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Does Conversion Rate (Or A Product Of Conversion) Drive Rankings?

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 01:53 PM

Let's imagine that you own a website that sells only high-end products. They are expensive and only the most dedicated people buy them. So the number of conversions on this site is low.

Your competitor owns a website that sells the toy version of the product. Lots of people buy them.

Do you think that the high conversion rate of the competitor might help their rankings? Or maybe people who convert tweet... "I bought one of these".

What do you think?

Maybe we should tell everyone to Tweet if you buy one!

#2 DonnaFontenot


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Posted 05 January 2012 - 02:04 PM

I don't have an answer for that, but I do have a related opinion. If I sold high end products, and my competitor sold the low end versions, I'd run adwords ads that addressed the difference - and linked to the relevant page that discussed why the high end version was so much better than the toy version. I've never been a big fan of adwords because I never sold anything with a big enough margin to justify the cost - but a high end product would hopefully be able to bear the ad cost.




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Posted 05 January 2012 - 04:08 PM


Adwords could get an ad into visibility that might be difficult with optimization.

"Before you buy that cheap crap" :)

#4 Dr.Marie


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Posted 05 January 2012 - 09:55 PM

Hmmm....you have me thinking. I've often wondered how much Adwords uses the data they get from conversion tracking. I know that as an Adsense publisher if someone clicks on an ad on my site and then goes on to buy a product on the target site then Google sees that conversion and knows that an ad on my site may be worth more. (Conversely, if no one who clicks via my site goes on to make a purchase then I get smart-priced and the Adwords customer pays less for an ad on my site.)

It wouldn't surprise me if Google used this information for ranking info as well. Really, if site A is getting 400% more conversions than site B for similar products then perhaps they should rank better?

I think asking your users to Tweet about their purchase can only be good. It gives you advertising, and we know that social mentions count for something. I every month there are hundreds of people tweeting about your product that's got to be good all around. Same thing with facebook shares.

In fact...now you have me thinking. I'm thinking on my conversion page I should be encouraging to share with their friends. Gotta add that to my "to do list".




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Posted 05 January 2012 - 10:53 PM

I believe that Adwords DOES use conversion rate to influence rankings in the Adwords system.

Have they any ability to use this in the organic SERPs?

I agree that a site with great conversion probably should rank higher.

I was talking with someone recently about eliciting tweets... they give away a free software and do periodic contact with them by email... I suggested asking subscribers to "tweet at us if things are going well for you" and suggesting the content of the tweet.

#6 edf


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Posted 09 January 2012 - 02:55 PM

EGOL, your question is one I've had as well. I sell a genuine made-in-USA high end line of products. China has flooded the market with cheap versions and some USA based sites sell these. They likely have a higher conversion rate. I prefer to be in a business that has a higher barrier to entry as anyone can import and sell junk.

Google wants to present the most relevent sites, so it seems reasonable they may base SERPs in part on sales conversions. Maybe a countermeasure is to re-define what a "conversion" is in WMT? I define my "Thank you" page as the goal, as it is the page that is reached after a sale. Maybe define some other page as your "goal"? That would skew your WMT stats, but you would have more "conversions". I guess it depends on if Google really knows if a sale was made, or if they just count "goals" as you have defined it. For some sites a sale is the goal, for others it's completion of a sign-up form.

As a side note, I read a Matt Cutts quote where he said if a searcher was searching for "Cheap Blue Widgets", they are probably not interested in a site that sells just "Blue Widgets". I personally disagree with that logic, but at any rate it sounds like having a landing page about "Cheap Blue Widgets" to explain why yours are a better value is a good idea.




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Posted 09 January 2012 - 06:19 PM

Thank you for sharing your ideas, edf.

I suppose a webmaster could define viewing a product page as a conversion if he wanted to give up the ability to attribute sales to his ads.

I am wondering if Google knows how to track procession through cart?

#8 A.N.Onym


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Posted 10 January 2012 - 03:56 AM

It could, but in such ambiguous world of products and their conversion rates, it'd be hard to judge websites and products, based on conversions, since both of them influence conversions in one way or another. They'd have to craft some very sophisticated algorithm not to make any mistakes. However, if they can find and take into account product price, it might work.

I am wondering if Google knows how to track procession through cart?

Only if you have defined it through Google Analytics (or with the help of the Google Toolbar). If not - I don't wonna guess, but unlikely, unless it reads all cookies from my browser, which is highly unacceptable.

Edited by A.N.Onym, 10 January 2012 - 03:58 AM.

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