Calls to action and conversion tracking for smart SEO matters


  • SEO’s should be doing whatever they can to increase sales/customer enquiries on behalf of their clients
  • Reporting should be measured against revenue, not rankings
  • Be clear about what you want someone to do when they land on the page


Matt:                     I was looking at something the other day, and talking about conversions on page… Different people reading the same page might have different questions or sort of levels of interest. What I was saying as a demonstration is you’ve basically got to give people as many options as you can to make them feel comfortable about making an inquiry. So if it’s a page where they’re selling weddings or catering or something like that, you might have a number of different options on the page, where you can say, “If you want to give us a call you can call is here.” But someone might be more inclined to pick up the phone.

Matt:                     If they’re a little bit reluctant they might just want to fill out a form, you’ve got the option to fill out the form. If they’ve got a particular question or something else you give them an option to do that as well. In the example that I was looking at they had three or four different options depending on where the person on your website is in in their mind about how they want to respond to that call to action, instead of just basically having fill out the form and get in touch with us. You might not be ready to do that, but if you want to shoot us an email, if you want to give us a call… And the way they had the page to that was basically multiple options with some sort of action.

John:                     You’re talking not within the actual content body, but within actual call to action? So there’s a drop down or something?

Matt:                     Well they tried to fit in as much as they could before the fold. So you could see when you first went on the page you’re reading the headline and what they do. Without scrolling too much they had quite a few options to pick from to get in touch and become basically a lead if you like. That was just an interesting thing I’ve been looking into a little bit more.

Matt:                     It makes a lot of sense, because everybody’s in a different place when they’re setting up….

John:                     Yeah. That’s a really great point, Matt. And I know I’ve had this discussion with a lot of business owners, and many of them make the mistake firstly of trying to be clever, and over complicating things. That’s probably one of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen most business owners make. Trying to be clever and making their calls to action far too complicated, or more complicated than they need to be… I quite often have this conversation with business owners, they say, “Oh, John, we want our call to action to have… We need their name, email, phone number, their fucking tax file number, what they had for lunch yesterday.”

John:                     They end up with this form and there’s all these compulsory fields. And I tell business owners, “Listen, this is not smart, because each of these additional required fields you put in is going to drop your conversion rate by a certain percentage.” And there’s nothing more frustrating, as a potential customer myself I know when I land on a site and I’m browsing around and I just want to ask a quick question, “Does this come in blue? Does this come in extra large? Can I get this delivered?” And I go to their contact page or their call to action, and it’s forcing me to take some sort of action that doesn’t fit with my inquiry.

John:                     Schedule an inspection now. I don’t fucking want an inspection. And I don’t want to call them because I’m about to fucking catch a flight, I just want to send a quick inquiry. So I always encourage business owners to just ask for the basics, name, email, phone and a message. Once you’ve got the lead, then get them on the phone and then work it out. Because there’s a fine line between something you’ve just said then, Matt, about giving people too many options. And you can get this wrong in so many different ways, you can have not enough options, too many options, or the wrong options.

John:                     And I think, what was I going to say? When you give them too many options, then you start diluting what it is that you actually want them to do. And I’m always asking clients, “What’s an ideal outcome here? What do you want the person to do?” And business owners should be thinking about this all the time, as well as us, for our own sites, what do we want someone to do when they land on their fucking site? We want them to fill out an inquiry form, pick up the phone, or schedule a strategy session or a call. And then you have to think about, okay, which is in which order? What’s my priority here?

John:                     And that doesn’t mean one, two, three. Sometimes you can have two that are equal. Two ones and a number two. So I often think about that and it’s a conversation that I have with my clients, because we don’t report on rankings, we report on the metrics that matter. Fucking sales, customer inquiries, the metrics that are meaningful for business owners. So you’ve got to be really careful that you don’t give too many options, because then you can fall into the trap of web visitors going, “Holy fuck, which …”

John:                     I mean, take a 10 year old to an amusement park. They throw the ball, they hit down the tin cans and then you say, “Okay, on this rack, which of these prizes would you like?” There’s about 50 different choices, and they stand there for fucking 15 minutes going, “Um, um.” Don’t do that.

John:                     Just two options. Here, have the ball or have the stuffed elephant, let’s get the hell out of here.

Matt:                     Yeah. No, what I’ve been trying is just sort of having multiple… They might lead to the same form, like at the bottom of the page that scrolls up when you click on it, but just put in a couple of different sort of text lines in that sort of might resonate a little bit differently each time.

Matt:                     Quite often it’ll either be a phone call or fill out the form, but just presenting it throughout the page, just using different text or words and and call to action.

John:                     Yeah. I think I don’t have a problem with maybe a dropdown in and amongst name, email, phone and a message, to sort of give the person at the other end… I know I’ve had a lot of business owners say, “We need a little bit more information here about the nature of the inquiry. Can we just add a dropdown?” And I don’t think people have a problem with a quick dropdown. It’s when they get bogged down in… I don’t know about you Matt, but when you land on a fucking page and there’s 60 fields to fill in, I don’t have fucking time for this. I got to get back to watching car videos on YouTube, do you know what I mean? And that, that can cost one’s visit.

John:                     But one thing that I will add to that, is that if you do change a client’s site and you do change the call to action, change one thing at a time and give it time to settle so that you can track the conversion data in the backend and say, “Okay, we changed the button from green to blue, and we did that six weeks ago, and our conversion rates have moved from 2.8% to 4.5.” So you know that you’re making changes and you’re moving in the right direction. I mean, a lot of this stuff sot of falls outside of SEO, but it matters. Business owners don’t know. They go to an SEO guy like us… Or, I shouldn’t say like us, but one that doesn’t fucking care, and they say, “Kevin, we want these extra fields on the inquiry page.” And Kevin goes, “Okay.” And he puts them in, and then two months later they say, “We’re not getting any calls, Kevin.” Because people don’t want to sit there filling out a form for fucking 10 minutes.

Matt:                     Yeah, yeah.

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