Can Search Engine Optimisation Really Deliver More Sales?

No Sale On Cash Register

Is it just me or has everyone gone search engine optimization (SEO) mad lately?  I’ve been heavily immersed in SEO copywriting this month, and while there is merit in optimizing your website or blog, I’m beginning to wonder if SEO really can deliver on its promise of more sales.

In fact I’m going all out on a limb here and say no SEO won’t necessarily bring you more sales, which seems a contrary point of view on my part.

Now don’t get me wrong I’m not against the technical aspects of SEO like tweaking all the back end stuff so that the search engines can easily identify and classify your site, or creating links, quality article/content writing and engaging in social media.

They’re all perfectly valid and acceptable methods to improve and boost your online presence.  But I think that’s pretty much all SEO can do – is give your website or blog higher ranking on the SERP’s (search engine results pages), so that it’s more visible to a potentially wider market.

What I’m not convinced about is whether SEO can actually deliver on bringing you more sales.  While I agree SEO can bring more visitor traffic to your site, it doesn’t mean that those visitors are ready and willing to buy your products or services as the SEO experts claim.

I know this sounds like heresy but let me explain why I think SEO can’t deliver sales.

The power lies within people not search engines.  

It seems to me that too much importance is placed on making websites visible and appealing to the search engines for a better position on their search pages.  There’s nothing wrong with aiming for a page 1 placement, BUT the search engines are not your customers, they won’t buy your products or services – people buy products and services.

Basically it all comes down to whether people like, trust and are comfortable with you that will determine whether a sale goes ahead or not.

SEO can help foster the sense of trust and credibility to a point but it’s not until people actually meet with you or talk to you that will influence their decision in favour of you or not.

Essentially people like to know they’re dealing with other people who are likeable and likeminded.  And that can only truly come through in real face-to-face interactions.

Sure, SEO can give your site top billing on the most coveted first page of the SERP’s (search engine results pages), but that doesn’t mean it’s a gold pass to eternal sales.

Search engine optimization is just a tool that helps facilitate your online presence but you still need to talk to people whether in person, on the phone or via any other techno gadget to generate sales.

What do you think?


4 thoughts on “Can Search Engine Optimisation Really Deliver More Sales?

  1. Hi Sandra

    I think you have opended a can of worms here and the SEO companies won’t be happy!

    I believe service businesses (like ours) will struggle to deliver sales using SEO alone.

    I am not so sure about product based businesses (example software that you can purchase and download) could potentially deliver sales using SEO.



  2. Great post Sandra! Yes, SEO companies know all the tricks to get your site on Google’s 1st page, but when it comes to warming to the customer’s needs and helping them make that crucial decision to buy, that’s another skill in itself. As you’ve said, we need top-notch SEO to bring in the visitors, then we need persuasive, compelling copy to inspire the visitor to become a paying customer.

    As ‘web-copywriters-in-arms’, I feel we must work in synergy with SEO companies. In particular, those who understand the role copywriters play in communicating to people first and search engines second. The sum of the parts is greater than the whole!


    1. Hi Shahan,

      Thanks for your comments, indeed we do need to work as you say, “in synergy with SEO companies” but it can be difficult to write copy that “speaks” to the customer in a natural way when the SEO companies have very specific criteria that we as copywriters need to fulfil – like keyword repetition and variations thereof throughout the content. There’s definitely a fine balance to getting it right, and unfortunately so many websites don’t!


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