To put “lipstick on a pig” is a rhetorical expression, used to convey the message that making superficial or cosmetic changes is a futile attempt to disguise the true nature of  of something. I’m using it here to convey the thought that too much focus on traffic building tactics can be a diversion from a much more core problem.

Here’s what I mean. In nearly all cases the best result of both SEO and Social Marketing is getting more visitors to your website. More visitors are great, but…

The purpose of your website is not to simply receive visitors from Google and Social Networks. The purpose of your website is to CONVERT visitors into leads and customers. 

SEO and Social Marketing are tactics used to deliver quality visitors to your website. If your website fails at its  job, in other words if your website is a pig, no amount of traffic will be enough. The lipstick just won’t turn a pig into a beauty. 

There are many things that affect how well a website converts quality visitors into leads and/or customers.

Here’s a 4 Point Conversion Optimization Checklist: 

1. Your OFFER. What action are you asking your visitors to take? Is it compelling? Have you created urgency? Have you made the BENEFITS easy to understand? Is your offer easy to say yes to? If your visitors are not taking the action you want them to take check to make sure that they really want what you are offering. Consider changing the action at the top of your conversion funnel.

2. VISIBILITY. If your visitors are not seeing what you are offering they are not going to act on it. Is your “call to action” lost in other content or in your navigation? Get a FREE “Eye Tracking Heatmap” of your website to see what your visitors are seeing when they visit your website. Change your layout of your visitors are not seeing your most important information.

3. CORE MESSAGE. Why you? Is it clear to your visitors why they should use your services or buy your products? Have you removed distractions and “extra information” from your website/landing pages? If your core message does not allow your visitors to easily understand how you are different from your competitors they are likely not to convert.

4. TRUST. Are you using security icons, a rating system, verifiable recommendations, a money back, or better than money back guarantee or other tactics to establish trust with your visitors?

In many ways your website is like a “salesperson” and it must be evaluated in the same way. At the end of the day, or week, or month, or quarter, whatever, at some point it’s all about production. Is your website productive? Is it converting prospects to customers? If not, or if not as well as it should be, stop pouring resources into getting more visitors to the site and focus on the website conversion elements.