Definitions exist for the sake of creating continuity among the collective. You hear the term conversion being thrown around like a rag doll in internet marketing, but what does conversion truly entail. Aside from breaking it down to the point when a consumer clicks the buy now or purchase now button during checkout, things are not always as black and white as they seem.
Typically, the sales cycle starts when a consumer reaches a threshold, something piques their interest (as a result of advertising or exposure) and they feel the “I’ve got to have it” desire. From the twinkling of this impulse to the conclusion of purchasing cycle, those who score the most points through outright affinity, usability, comfort or call to action with the prospect are the winners in marketing 2.0 a.k.a impulse based internet marketing.
Despite the subject, the formula remains intact, for a kid it could be a new bicycle, for a teenager a new PlayStation or Xbox, despite the product when the mind is made up about a purchase, the bargain hunt begins.
Arguably, on one level, conversion starts from the onset of clicking a search result, reading a snippet, or performing a search to familiarize yourself with your options. Depending on visibility and thoughtful positioning through internet branding and marketing, the availability of that content is what determines who gets the sale. Regardless if it happens to be you or a competitor who started building inroads around that niche, the bottom line is the one with the best value proposition and positioning get the lion share of the traffic and sales as a result of careful insight.
Feeding your brand a healthy dose of diversity helps to cultivate multiple revenue channels. Predictability may have been a stable base in the past, but now, with so many ways to garner attention, readership, participation and conversion, the rules have drastically changed.
Attention is the new commodity and those who can influence and shape it by providing an enriching experience or an entertaining experience to facilitate conversion will prosper as the method becomes less important and the subject has the potential for retrieval from cutting edge blended search algorithms.
Traditional SEO as we know it will have to step up the game to compete in the new information age. Theoretically, it can be broken down into three (mutually required) components.
1. Content – Structured or not, if it does not get indexed, it simply does not count in search engines, and since this is important for your rankings vs. someone scraping your RSS feed & laying claim to your content, getting indexed is truly the birthright of the author and is integral to SEO.
2 Spidering and indexing – Fresh links from high places will expedite indexing time, from there, based on the on page and off page factors (great internal links + strong external backlinks from other sites) and your ranking is the reaction. There is nothing like mixing up things a bit for the sake of experimentation and evaluation, but there is no need to put the cart before the horse. Without content there is nothing to index and without indexing (from search engine spiders) there is essentially no ranking to be concerned about. It is all about achieving the proper balance from the onset and maintaining the momentum steadily over time.
3 Engagement – Without user engagement, sure you could have one million per month, but if 999,000 of them bounced within the first 20 seconds, it’s more than just about the numbers, it’s about achieving a higher engagement rate per user per visit, that is the true value of your site (latent potential and reader retention are a great mix).
In conclusion, those who embrace the transition from traditional marketing and SEO 1.0 to universal search (which utilizes a variety of all encompassing digital mediums) will prevail. As the consumer evolves, so must the infrastructure that supports commerce, the metric of attention and ultimately conversion. Information is the core, so how you create, administer and market it is the new measurement of how effective your tactics will convert.
Just like someone with an impulse could easily order a product from their I-Phone while commuting on a train, read their morning paper or perform a variety of functions on the go (a true testament to this time). Trends that facilitate the ease of purchasing and utilize internet marketing as a form of gaining exposure and positioning are only emerging. Despite being in their infancy at this stage, in 5 years, who knows how much internet marketing and information exchange will evolve? All that can be said now is, prepare yourself and focus on the fundamentals that matter, which is to master the mediums as they arise.