Weekly SEO news: 27 August 2006
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're telling you why getting more web site traffic is not the best thing that you can do for your web site. There's something that is better than that.

In the news: Yahoo is bigger than Google (in China), Google and eBay cooperate and much more.

Table of contents:

We hope that you enjoy this newsletter and that it helps you to get more out of your website. Please pass this newsletter on to your friends.

Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. What is more important than getting more web site traffic?

Many webmasters focus on getting more traffic to their web sites. While getting visitors is very important, it is much more important to increase the conversion rate of your web site.

This article will tell you why improving your conversion rate will have a much higher effect on your web site than getting more traffic.

The conversion rate of your web site is the ratio of sales to visitors to your web site. If your web site gets 30,000 visitors per month and 300 of these visitors purchase something from your web site then your conversion rate is 1/100 or 1%.

Scenario 1: Increase your sales by getting more traffic

For example, you could use IBP to improve the search engine rankings of your web site to get more visitors. Or you could run ads on Google AdWords to get 500 additional visitors per day.

That would be 15,000 additional visitors per month and a traffic increase of 50%. You have to invest a lot of time and money to get 50% more traffic. Is it worth it?

Let's say that you sell a product that costs $50. Before increasing the traffic to your web site, you had 300 sales per month = $15,000.

Now that you have 15,000 additional visitors per month, you'll make an additional $7,500 per month (Your conversion rate is 1%. That means that 150 of the 15,000 new visitors will buy the $50 product from you).

That means that you'll earn a total of $22,500 after getting more traffic to your web site.

That's not bad. However, depending on how you got that extra traffic (pay per click, search engine optimization, ads, etc.) you had to pay a lot to get these additional sales.

Scenario 2: Increase your sales by improving your conversion rate

On the Internet, you'll find many articles that explain how to increase the conversion rate of web sites. You have to tweak some web page elements, you have to write good copy, your web site must be clean, visitors must be able to immediately see the benefits, etc.

After some tests, your conversion rate might go up to 3%. Depending on how your web site looked before, this is not hard to do.

Although you still have just 30,000 visitors per month you now make a total of $45,000 per month.

Your new conversion rate is 3%. That means that 900 of the 30,000 visitors will buy the $50 product from you. And you don't have to pay for traffic to get these additional sales.

Do you want $22,500 or $45,000?

It's much easier to increase your conversion rate than to increase your traffic. You can quickly change the contents of your web page and you can quickly test different options on your web pages.

Increase your traffic and you'll earn $22,500. Increase your conversion rate and you'll earn $45,000. To increase the conversion rate of your web pages, you just just to spend some time to learn and to tweak your web pages.

That's where AxROI comes in. AxROI tells you how many of your visitors buy something on your web site and how much they spend on your web site.

If you use AxROI with different landing pages you can quickly find the web page on your web site that delivers the highest conversion rate.

2. Search engine news of the week

Yahoo! Search becomes the second most used search engine in China

"Yahoo! Search's market share has become the runner-up in China. According to the Research Report of Searching Engine Market in China, issued by the CCW Research, it has surpassed Google and now follows after Baidu."

Google, eBay form alliance

"Google will begin selling advertising for eBay outside the United States and help buyers quickly ring an online merchant to do business."

Google heads for the office

"[Google] said it has created a software platform to run basic business activities - based on programs it already offers separately. The move marks a stepped up challenge to rival Microsoft as the software giant prepares to upgrade its Windows and Office franchises."

Editor's note: Google Apps is available here.

Search engine newslets

  • Microsoft tests Windows Live video search.
  • Comcast launches Google based search.
  • Google faces patent-violation suit in S. Korea.
  • Google temporarily returned no results in Google Argentina due to a bug in their censorship software (screenshot).
  • Blinkx to power Lycos video search.
  • Google exec stock sales: $7.4 billion and counting.
  • Google seeks fund rule exemption to increase investment returns.
  • Mr. Google, find me a woman (video, humor).
3. Articles of the week

Search engine bans and penalties, or just your imagination?

    "The biggest misconception at this year's conference was the difference between the spidering and indexing processes. The index is a subset of the spider. Search engines access Web content through the spidering process.

    Then, they filter out duplicates and other bad content and create the index. [...] A Web site can be spidered and not included in a search engine index."


Google Office still needs some renovating

"At the moment, the suite--it really should be called Google Office--is a bundle of existing Google products, loosely integrated by how you manage them for your business and the fact that they share a domain. [...]

In the wake of the AOL search-data flap, do you want all your company's communications stored on Google servers?"

Search advertisers willing to live with click fraud

"Regardless of the exact number, there's no doubt that advertisers [...] who pay up every time an ad gets clicked on, are overpaying Google, Yahoo Inc. and other search firms. [...]

An informal MarketWatch survey of Google advertisers suggests they will keep using search-based marketing because, despite clear evidence of click fraud, such ad campaigns still pay off."

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4. Recommended resources

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Christian Wilson, www.noni.org

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5. Previous articles

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