How to balance SEO, eCommerce and usability | Varn


21 October 2021

How to get the balance right between SEO, eCommerce and usability in your page content

This is the dilemma we are coming across more and more with our clients… they have a web page that needs to convert, it is where the revenue is generated. But it also needs to rank well for relevant popular terms in the search engines, to make sure it gets as many new visitors as possible. It also needs to intuitively give the user everything they are looking for, or at least make it easy for them to navigate elsewhere, However, these page purposes do not always work well together. So how do you get them working together so your website is doing what it is supposed to? 

I want my page to achieve the best rankings

Page content for SEO purposes is text and keyword dominant, often long and descriptive, with certain aspects hijacked to aid SEO like page titles and headings using keywords and having the right number of headers. Its aim is to get you listed as high as possible for the best search keywords for your goods and services, so you get as many relevant visitors to your page as possible.

The trouble is adding certain keywords in the most visible places may not fit in well with the excellent sales copy you have just invested in producing. And having long sections of text near the top of the page may interfere with your eCommerce or conversion rates. 

I want my page to achieve the best conversion rates

Page content for eCommerce purposes is visual and conversion dominant, often succinct and to the point, aimed at getting the user to click through to the buy page, rather than worrying about how they got there or the user journey. 

It’s about USP callouts, and other conversion essentials like reviews and testimonials, bulleted sales points and call to actions in all the right places.

I want my page to be useful to the reader 

Page content for UX is more concerned with the user’s experience and interaction with the page content, brand, product or service. You provide them with a positive experience, and they will remember you. They will come back again and may even recommend you to others.

It’s answering the right questions at the right time, having clear page navigation, being accessible, and hand-holding the reader as they make their way through your content with positive messages and signposting.

So how do you get the balance right between these content purposes? Here is our checklist for ensuring your pages do just that!

  1. Break the purpose of your website down into a small number of single statements – not more than 10. They might be things like promoting the brand, selling a product, generating enquiries for a sales team, encouraging visitors to a showroom, signing up for a newsletter, giving a specific piece of information, or getting as many website visitors as possible.
  2. Go through your site and for each page assign roughly 1,2 or 3 of the purpose statements for each in order of priority
  3. Sanity check that all your purpose statements are being adequately covered by the current content – if not then you know you will be looking at creating at least one new page.
  4. Take a fresh look at each page with its newly assigned priorities and assess whether the current content is achieving these purposes
  5. If yes, great. If no, then rewrite, redesign or repurpose. Move or add text, images or convert images to video and add CTAs so that the page is meeting its new content purposes.
  6. Finally, remember to keep it as simple as possible – not all pages have to do everything. The homepage is the hardest to get right as it usually has the largest number of purposes. That’s why you may need to have other landing pages that can concentrate on generating as much traffic as possible or selling as many products as possible…

Taking these steps, even if it is just for the top or most visible layers of your website, will ensure that your content is working as hard as it can to provide your company with what it needs to grow and prosper. If your website does not adequately cover all of its content purposes in a clear and coherent manner or is weighted too heavily towards only one content purpose, then it will fail to deliver, and you may end up losing out to your competitors in the long run. 

Get in touch with our team

If you have any questions about content purposes and changing your site for the better, then just give our Bristol based SEO team a call on  01225 439960.

Article by: Jenny, Search Intent Manager More articles by Jenny

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