by Karon Thackston © 2004-2005 http://www.copywritingcourse.com
It's been a myth for as long as Internet has been in existence. Get good rankings and your site will be successful. I hate to be bearer of bad news, but that has never been case. What you get when you achieve good search engine rankings is a lot of traffic. That *can* be a wonderful thing, but it by no means guarantees even one sale.
You see, search engine rankings are not responsible for making sales. They are responsible for getting visitors to click to your site. If you (or your search engine optimizer) have done your job, you'll have descriptions in your search returns (or PPC ads) that bring in qualified visitors. But still… even with qualified visitors, engines are not in a position to make sales at your site. That's job your copy and usability elements handle.
Top Security, Inc. faced this problem. They had good search engine rankings. They were listed on first page of most of major engines. They had traffic. Sales, however, were not where they wanted them to be. What was cause? One look told me copy was culprit. (Take a look at original copy here: http://www.copywritingcourse.com/topsecurity-original.pdf.)
Top Security had a tough sale by anybody's standards. They sold home security systems and maintenance services. (Something hardly anybody likes to talk about until after something happens, and it's virtually too late.) In order to get someone to move on products/services like home security, insurance, and like, you really must develop a sense of trust and urgency.
When I first viewed Top Security, Inc. home page, it was obvious that they knew what they needed to do. They had made a few attempts on page in form of graphics and MP3 files to accomplish those two goals. For example, they posted a current Threat Advisory graphic from Department of Homeland Security (establishing urgency). There was also an MP3 that played kindergarten children singing "God Bless America" (plays toward patriotism and trust). Lastly, headline was designed to try to build a sense of longevity. However, none of these was reflected in copy. The most important part of page was overlooked.