Conversions – what does that mean? And How do I get them?by Dave Cottrell
Conversions came up a while ago in a blog article where someone said, “Everyone keeps talking about conversions and I don’t even know what that means.”
Simply put, a conversion is when a visitor to your website responds positively to your call to action. In the case of affiliates or online stores, that means they buy something from you.
A lot of people talk a lot about the importance of getting a lot of traffic to your website, and they do have a point. However, unless it’s converting, it’s just… traffic.
I would rather get one buyer to my website than thousands of visitors who do nothing more than make my Alexa stats go up! Traffic is great, but it needs to be targeted if you’re going to get the conversions. If you are going to make any money, you have to get conversions.
This brings us back, once again, to the importance of targeted traffic. Targeted traffic is essential for getting conversions. So… how do you get targeted traffic?
Well, the simplest way, by far, is to buy it. There are many different places you can go to buy targeted traffic if you can afford it. Pick the keyword for your niche market, then pay per click (ppc) for traffic to your website for that keyword.
That sounds simple, doesn’t it? However, it can also be very expensive. Lots of people might already be paying for the very keywords you want to use, and the only way for you to get them is to pay more than they are. Keywords can run up to many dollars, PER CLICK.
Don’t be fooled by those who sell “cheap” SEO services that are guaranteed to get your website on page one on Google. How many people do you think will type “classified ads in Chattanooga” in the Google search bar? What do you think the chances are that they will just type in “classified ads?”
There are many unscrupulous “SEO” companies that guarantee to get you ranked on page one on Google, and it seems very enticing when you find out how expensive it is to get a pay per click campaign going. Beware! They will get you on page one, but only with keywords like the one listed above, than NOBODY will ever use in a search.
The only keywords that will do you any good are the ones that will bring you conversions. (There’s that word, again!)
Here’s some good news. You don’t have to pay per click or anything like that. You can do your own SEO work (hey, are you serious or not?).
If you’ve been around at all, you’ve already read about how important it is to blog with keyword rich articles related to your niche. If you’re not doing that already, you had better start.
You’ve also been told how you need to have your own domain name, like www.yourowncooldomainname.com . If you haven’t already done that, you really better get that done, too. It’s not expensive. If you don’t, you’re telling the world that you’re not serious about your business.
Now, assuming you have done those things, you need to start doing SEO or Search Engine Optimization to get your keywords that will bring targeted traffic to your website that will get you conversions that pay you money.
The simplest way to get started is to find forums and blogs that are related to your niche. For example, I have a telecommunications website, so I might look for forums and blogs with the keyword, “phones.”
I type the search term into a search engine like Google or Bing and start looking for forums and blogs with that term.
Obviously, not every link that comes up with your search is going to be a forum or blog, but a quick visit will let you know. If it is a blog or forum, save the link to the blog or forum page to a file and continue your search.
Once you have a good list, you can start to visit each site and start reading the forum posts and blog articles. You can then ask questions or offer a helpful tip, always staying on topic. Make sure you read the posting rules first!
Most places will allow you to use a signature file. Keep it really simple. I just use my name and my website link. You are NOT selling anything when you’re doing this. You are leaving a link back to your own website, which is very important for good SEO.
There is actually an incredibly good piece of software for this that saves a massive amount of time, plus it has a lot more exceptionally useful functions, as well. It is highly rated by successful affiliates, and I absolutely love it. If you can afford it, get Webfire. Period.
(One example: For my site, I typed in “phone” in the search window. It came back with the top fifty sites that have either a forum or blog related to that search term, and a total estimated reach if I use every one of 876,293,300!)
This is something you should be doing on a regular basis. Preferably you should spend time on this every day. What you are doing is creating valuable, relevant backlinks on high traffic sites, plus, if your input is valuable (not spammy), you will get people clicking on your link in your signature file because they recognize you as an expert in that niche.
Make sure your blog articles are sprinkled with your keywords in every one of them. Use them carefully and contextually, but make sure you use them!
I recommend WordPress highly, hosted on your own site (not the free one!) WordPress gives you the flexibility of a tremendous array of SEO tools that will help you producce better, more SEO friendly articles. There are also plugins available that will automatically ping all the important search engines and directories, every time you publish a new article, while there are others to make sure you don’t ping when you shouldn’t (hint – you don’t want to ping too much).
Once you get into the rhythm of writing regular blog articles, you can also offer to guest blog. Again, you can search on Google with a term as simple as “need a guest blogger.” The chances are that not only will you find sites to put your articles on, but depending on your niche, you will find people who are willing to pay you to do it, if they like your articles.
Whenever you do a guest blog, you include what is called a Resource Box at the end, which includes your name, a SHORT bio, and you link. This is VERY valuable SEO.
Again, Webfire can save you a huge amount of time on this and many other SEO tasks. Do I like it? Yes I do! That is going to be the subject of another blog.
Make sure that you use good title tags, descriptions, and image tags for your website. All of these things are important for SEO.
Choose your main keyword very carefully, and make it the first word or phrase in your article title. Then make it the first word or phrase in your heading, just like in this article (hint: the keyword for this article is “conversions.”) Then, make the keyword or phrase the beginning of the first paragraph.
This may feel awkward, at first, and you may feel forced into a box you don’t like, but guess what? It’s the correct way to do it!
Do use at least one image in your article. If you are using WordPress, you can get the Zemanta plugin, which will pull up images based on what it “reads” in your article. Make sure you are allowed to use the image. Every one will let you know what kind of license it has on it.
Put your keyword into the ALT text. This is the text that you can’t see, but that the search engines CAN see, behind the page. If you are not sure what it is, find an HTML tutorial online. There are many and they are very good. It’s also a very good idea to take a WordPress tutorial if you’re not familiar with it.
Trust me: Taking the time to take a tutorial for something you’re not familiar with will save you MANY hours of frustration!
Videos are an excellent way to get targeted traffic that will convert. Make a short video about your product or service. There are many tools available to do this, and it can bring you a TON of very targeted traffic. People love Youtube; it gets more than 1 billion unique visitors every month and over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month! http://www.youtube.com/yt/press/statistics.html
Track your links! Make sure you know where your traffic is coming from. If you’re not tracking, you are like a blind man shooting in the dark. You have NO idea what you’re doing correctly and what you’re doing incorrectly.
Track your page rank by keyword. This will tell you whether you’re on the right track or not with your SEO strategy.
Check your keyword density in your articles. The search engines recommend a keyword density from 1 to 4 %. You want to be on the high end, but not over. (That can appear like spam to the search engines). But keeping your keyword density close to 4% makes your article appear more relevant in your niche, and, you guessed it, makes it more likely that you’re going to get traffic that converts.
It’s good to get a lot of traffic, because it raises your Alexa rank and that helps your overall rank. But Alexa is NOT who’s paying you, and never lose site of that fact. What pays you is traffic that converts, click on a link on your site and buys something.
Remember, targeted traffic converts far better than lots of generic traffic. It’s better to get one paying customer than thousands of visitors!
It’s not hard and good SEO to get a nice flow of traffic coming to your site. You can set that up and let it run. But then you need to focus on getting QUALITY, TARGETED traffic that converts. Focus on that and you WILL get paid.
Again, it’s CONVERSIONS you want, not a spinning traffic counter!