into leads and/or sales.

And smart SEOs will relish the challenge and put the following nine strategies into action to make it happen.

1. Test different in-content CTAs

You’ve got a lot of options here, whether it’s on a landing page that goes into detail about a product or service or a blog post on a secondary topic. Test levers, including language, design, placement and style. 

For example, you can embed text-based CTAs near the top of a blog post or image-based CTAs midway down or use button CTAs at any point in your content. Whatever your ideas, create a clear testing approach and see what works best for driving actual acquisition.

2. Test different offers 

You don’t need to go for a hard sell (although you can try, for instance, offering to send alerts for price drops with sign-ups on a product page).

Creating a softer lead magnet or giveaway might get you plenty of email addresses. Test giveaways like newsletters, event guides, etc., especially those related to the content on the page.

3. Align CTAs with content

Connecting CTAs to the content can be very effective.

For instance, if the user has landed on a blog article related to product A, create a CTA specific to product A (e.g., “Register to receive the 2024 buyer’s guide for {product category}”).

Dig deeper: 3 tactics to improve CTAs for increased relevance and conversions

4. Test out-of-content CTAs

In-line CTAs can work well, but it’s always good to test placements elsewhere on the page: sidebar, top-nav drop-down, top-of-page banner, take-over, etc. 

An important note here is to keep an eye on both conversion rate and bounce rate – if you’re getting minimal movement in the former at the expense of the latter, feel free to cut the test early and move on to the next.

5. Extend the content journey

Especially for educational content, it can be more effective to convince visitors to spend more time elsewhere on the site before asking them for any information. 

If your content is situated squarely at the beginning of the buying journey, guide users to middle- or lower-funnel pieces before asking for anything. 

If they move down the funnel on their own, that’s a great signal that they’re more likely to give you information. 

For top-of-funnel pieces, I like building maps of related content, sometimes a couple of steps deep, to gently condition users to take action.

Dig deeper: Content mapping: Who, what, where, when, why and how

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6. Build engagement before the conversion event

Warm up users – giving them ways to engage can help them feel invested in your product or service, which will move the needle in acquisition activity down the road. 

Surveys are a great tool here – and it can even be a short path from “interested in seeing the survey results? Drop your email here” if you’re using the survey to collect robust data and insights.

7. Use heatmaps

Heatmapping tools like Hotjar and FullStory can give you incredible insights into where your traffic interacts on the site, not just the content in focus. 

Look for the prime engagement real estate on your homepage, navigation, service pages, top blogs, etc., and make sure you’re giving users a way to convert.

8. Leverage insights from your higher-converting content

Dig into your Google Analytics to find instances of posts or properties that have relatively low traffic and relatively high conversion rates. What are those pages providing that leads to conversions? 

Whether it’s language, product information, or CTA type, there’s likely something you can recreate on more popular pages.

As a bonus, look for ways to optimize your high-converting pages further to get more volume in traffic and conversions.

9. Do your qualitative research

Gathering anecdotal information from some of your current/loyal users can be extremely insightful. 

Asking questions to identify the hooks that would catch their eye, the product attributes that most appeal to them, and offers that would entice them to sign up can give you valuable new ideas to test that you won’t find in rows of data.

Improving your website’s conversion rates

I’ve written plenty about measuring your SEO efforts to track business impact, not just keyword ranking, impressions and clicks. 

If you’re bringing healthy traffic into your owned properties, you’ve built a great base for establishing SEO as a huge growth driver – but remember, the point of building a base is to keep building. 

Adding the strategies above will help you increase SEO’s impact down the funnel, which should be the ultimate goal. 

Improving the pipeline or revenue gains directly attributable to SEO is a great way to build your team’s reputation as a growth resource in the greater organization.  

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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