What’s a reasonable conversion rate for visits to my website?

conversion rate

I took a call from a friend-wedding professional. In a matter of fewer than 30 seconds, I was incredibly annoyed.

He asked me what seemed like a simple question:

“What’s a reasonable conversion rate for visits to my website?”

In laymen’s terms, that would mean, for every 100 people who visited your site, what percentage either filled out an inquiry form or called you directly for more information? 5%, 10%, 25%…. more?

My response:

“How did those people find your website (and in what percentages)… search engines, The Knot, local websites, in response to email…?”

He gave me a non-specific, all-of-the-above (I don’t really know, answer).

My shoot from the hip response was… “I’d be pleased with a 5% to 10% conversion rate.” That seemed low to him.

Here is what really flipped me out. He said, “Well I’m asking the same question to various people to get their opinion.”

So, he’s crowd-sourcing a poorly conceived question of people who don’t have solid backup data and getting their opinion. What the devil will that accomplish.

Then I started in…

“Every time you hear me speak about websites, I emphasize the importance optimizing your website for user-friendliness (to encourage conversions) before obsessing over search engine optimization.”

He didn’t remember it that way. Essentially, he remembered I emphasize SEO. HE WASN’T LISTENING or HE WAS LISTENING WITH SELECTIVE PERCEPTION AND MEMORY.

I spent a few minutes detailing obvious deficiencies in his website (some of which I pointed out 18 months ago before he launched it). The site is graphically better than most but lacks in many other ways… including maintaining the blog.

THE LESSON: If you ask opinions, using badly formed question, you get nothing of value. If you want a real evaluation, pay for it, and live with it. A neutral party will point out issues that are under your nose.

Then, act on those answers, and get up to speed.

End of rant!! Listen up!

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority
The Wedding Marketing Blog

Google Plus SEO Power – "Sands Websites Hacked"

Google Plus SEOSands Websites Hacked were the first three words in the title of a post I wrote about three days ago. The were several reasons for writing that particular item.

  • Sands Corp. is not just a Las Vegas brand for Palazzo and Venetian. It is an international brand for nine properties.
  • Websites and all matters that affect them (design, marketing, and security) are important to all businesses, particularly our wedding and hospitality readers.
  • Successfully hacking the Sands website infrastructure, taking it offline for almost a week (as of this writing), is a siren call to ALL businesses.

Writing for Readers

Raw numbers of site visits are occasionally worth noting, but all clicks and all readers are not created equal. Different visitors, interested in specific content are drawn to websites for various topics. Writing compelling SEO-friendly headlines are the high-powered magnet for readership. If the story has value, then you’ve got something.

Sharing posts via Google + is just one part of promoting blog content. It is rocketing Wedding Marketing Blog content to the top of Google. I noticed a spike in site visits and traffic to the Sands-post, specifically. I ran Google searches for two, single words: Sands and Hacked. I was pleased and shocked to find that each of those search words found the post in the Top 10 Google Results.

More specifically, it was the Google + sharing of the post that drove the post Google’s PAGE ONE.

What does and does not work in SEO today

It’s not about link farms or keyword stuffing. Be precise, write compelling content for the reader, and algorithms will take care of their part.

Google Plus SEO

Andy Ebon - wedding marketing expert

Andy Ebon 
The Wedding Marketing Authority
The Wedding Marketing Blog

Social Media Tactics: Blogging is THE Most Important

A few months ago, after a seminar, one of the attendees approached me and asked, point-blank:

“OK, Andy, what are the top three social media choices a local wedding business should make, in what order, and why?”

Social Media Tactics

As a small crowd gathered, I didn’t miss a beat.

  • Build and maintain a blog
  • Launch a YouTube Channel
  • Have an active business Facebook presence

Numbers 4, 5 & 6, just to stimulate discussion, were:

  • Google Plus (still too early to tell at that point)
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

I believe that Blogging is the single most important effort a small business owner can make. It enables you to publish a self-maintained highlight reel of  your business, write about your peers and clients, become a source for the media, attract prospects and entertain customers.

