In talking with clients, a common misconception in web and in business is that the more people I bring into my doors, the more business I can do. In a simple law of averages, they may have a point. The bigger question is, how much extra are you expelling in overhead, missed opportunities and en masse operations that may prove to lessen the overall value of your brand in the process? In web more than ever, visitors are expecting a level of service that has historically only been commonplace in exclusive brick and mortar boutiques. As such, my first suggestion is not to open the flood gates with additional traffic, but rather to open the doors with more qualified traffic by doing some work on the site first. The question has usually been asked on whether to spend time on Technical SEO or on Content Marketing. That answer has never been more appropriate than when I am presented with clients from this mindset – looking only to increase traffic. The answer is very clear, YES! The question needs to be adjusted though to ask not what to spend the time and effort on, but rather which to spend it on first.
Never Settle for One or the Other
From my experience, the best way to approach the timing of which to spend your SEO efforts on is also simple. The first priority needs to address basic technical standards and operational functionality. This is primary to ensuring that your plan to bring in more traffic to your site doesn’t allow them to flow right through your site without slowing down. Involving elements on your site that give a visitor reason to pause and engage (much the same as windows on Macy’s at Herald Square at the Holidays), as well as optimizing your conversion points to remain as simple and intuitive as possible will allow you to concentrate on the next step – attracting that traffic in targeted and coordinated content curation. To ensure you are creating engaging and valuable content on your site, and leveraging that content through your avenues and social media channels to pull in those visitors, establish a process to constantly progress from one to the other in review of your site. There are two keys to this process that allow us to cycle the process into an ever-improving system to drive innovation and improve user experience:
1) Optimize your technical SEO to maximize your conversion rates
2) Drive your content marketing to increase traffic and test the validity of that new conversion rate
When you have given yourself the freedom not to choose between the two options, then you truly have the best opportunity for success. In uncovering this opportunity, be sure to make this a conscious decision – and choose who you work with carefully. Where projections can seem intimidating, and the guarantee of anything should be approached with contempt, there is good reason to be wary of a potential partner or vendor who comes to your business promising the world. The practice of what your partner can provide and will be able to accomplish should be easily conveyed and broken down into a detailed assessment in the process of choosing to sign with them. If not, then your concern should not be in spending your revenue, but rather in with whom you spend it.