Acronyms. Marketers love them! CPA, BR, B2B… the list goes on. But the two that we’re going to discuss today are SEO and CRO.
SEO (search engine optimisation) involves making your site visible on search engines. This basically means getting you as close to the top of Google as possible for relevant search queries.
CRO (conversion rate optimisation), on the other hand, involves optimising your site or individual pages to maximise conversions. A conversion being the completion of whatever your goal is. Examples include making a purchase, signing up to a newsletter, filling in a contact form, and more.
Some people think that these processes go against each other, but not here at our SEO department! We’d argue that definitely doesn’t have to be the case, and in fact, your SEO should help with your CRO.
The low-down on CRO
A business’ website is an integral part of its marketing strategy. It is often one of the first touchpoints that a business has with its audience, and is the place where the majority of conversions take place – unless your business is primarily social media based.
While making sure your website looks nice is important, optimising it for conversion rates is crucial if you want to get the most out of it – which we’re sure that you will want to do!
To do this, you want to make the path of the conversion as clear as possible. Don’t side-track your visitors by taking them off-site from your main service pages. Don’t use a font that’s barely legible. Don’t neglect to optimise your site for mobile. These, among others, are very basic parts of CRO and provide a base level that should be met by all businesses that want to be successful online.
Yet it’s important to remember that making changes to optimise conversion rates isn’t like pushing a button. It’s a unique process that will be different for every website.
For example, if you own an ecommerce site then a user can become a conversion on your website every time they visit. Whereas if you are a fitness website that sells memberships, once a user has bought a membership they will not convert again, but will still visit your site to access their subscription. So ideally you will operate different practices depending on your own circumstances.
Advanced website CRO
CRO starts to get quite fun (questionable!) when you start using some of the more advanced techniques to really squeeze as much performance out of your site as possible.
This includes changing the layout of your pages to push contact forms to your audience, using pop-ups that can act as a saving grace when visitors try to leave your site, and maybe even experimenting with different colours on your call-to-action buttons.
You might not agree with some of these. Pop-ups are almost universally hated across the web, and trying to get some brands to use alternate colours can be like getting blood from a stone. But if the data shows that you can increase your conversions by between 5-10% by making a few simple changes then you’d be inclined to make them.
Where does SEO fit in?
Provided that you have a working SEO strategy that is bringing relevant organic traffic to your site, CRO will help to convert that traffic.
However, because of the sheer number of ranking factors that are included under the SEO umbrella, some people think that CRO can have a negative impact on SEO and vice versa.
For example, Google loves content. A 1500+ word blog that has been keyword optimised may be great for getting organic traffic through from Google, but what about the users who click on your site and are then faced with a whole load of text that they aren’t prepared to read? They might bounce from your site quickly, despite your blog post containing all of the information that they were looking for and without signing up to your mailing list.
Or conversely, you have a page that should be ranking well for a target query, but your SERP performance is hampered by an invasive pop-up or other black-hat techniques that you use to try and make people sign up to a free trial as soon as someone opens your page, causing your viewers to bounce before they can even read any of your content.
But is this actually the case for businesses that are switched on to both their SEO and their CRO? Not really. The chances of you making a blunder when using both SEO and CRO are low and will require you working to a poor marketing plan. You are much more likely to see plenty of improvements if you place the two of them at the centre of your marketing strategies.
How SEO and CRO go hand in hand
Forgive the analogy, but SEO is your playmaker and CRO is your centre forward. When working together, they’ll score plenty of goals! How can they work together, you ask? Here’s how!
It’s true, there are plenty of SEO ranking factors. But two of these factors are the quality of your content and your user data. And here is the golden nugget of information to know: CRO will improve the quality of your content and your user data.
If you are optimising your site to give people the information that they need to follow through with your conversion goals, and they do so, then Google will see this as you creating quality content. Your bounce rate will likely decrease too, which is another signal that your page deserves to rank.
Once you begin both ranking higher in the SERPs as well as converting more of your traffic, then ding ding ding! You’ve won the golden ticket to digital marketing. Congratulations, and keep up the good work!
Conversion rate specialists at Blaze Media
The reality is that getting visitors to your website is hard. The competition online for your industry (regardless of what industry it is) is tough. You need to be doing as much as possible to convert your visitors to your site.
At Blaze Media, we love running CRO experiments for our clients. Whether through data derived from Hotjar or Google Optimise, we’ll do everything we can to increase your conversion rate by using proven methods that work for your site and with your target audience. And we make sure to schedule regular meetings and send across thorough reports showcasing your results.
Interested? Get in touch with us today, our team is looking forward to speaking to you!
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