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Why natural-search-visitors are hard to convert

Friday, August 8th, 2014 by Servage

Natural Search Visitors

Have you ever closely examined Google Analytics? If not, go and check out the types of visitors and their sources. You will find mainly three types of sources that visitors come from. The first source includes direct visitors, the second one are referrals, and finally, some come by way of natural search, through various search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo!

Direct visitors are those who have your website URL, either in memory of browser cache or in bookmarks. They may have visited your site before or could be newcomers. This type of visitor likely has a good idea what your site is about and your offerings. Thus, they have clear expectations from your brand or business and know why they wish to visit and probably have a good idea where to look for that information on your site. Their journey on your site may be straight forward and rather short, but generally deliver the highest rate of conversion.

Unfortunately, the percentage of direct visitors usually doesn’t go higher than 10%. For a growing company or online store, increasing other kinds of visits i.e., natural search and referrals, are the only ways to move ahead and win the competitive game all sites are engaged in. Getting a high search engine ranking may bring good traffic, but is no guarantee for getting them converted at a higher rate. For this reason, I have written this post, based on observations where natural search visitors are not displaying enough conversion, hence ROI. I will consider what can be done to mitigate the high bounce rate and increase the conversion ratio.

Difference between Natural Searcher and Direct Visitors

As previously noted, direct visitors are likely familiar with your site, your brand and/or your offerings. On the other hand, natural searchers have very little knowledge about your site and your business. Your natural searchers may land on any page of your site, which may appear on top of a relevant search engine results page (SERP). With these type of visitors in the mix, we can’t rely only on the home page as a superior landing page, nor place a website hierarchy on it.

Treating Each Page as Landing Page for Natural Searchers

When designing a landing page, you assume your visitors will come to this page first, and so you introduce them to the purpose of the site and hint at your offerings. Purpose and hints of offerings are items you should keep in the design of all important pages of the site. Going this route, you can still depict things in a bit more detail on the home page.

Label Each Page Properly

Place descriptive navigation and additional navigation (layouts, titles, etc.) which direct visitors to other web pages and brief information regarding your products/services. Use breadcrumb navigational schemes, which notify users of their present status/location on the site. Relevant information is critical for landing pages, because users have entered a keyword or phrase to get at whatever they want. So offering relevant content and products have the utmost importance.

Another important consideration is to place adequate and relevant content on miscellaneous types pages and category pages, on an e-commerce site in particular. Search engines may land your visitors on the category pages from their keyword search; so providing a brief idea regarding products/service categories may encourage them to stay longer or even motivate them to explore the site further.

Put CTA on Each Page Wherever Possible

Since you are treating each page of your website as a landing page, you should place Call To Action buttons or texts with adequate highlighting. This way, your visitors can achieve quick conversion before wandering on other pages which may divert their attention.

Differentiate the Types of Audiences

Content for B2B is almost always different from B2C. If you wish to cater to both kinds of visitors who may land on the same page, you need to guide them. Make clear which content or sections are for B2C customers and which are for B2B. Otherwise, your audience may get confused and may exit the site early. The same goes for the CTA. Place different types of CTA for B2B than the type aimed at B2C, via relevant content.

References & More Reading
Fixing SEO Conversion Woes on your Ecommerce Site
How to Optimize Your Conversion Funnel with User Experience (UX)

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