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March 4, 2009

SEO can lead a Horse to Water but you Can’t Make it Drink

A good search engine optimization firm can get you to the top of the search engines for your chosen key phrase; however this cannot be a substitute for a bad business model. If you own an ecommerce website and you aren’t making sales then SEO can definitely put your website in the face of people that are activity seeking what you are selling but can’t make the sales for you.

However there are many other things you need to get right on your website to make sure you conversions increase with all this new targeted traffic that you will be receiving from the search engines. Let’s discuss what some of these essential factors are and how you can improve them.

Website Design

Website Design is a large subject in its own right and covers a wide range of factors. The overall look of your website has to have credibility and has to have a professional design. Every second a visitor is on your website they are making assumptions about how credible your website is. We have all done this, we visit a website and we see that the design is of poor quality and we instantly think that we don’t want to give our credit card details to this site as it looks like its been done on the cheap and perhaps they may rip you off. Of course there are many good companies out there that have websites like this but loose out on sales because their website does not reflect their professionalism.

Site architecture

If your website is hard to navigate and isn’t instantly easy to use you will infuriate your visitors and with everyone having very low tolerance on the web when surfing this will also result in people leaving your website. If you don’t have a search function on your website I suggest you get one now. A search function can also reveal statistics on what people are looking for on your website and what areas they are having difficulty locating.

Cart Abandonment

If the process of making an order on your website is not done in clear steps and you don’t offer the correct information at the correct time this can lead to cart abandonment. Some of the things you can do to improve this is offer a live chat feature within every strep of your ordering process and if anyone has a question at this stage they can always ask a questions without abandoning their order. Another tip is to include a link to your returns policy that opens in a new window that does not force you to abandon the sale. Having clear returns policies is essential as this one of the top concerns when purchasing from a website.


If you pricing structures are not inline with the rest of your industry this can lead to the loss of sales. You can price yourself out of the market by being too expensive or even being to cheap. You need to research your industry to make sure you are offering quality products at fair prices.

Making the Horse Drink

Search engine optimisation as I have said can bring you the traffic your website needs but making the horse drink can be a different matter. You must TEST, TEST and TEST again. You website must be in a constant state of testing. So how do you test your website? Below I will explain some excellent tools to help you do this.

Google Analytics – An excellent way to analyse visitor behaviour and see what pages people are visiting and track what keyphrases that bring you traffic. A whole book could be written on this subject as Google supplies a wealth of information on your website within the Google analytics console. You can also setup sales conversion goals to track how many sales you are making through your website.

Website Optimizer

Google also has a tool that lets you display different content and styling to different visitors to track which of your sales copy and designs lead to the most conversions.

Search bar

Analysis your search queries that people are making on your website this can revel a wealth of information on what people are looking for and also what they can’t find. This can even give you ideas on new product ranges that you may never have though of.

At the end of the day you must react to how your visitors interact with your website. This all takes time but will be worth it in the long run.

Author Bio

Kevin Gallagher is the SEO Manger for Moovin On Up offering ethical SEO services and bespoke website design solutions.