These days, blogging software, such as WordPress, has become a full-fledged CMS (Content Management System) that can merge your blog AND website. Even a blog that has just two new posts a week makes a major impact on SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Four years ago, if a prospect did a search for a business, like yours, it is was important to found in the first three pages of Google (or other) Search Results… the Top 30. Why? Because 90% of people clicked on a result within the Top 30.

Today, 90% of clicks occur on the first page of search results, in the Top 7. Impatience, indeed.

I’m proud that if you searched with the keywords wedding marketing, today, my business would rank #1 & #2 out of 390 million results on Google. #3 is Wedlock Magazine, a publication I write for, every issue. Of course, the 390 million results are unimportant. What’s important is that The Wedding Marketing Blog shows up in the first few results. After the Top 10, it doesn’t matter.

When people look to find interesting content about products or services you offer, in the geographic area you service, they should find you! They should find interesting stories, perspectives, and a business personality differentiating you from the competition. At those kind of results are best found by blogging.

The plan goes like this…

  • Read other business blogs
  • See what you like and don’t like
  • Start a blog
  • Write, write, write… your writing will improve
  • After about 20 posts, publicize your blog
  • Keep writing 2-3 times a week
  • The results will rocket you past the competition
Now get busy!

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority
The Wedding Marketing Blog

Top 10 Search Engine Ranking Position (SERP)?

Top 10 Search Engine RankingIntrinsically, you know it’s important. Just being aware of your own search habits, you realize that no matter how many results pop up, you don’t go very deep into the results.

Because The Wedding Marketing Blog is a virtual presence for me, I’m constantly aware of my search engine ranking, in Google, Bing, and Yahoo!…. the BIG THREE. I focus on those three because the garner over 90% of search engine activity.

Today, a search for wedding marketing in Google yielded 172 million results. The Wedding Marketing Blog and I earned the top three results.

Top 10 Search Engine Ranking

A similar search in Yahoo! yielded over 64 million results, with WeddingMarketing.net in the top spot, again.

Top 10 Search Engine Ranking

Bing, the last of the big three search engines, also yield about 64 million results with The Wedding Marketing Blog in the #1 spot.

Top 10 Search Engine Ranking

What should I take from the massive number of search results?

Not a damn thing. For years, people would click mostly within the first three screens of results (Top 30). That has slimmed, considerably to the first screen (Top 10).

A recent item, posted on the Agent-SEO site joined three studies and presented these averages.

  • Position #1: 45.46% of all clicks
  • Position #2: 15.69% of all clicks
  • Position #3: 10.09% of all clicks
  • Position #4: 5.49% of all clicks
  • Position #5: 5.00% of all clicks
  • Position #6: 3.94% of all clicks
  • Position #7: 2.51% of all clicks
  • Position #8: 2.94% of all clicks
  • Position #9: 1.97% of all clicks
  • Position #10: 2.71% of all clicks
  • Total: 95.91% of all clicks occur on Page #1 of SERPs”
As the site states, “this is not an exact science”; however, it looks like 96% of all clicks take place within the Top 10. Almost half the clicks are captured by the #1 result. 80% within the first five results. After that… good luck.

So, whether the results in your niche are 400 or 40 million, the importance of a search engine result on the first screen, preferably the Top 5 results is paramount.

These are organic results, not paid positions using Google Adwords. Paid results get a much lower click-through rate. It may be necessary for businesses in some categories to buy that position on search engines, but if you can do it, organically, that is far preferable and less expensive.

YOUR GOAL: Whether you are Sacramento Wedding Photographer, an Oklahoma City Wedding Disc Jockey, or a Tampa Bay Wedding Planner, your goal should be to ascend to the very top of the search engines and stay there.

I show you my search results, today, not to boast, but to say this: A micro-business can rise to the absolute top (in this case, worldwide) without the crutch of paid ads or SEO services.

Andy Ebon - wedding marketing expert

Andy Ebon
Wedding Marketing Expert
The Wedding Marketing Blog