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Understand page conversion rate – SEO copy isn't all you need

Image of a person reading a marketing book, poking fun at page conversion
"How do I turn this into money?" Image credit: Austin Distel

Your website isn't getting you clients. You know your SEO is on point – copy, keywords, links, site speed. But when visitors arrive, nothing happens. The conversion rate of your pages is terrible.

So what's going wrong?

Google certainly thinks you're doing well. You're getting good rankings. People are seeing your business.

When it comes down to it though, they aren't using your business.

Here is how to give your copy a check. Not for SEO purposes. But to see what you can do to improve your page conversion rates:

What is the conversion rate of a page?

The conversion rate of a page measures what percentage of visitors take the action you want after viewing it.

Your Call To Action (CTA) might be to sign up to your newsletter, email you, download a free resource you're offering, or to straight-up buy the thing.

Whatever it is, you work out the conversion rate of a page by looking up the number of visitors. Then you examine how many of those visitors take the action you want them to.

What is a good conversion rate?

“Good” conversion rates are in the eye of the beholder. But it's not uncommon for businesses to regard even very low-sounding conversion rates (and here we're talking 2% or 3%) as acceptable.

Two percent is about the average across the internet. Ideally though, we want to be shooting for a little more than that. A conversion rate of around 5% is actually pretty good. Over 10% and you're laughing.

What really defines a good page conversion rate for you will often be the comparison with the rest of your industry.

Some industries will struggle to get good rates even with brilliantly engineered copy and design. Think something like industrial equipment. It's very expensive. You probably don't need much of it.

Other industries might expect higher conversion rates. Hypothetical example: greeting cards. They're pretty cheap. Everyone buys them on multiple occasions.

Conversion tips for pages

Obviously, the above example doesn't take into account factors like competition, but you see what we're driving at.

Here is what you can do to give your web pages a little conversion rate boost:

1) Check your Call To Action

This is where the action is on the page in more ways than one. If your CTA isn't obvious or effective, people won't act on it. Go ahead and see if your CTA is:

  • Easy to find

  • Simple to follow

  • Gives a clear indication of action and outcome

2) Test your contact form

If your CTA involves a contact form, go ahead and check it now. I'll wait.

These things break a surprising amount of the time. I get people emailing in saying they'd tried using my form and something went wrong much more often than I'd like!

(Side note: if this happens, you can email me directly at

If you haven't received any contact for a while (even spam), check the forms you're using to make sure everything is working.

3) Remove commitment hurdles

If it's not a technical issue, your form might still be at fault. How much information are you asking potential clients for? Because it's probably too much.

I would really encourage you to try asking for less. The simpler your form, the better. It lowers the hurdle to get in touch with you.

Do you really need to know what your potential client's annual turnover is (genuinely a thing I've seen) before getting that initial chat underway?

4) Re-examine your page purpose

Sometimes, you need to take a step back and consider if the CTA you want to encourage and the purpose of the page you've created really go hand in hand.

A common example is that you've written a great informational page explaining what the product you make is designed to do. Not your version in particular, but this thing in general.

Now, people might be very interested in how (picking a random example from things on my desk) a harmonica works. You might have explained it really well. Your SEO copy is just wondrous. You're getting great traffic.

But people searching for “how harmonicas work” may not be looking to buy a harmonica. If your CTA is “buy beautifully handcrafted mouth organs now”, it's not going to work.

Instead, you'll need to change your CTA to something else. Maybe keep their time on-site high by inviting them to explore other interesting blogs. One day, their quest for knowledge might turn into a desire for music.

5) Proofread your copy again

It's sometimes difficult to see the woods for the trees. Probably the most common problem standing in the way of a good conversion rate is copy that just doesn't quite get there.

Maybe you come across as too informational. Too vague. Or too pushy. Maybe there are typos or grammatical errors that make it difficult for a human to read.

It hurts to do it. But you need to take a deep breath, re-read your copy, and try being ruthless with yourself. Is it any good?

If your honest answer is no, you might need to suck it up and start again. It might mean taking a hit to that lovely high-performing page.

But what's the point if people merely visit your site and don't take any action? SEO copy isn't all you need for a page to succeed.

Make your SEO copy and conversion rate work together

Sometimes, the knowledge and belief are right there in your brain. But getting them onto the screen takes too much time. Or it doesn't come out in a way that results in a good conversion rate.

There's an easier way. For over ten years, I've been helping businesses of all sizes communicate with their audience, providing SEO copywriting services to companies in Bristol and far beyond.

Fire me a commitment-free email about your needs to or fill in the (nice and simple) form below. I'll get right back to you.

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