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How Effective Search Engine Optimization Services Work

Updated on March 9, 2011

The most effective search engine optimization services, contrary to popular opinion, do not focus on generating larger numbers of website visitors. Many companies have had a history of problems because all their SEO activities were targeted at increasing that one single metric. The number of people clicking on their site would continue to rise, but they didn’t seem to be generating any real income.

All the visitors in the world won’t mean a thing if they all just turn around a leave your website without taking some kind of action (making a purchase, signing up for a service, or even just clicking an ad). Truly effective search engine optimization services should take this into account in order to make sure you attract more than just visitors – you need to attract paying customers.

The Most Effective Tactic

In general, a professional SEO company will offer a range of services that should include keyword research, on and off page optimization, link building, and some social media management. The best companies will use a combination of all these services and tailor their offerings to your company’s individual needs.

However, no matter how they combine these services, there will always be a lot of hard-to-predict variables that could affect the final outcome. What worked one year may not work the next, and what worked for one industry may not be the solution for yours. You can’t keep using the same tactics and expect the same results. In other words, the most effective search engine optimization services will put a lot of weight on testing.

What Should You Test?

In a word: everything. If you are receiving large amounts of traffic from the search engines, but a comparatively low percentage of them are converting to paying customers, you need to find out what is working and what isn’t. This requires testing a wide range of elements, implementing changes, and then retesting those changes to measure the effect.

The content, images, and calls to action are all good places to start because these are some of the easiest things to change. Companies are often surprised at how much a small change (a better, more relevant image) can impact their conversion rate.

The next step is to look at some of the larger issues. Is your website loading too slowly? Are there too many steps in between your customers arriving on the site and making a purchase? Is your layout too complex and confusing? Take it one element at a time, make the recommended changes, and test again to see how much you are actually improving.

Staying Relevant

Relevance has always been a major part of SEO, and as the search engines continue to tweak their algorithms, it is only becoming more important. Effective search engine optimization services will understand that testing, content creation, link building, and everything else must focus on creating and leveraging relevance. Your keyword research needs to find the terms and phrases that are relevant to your site and more likely to attract paying customers. Your content has to be relevant to the ad or listing that brought the visitor to the site, and your link building should involve highly relevant sites.

Once the relevance is established, a professional SEO company will jump right into the testing and optimization cycle to ensure that your website is working as effectively as possible. Just remember that the number of website visitors may be important, but not nearly as important as the number of actual customers.

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