When most people hear the word SEO, they think solely about driving traffic to their website. It’s all about ranking your website higher in search results to increase your visibility. Once your SEO efforts pay off and you get people on your site, it’s time for CRO to step in and close the deal.
That said, SEO is not a flat surface, it’s a web of numerous factors. The optimization of the various factors can indirectly complement other aspects of your market strategy. The question is, can you boosting conversions improve your SEO as well?
Producing content for SEO purposes is quite different from producing content for CRO purposes, but the results that you get from either type of content will immediately complement the other.
SEO’s job is to bring more traffic to your site, and CRO converts these visitors into paying customers.
But here’s the kicker.
If you are running Google Analytics on your site, then Google sees exactly how people engage with your site.
Or not, as the case may be.
You can see now that they work hand in hand and that both aspects must receive equal attention. Driving traffic to your website doesn’t guarantee revenue unless these visitors actually make a purchase. CRO assists SEO by squeezing more revenue out of a smaller group of people.
For example, you’ll notice that while http://www.tinydigital.co.uk is SEO optimized, it also contains some basic elements of CRO to encourage visitors to click and engage with the page. These elements include:
SEO focuses on methods to rank your website better in search engine results. These methods include website structure, keyword placement, internal linking, link building and so on. In comparison, CRO focuses on methods of improving your conversion rates. These include post-test analysis, testing of on-site elements, qualitative and quantitative research, and competitive analysis.
However, as Google continues to update its algorithms for the purpose of optimizing the UX (user experience), the line between SEO and CRO is becoming less and less clear. Search Engine Journal (https://www.searchenginejournal.com/ says this is actually a good thing, as when your CRO strategy makes your site easier to use — perhaps by optimizing the loading speed of pages — it also improves its rankings on SERPs (search engine results pages).
The one thing that SEO and CRO have in common is that you need a large data pool to optimize either one of them. In fact, CRO decisions are often based on data from SEO analytics.
SEO and CRO are really just two sides of the same coin, and, when used in unison, they can do amazing things. Your site has to be easy to find, but it must also provide value to the user by offering content that fits their needs.
The wise path is to use SEO and CRO as a multi-step approach that will help you rank better in search engines while also increasing your conversions. Don’t use black hat SEO techniques and risk getting penalized, just let SEO complement CRO and vice-versa.
SEO is the discipline of marketing that focuses on increasing visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results. SEO covers both the creative and technical elements necessary to drive traffic, improve rankings, and help search engine algorithms understand your site.
There are numerous aspects that fall under SEO — be it how other sites link back to you on the web or the words on your page. At times, SEO is just a matter of making your site understandable to search engines by structuring it clearly.
CRO is the process of compelling your site’s visitors to perform a certain action. That action may be making a purchase, filling out a form, or anything else.
To successfully implement a CRO strategy, you need to understand how visitors move through your site, what they do when they’re there, and what barriers — if any — are keeping them from performing the desired action.
A conversion refers to a visitor completing your website’s goal — a predetermined desired action to be performed by a visitor.
A goal could be anything. If you run an online shop, the goal would be to make a sale. You may also have secondary goals for your users such as signing up to a newsletter or sharing a product on social media.
In essence, your website’s conversion rate is the number of times that users have completed a goal divided by the volume of your website traffic.
If your website is an online shop, it allows users to convert on each visit by buying a product. All you have to do is divide the number of purchases by the number of visits. If you sell a subscription-based service, however, you’ll need to divide the number of signups by the number of unique visitors.
CRO takes place after a visitor makes it to your site. SEO or paid advertising focuses more so on who visits your site, how many total clicks you get, and which keywords are driving the most traffic to your site.
The first thing you need to do is see if your SEO is already increasing your conversion rate. Understanding the intent of your site’s visitors is paramount to improving your conversion rate. In reality, not all users are visiting your site to make a purchase.
There are three types of visitors — the seers, the thinkers, and the doers.
The majority of your traffic belongs to the seer group comprised of people who just want to have a look around. Visitors who are on the fence on whether or not to make a purchase belong to the thinkers group — these are the visitors that you need to focus on the most as even a small persuasive tip can turn them into a buyer.
The visitors who come to your site already intending to buy something come from the doer audience. Despite the fact that the doers already plan to buy something, you have to ensure that nothing changes their mind such as a slow loading speed for your pages.
Understanding the three groups of visitors will allow you to structure your content appropriately to maximize your conversion rate. It’s important that you cater to all three groups as seers and thinkers can join the doer group if properly motivated.
Forbes.com says that usability the user friendly designs are more important than ever, impacting all areas of your business, from first impressions to the lifetime value of your visitors.
Take the perspective of your user and ask yourself five questions:
Any question that you answered “no” or “maybe” to is an area that you need to work on immediately to improve your website’s ranking and conversion rate.
Google pays attention to more than just how much traffic you get, it also pays attention to who’s talking about you, whether or not you’re being shared on social media, and the average amount of time that a person spends on your site.
The best way to find problems with your website is to view Google Analytics’ SEO Reports section — you can find SEO Reports under Traffic Sources. Viewing the reports can give you insight into how your site fares in different Google searches. It can show you the geographic location of your visitors, the average position of your site in SERPs, and individual page performance numbers. This information is not only valuable from an SEO standpoint, the data can also help you improve your onsite conversion rates.
Here are some metrics that you should look at and ways that you can leverage that data:
Looking at this data can help you spot numerous SEO and CRO problems. Finding faults early is the key to building a solid website.
Now that you know that SEO and CRO can benefit each other, get out there and optimize your site. If you utilize what you’ve learned in this article, you’ll see your traffic and revenue skyrocket in no time at all.
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