Rising organic traffic from your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts feel pretty darn good to see–but have you ever asked yourself how many of those visitors actually contribute to the bottom line of your business?
If you’re seeing a surge in traffic, but continue seeing near-zero conversions, you have a big problem on your hands. The good news is that it’s easily solvable by supplementing your SEO efforts with Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) practices.
Let’s get into how to start using both SEO and CRO for your website.
CRO and SEO: What Are They?
SEO and CRO are two significant pillars of digital marketing, each with a distinct focus and objective.
SEO is the process of increasing a website’s visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs) by optimizing different elements of a website, including its content, design, and technical aspects. This is all done to draw in more organic traffic in your website’s chosen niche or market.
CRO, on the other hand, is similar in that it’s all about testing and optimizing the elements on your website. However, its goal is not to improve your rankings or draw in more people. Rather, it’s all about converting visitors into customers.
The misconception that many people have is that they have to focus on one or the other. However, I consider both to be crucial for a successful online strategy. When done right, these two practices work in tandem to enhance your overall digital marketing effectiveness.
How is CRO Different from SEO?
SEO – Casting the Net
Think of SEO as the engine behind your brand’s visibility in the vast ocean of the internet. Using SEO, you can improve your pages’ look, performance, and rankings in the SERPs. The more these improve, the wider net you can cast on organic traffic.
Think about it: when you search for something on Google, don’t you take a look at the results on the first page at the very least? If you’re ranking at #1 for some pretty good keywords, then you’re going to be getting more traffic than if your website stayed on the 2nd page or lower in Google’s search results.
Take the search results for “seo rates philippines,” for example. If I were looking for a SEO service with good rates, I wouldn’t look past the first page since they’re already giving me the information I need.
CRO – Making the Catch
While SEO casts the net wide to increase traffic, CRO is how you persuade these new visitors that have just opened your pages to do something for your business. That might be to make a purchase, fill out a form, or sign up for a newsletter. Here’s some of the things we do for CRO on our other website:
Through techniques like improving user experience, optimizing landing pages, and using compelling call-to-actions (CTAs), CRO is the attempt to answer your user’s intent (i.e., why they even clicked on your page in the first place) and speak to their interests and needs. This influences them to buy your products, message you, or otherwise engage with your website.
What Happens When You Combine CRO and SEO?
When SEO and CRO are approached separately, their impact is limited. Sure, you might be gaining tons of traffic from your SEO, but if the pages they’re seeing aren’t using the best CRO practices, then you might not see any value from these visitors. On the flip side, a site optimized for conversion is pretty meaningless if it’s not found by potential customers on Google.
Merging SEO and CRO effectively forms a formidable digital marketing powerhouse. SEO strategies become more targeted and purposeful when combined with conversion data, while conversion strategies are much more effective when they build on the strengths of a strong SEO foundation.
It’s all about ensuring your website isn’t just found, but is also compelling enough to convert those who find it, ensuring that your digital marketing strategy is truly a force to be reckoned with.
How Do You Make SEO and CRO Work Together?
So, how do you make sure your website not only ranks well–but also converts your visitors?
Here are some key steps to make your SEO and CRO strategies work together effectively:
- Prioritize User Experience: Always put user experience first in both SEO and CRO. Ease of navigation, site aesthetics, informative content, and site speed are all factors you need to consider for your SEO and CRO strategy.
- Be Thorough With Your Keyword Analysis: Make sure to understand the search intent behind the keywords you’re targeting. This information should influence not only the content you create (for SEO) but also the language you use on landing pages, calls to action, and product descriptions (for CRO).
- Test & Optimize: Regularly run A/B tests on different site elements like headlines, CTAs, content, etc. Use these insights to improve both search ranking (SEO) and user engagement (CRO).
- Write High-Quality Content: Ensure your content is useful, relevant, and valuable to your users. Good content increases the odds of higher search engine ranking (SEO) and encourages users to stay on your site and convert (CRO).
- Don’t Forget Mobile Optimization: Since most searches happen on mobile devices, ensure your website is mobile-friendly. Remember this is also an SEO ranking factor, too, so putting this as a priority can improve both your ranking and conversion rates.
- Create Enticing Meta Descriptions: Although meta descriptions may not directly impact SEO rankings, a well-crafted one can increase click-through rates from the SERP, providing an opportunity to win conversions.
- Landing Page Optimization: Use your SEO data to understand what users are looking for and tailor your landing pages (CRO) to meet those needs. The congruency between the user’s search intent and your landing page offering can significantly boost conversions.
- Use Clear, Persuasive Call-to-Actions (CTAs): A great CTA can guide users and encourage them to take desirable actions. This helps in achieving your CRO goals.
- Avoid Common Mistakes with CRO and SEO: the A/B testing you need to do for these two practices can lead to some pretty costly mistakes if you’re not careful. I covered what to avoid in my guide on how to do CRO without damaging your SEO.
When you pour your resources into just SEO, the organic traffic you gain might not convert into sales or leads, ultimately leading to an inefficient use of resources. If you focus on just CRO, then you might have a site that too few people visit because it’s lost in the depths of the SERPs–wasting your CRO efforts.
One thing is crystal clear–for your business to profit, it’s not enough to merely have an online presence; you need to make that presence work for you.
That’s why SEO and CRO need to go hand-in-hand. By combining these two strategies, you can make your website all that more visible and engaging for your online audience.