So you’ve written a beautiful piece of content, if you do say so yourself; it’s perfectly optimised, user-friendly and user-focused. It ticks all the boxes in line with Google’s Helpful Content update. Even better, Google is recognising that your content is so wonderful, and is rewarding you by ranking it high in the SERPs… dare we say it, even on page one!
Ahh, now you can sit back and relax. Your work here is done, right? Unfortunately, not quite.
It’s important to monitor the effects of any new pages you’ve added, and any optimisations you’ve made. It can be disheartening to see a page you’ve written being favoured by Google gods, but not by visitors.
Perhaps the conversion rate of the page in question is seriously low, or the bounce rate is alarmingly high. Fear not, with some simple tweaks to your merchandising strategy, you’re likely to see instant improvement (which anyone who works in SEO will know is something we don’t say often!).
Here’s your simple guide to using handy tools to help inform your on-page merchandising strategy.
Spoiler alert… it’s easier than you think!
What is a good conversion rate?
Honestly? It depends. Unfortunately, there’s no magic number we can give you as a benchmark to determine whether your conversion rate is ‘normal’ or not.
Conversion rates vary massively by industry. For example, lower price point items like clothing, are more likely to convert than a home, holiday or educational course, for example. You’ve also got to take seasonality, and wider events into account, which can impact bounce rate. The travel industry, for example, reportedly has an average conversion rate of 3.9%, however, due to the rise of post-pandemic ‘revenge travel’, this is set to soar in 2023 and beyond.
Why are my pages not converting?
No matter whether the page in question has been recently optimised, or is a long-standing, top performing page in need of a little TLC, getting to the root cause of those low conversions is key.
What metrics do we need to pay particular attention to, in order to work this out?
- Conversion rate – You can see the accurate conversion rate of every page across your site, in Google Analytics. Is the conversion rate consistent, over many weeks, taking seasonality into account? How does it compare to industry standard conversion rates? It could just be a case that the page has had an off week; let’s face it, we all get them! If the conversion rate has dipped for a prolonged period, it’s probably something we need to address.
- Bounce rates – Looking into bounce rates can help you gauge whether the user is getting what they want from your page or not. If your bounce rate is high, this is likely to mean that a user has navigated to your page (whether organic, paid, direct etc.), found it not particularly useful, so bounced straight off.
As with most metrics, average bounce rates vary from industry to industry. According to SEMRush, the following average bounce rates can be expected:
Ecommerce and retail websites: 20% to 45%
B2B websites: 25% to 55%
Lead generation websites: 30% to 55%
Non-ecommerce content websites: 35% to 60%
Landing pages: 60% to 90%
Dictionaries, portals, and blogs: 65% to 90%
- Keywords – What are people searching to get to your page? By using tools such as SEMRush, you can see the keywords your page is ranking for, and the position, which will give you an idea of the user intent and will help you inform which content to serve them.
If people are searching for ‘x’ and the landing page shows ‘y’, you’re not giving users what they want and it’s time to have a reshuffle.
When it comes to e-commerce sites, this ‘reshuffle’ could be as simple as remerchandising a category page, to fulfil user intent.
Reacting and Remerchandising: An Example
We recently identified that the /home-accessories page of one of our e-commerce clients was getting peak levels of traffic each week; it was optimised and performing extremely well in terms of organic rankings, however had a very low conversion rate (sometimes as low as 0.5%).
After looking into it, we realised that the page also had a higher than ideal bounce rate, suggesting that although performing well in the SERPs, wasn’t meeting the users’ needs.
After research into the sorts of keywords the page was ranking for, and the search volumes of these keywords, we found that the majority of users finding this page were hoping to find ornaments / decorative and home accessories, but instead were being met with cushions, bedding and other, quite different home accessories. We recommended a shift in this page’s merchandising strategy.
This simply means noting the intent of the users finding your page, and moving the sorts of products that meet this interest, to the top of the page. This easy and time-effective tactic will see increased conversion rates much quicker than on-page content optimisation.
Although particularly relevant to e-commerce sites, these tips and tricks can be implemented no matter whether you’re selling physical products, selling intangible services, or serving informational content.
Serving visitors the content they want at the top of the page = happy visitors.
Happy visitors = increased conversion rates.
Increased conversion rates = bigger bottom line!
Remerchandise your low performing pages today and revolutionise your conversion rate. If you need a hand with your on-page strategy then reach out to our SEO team, otherwise let us know how you get on.