SEO wasn’t ever dead, regardless of the vespers-blowing trumpeters that have been sounding off since 2008 or so. It just changes form regularly to adapt to whatever adaptation Google or Bing or whatever has come up with to punish them. When Google punishes a given technique, a different one crops up, but the basic concept of ‘drive traffic by creating quality backlinks’ has never changed.
What has changed, in the last 6-8 months, is the number of sites that have more-or-less ‘SEOed out.’ That is to say, they’ve spent enough to reach a top-3 spot for a few dozen potent keywords both short- and long-tail, and they’re basically just in maintenance mode now, to make sure they don’t slip. So what does a website that is already at the top of the heap do with its SEO budget?
They Spend It to Improve The Effects of Their SEO!
Yes — even once you’ve reached the Top 3 rankings, you can still improve the effects of your SEO. Not the SEO itself, but what the SEO does for you. That’s because the profitability of your SEO is measured like this:
Profit = Total Visitors[(Conversion Rate x Profit Per Sale) – Cost per Visitor]
Your SEO efforts are what produces the visitors and what costs the money, so they create the Total Visitors and the Cost per Visitor numbers. Your Profit per Sale is determined by the profit margin on each sale of your product. That leaves the Conversion Rate.
The Conversion Rate is the percentage of Total Visitors that actually buy something when they visit your site. And the process of testing different configurations of that website and seeing which ones result in the greatest Conversion Rate — called CRO for Conversion Rate Optimization — is the top SEO technique of 2016.
CRO has a few variations, but the important thing to know is this: It’s way more profitable to sell 20% of 100 people a thing than it is to sell 10% of 150 people the same thing. If your traffic is already close to peak, switching some of that SEO funding over to CRO is likely to have a far better effect on your bottom line than spending ever-more on optimizing just one part of the equation.