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There’s nothing more important to the online success of your business than really great web content.

I’ll say that again: there’s nothing more important to the online success of your business than really great web content.

Great web content is about more than search traffic

It’s crucial to remember that there’s a key difference between Search Engine Optimisation and really effective web content. Search engine optimisation is, for the most part, focussed on driving traffic volume… i.e. getting the maximum number of unique visitors to your site for specific high-traffic keyword phrases.

But traffic volume is only part of the story. Focussing on traffic quality (or targeting the right traffic for your business), and then successfully converting that traffic into subscribers, firm prospects, regular readers or paying customers is the real key to your online success.

And that’s what really great web content is all about. Delivering real value, to real people, but doing it in a way that works for search engines too.

It is about numbers – just make sure you’re focussed on the right numbers

More traffic isn’t necessarily a good thing for your business (listen for the sharp intake of breath from a few of the SEOs out there who still don’t “get” it).

Here… I’ll show you.

Let’s look at a fictional scenario: you’re a Limerick-based mortgage broker who’s been reliably informed by your local internet marketing consultant that Search Marketing is way to go to get more visitors to your website.

You engage an SEO firm to launch a two-pronged attack on the search engines with an organic search optimisation programme running alongside a focussed Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign. Because your focus is on maximising traffic, you and your SEO firm decide to target the highest volume search terms (keywords) for your industry, keywords they’ve identified for you using their latest whiz-bang search keyword analysis and research tools.

Let’s assume for a minute that your SEO firm knows its stuff (unfortunately a lot really don’t), and slowly but surely your PPC ads and organic listings start to float up Google’s rankings for your chosen search terms.

Your traffic starts to soar, and the analytics reports your SEO firm is showing you look great. On the face of it delighted with the results of what, on the face of it, seems to be an outstanding SEO campaign. Your euphoria lasts until the end of the next accounting period, when you suddenly realise that, while your website has gotten a whole lot busier, it isn’t really generating very much more revenue.

Why? Well, think about it for a minute….

High traffic keywords aren’t necessarily the most profitable ones

That’s right – it may seem counter-intuitive, but often less traffic really can be better for your business… as long as it’s the right sort of traffic.

Choosing more targeted keywords that relate directly to what you’re offering on your website will often result in fewer visitors, it’s true,  but a higher proportion of those visitors are likely to want what you’re selling. In other words, you’re going to convert more of them into paying customers.

Increasing conversion is the single most effective way to get a better ROI from your online marketing spend.

Finding the balance between Traffic and Conversion

Really effective content skilfully merges the different, and sometimes conflicting requirements of both search engines and your site visitors.

  • Content Optimisation for targeted search traffic: content needs to attract traffic… but not just any old traffic. It needs to be tailored to target specific search engine keyword phrases or search terms that you
    • a) know your target market is searching for (because you’ve done your keyword research properly) and
    • b) will attract people who are ready to buy the stuff that you’re selling.
  • Content Optimisation for conversion: I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… traffic without conversion just consumes bandwidth. What exactly constitutes conversion for a particular page on your website will depend on your business goals, the page itself and the visitors it’s targeting – but without it, all the visitors in the world are worth nothing to the bottom line of your online business.

Getting the balance right between these two things is the key to a really effective website.

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