Some businesses see getting on the first page of a Google search as the end goal. But then what?

SEO  is at the front end of a long process of customer acquisition, customer conversion and customer retention.  Before you spend time, effort, energy, and resources getting at the top of search rankings, make sure you have an idea of what that will mean for your bottom line.

When you get more customers coming in to your site does your conversion rate remain stable? You do know your conversion rate, right?

Google Doodle

Are you able to map directly from search engine result ranking to profit? You do know your customer lifetime value, right?

This is why some companies end up on the first page of Google and then are not able to turn that into additional revenue, additional customers, or some other kind of measurable business improvement. A business is a system of creating value. In order to create value consistently you have to have a good idea of how your  OWN  system works and where it is in the value chain.

Leading Customers to What They Want

When people come to your site from a Google search, what is the first thing they see? Do they see exactly what they were looking for, or do they see your default home page?

Search engines are wonderful because they are a direct expression of customer intent. If a customer is searching for Hot Water Heater Installation Los Angeles and the first thing they see on your plumbing site is a lot of information on pools and spas, the first thing they do is click the back button.

It’s important that you use the appropriate keywords for each page on your website so that you create a trail of breadcrumbs that lead potential customers to exactly what it is they want.

See Your Site from the Customer’s Perspective

Is your copy correct? Is the design of your site good enough that I would give you a call or whip out a credit card? When I click contact us do I get a response in a reasonable amount of time, or does it go into a black hole because the admin is on vacation?

All of these factors play a role in how likely a visitor is to engage with your brand, and even further, buy from you.

Instead of seeing search engine rankings as a end unto itself, look at it as the front side of a big machine that takes in customers on one end and spits out cash at the other end. The machine has a lot of moving parts, and those need to be optimized. But once you get the machine up and running, you print cash.

Before you go and invest in getting on the front page of Google, make sure you can model a direct line from More Visits to More Cash.

Photo:  Trey Ratcliff  via  Compfight