When you see you have successfully gained traffic to your website through building your SEO, it can be one of the best feelings for your business’s digital marketing strategy. To add to that, imagine getting a conversation from your increase in traffic. That conversion could be through a sale or purchase, or receiving more information about the customer to stay in contact with them longer. Overall, having success in SEO and CRO is always a great plus for your business.

Receiving these results is always a thrill, however this success isn’t always active. It can be hard to work for and isn’t just given. Learning more about the similarities and differences between CRO and SEO will be your greatest advantage in growing your digital marketing strategies. Let’s dive into learning more about CRO vs SEO!


Table of Contents

What is Conversion Rate Optimization?

What is the Difference Between CRO and SEO?

How Can SEO and CRO Work Together to Get Better Results for Your Campaign?

Advancing to the Next Level with CRO and SEO


What is Conversion Rate Optimization?

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the process of converting website visitors into customers. In marketing, CRO means you’re changing people’s mindset from being intrigued to investing in your products and services. Although, successful CRO doesn’t just involve purchasing products and services. 

Successful conversions can also consist of attaining customer details through their willing actions. Receiving this information can come from signing up for newsletters, filling out contact forms, or signing up for subscriptions. All of these tactics help to utilize customer’s information to stay in contact longer with the customer for future conversions.

What is the Difference Between CRO and SEO?

SEO and CRO are two different entities. The difference between CRO and SEO has to do with one working off of the other rather than both of them working as one to achieve the end goal. The goal of one is to improve your website and search rankings to gain more traffic. While the goal of the other is to turn that traffic into a valuable conversion. 

Let’s dive more into the differences between CRO and SEO:


As we mentioned before, CRO aims to convert traffic into action. While CRO relies on the traffic SEO produces, there are elements to CRO that does not require SEO which include:

  • Non-indexed pages: These are pages that are not crawled by search engines such as Google. Therefore, there’s no need for SEO. The only thing that matters with these pages is having excellent user experience to have successful CRO.
  • Gaining Attention: CRO focuses on appealing to the customer in order to create a conversion. Whether that be through a marketing campaign or having good user experience, CRO uses strategies that are focused on engaging the customer. On the other end, SEO focuses more on keyword strategy and following rules of search engines in order to gain attention in SERPs.
  • Design: Having great design elements to help with user experience is very helpful in attaining successful CRO. Anything to help attract customers and keep them on your site longer. While this seems easy enough to create, the design and functionality of the site can cause issues with SEO. Which in return, optimizing for search engines, such as Google, can cheapen the user experience which lessens CRO. It’s important to find the balance between the two in design elements.


When it comes to CRO vs SEO, there are many SEO elements that don’t factor into CRO. Some of these factors include:

  • Invisible elements: SEO is all about building different elements within your website that help strengthen and build value. These invisible elements include adding meta tags, schema markup, alt tags, etc. Anything invisible to the user should not have any effects on CRO, but are all important elements to SEO.
  • Traffic: SEO is focused around generating traffic and attention to your site through rankings and improvisations on your site. While CRO uses traffic, it utilizes it in a way to create a conversion rather than generate more traffic as SEO does.
  • Keywords: Keywords are a pivotal part of SEO. Finding and using specific keywords helps your digital marketing strategy in generating more traffic and attention to your site. When looking at CRO, you’re focused more on what sounds best or most appealing to the customer rather than focusing on specific keywords. Keywords are distinct and fixing or rearranging a certain order or keyword can damage your SEO strategy.

How Can SEO and CRO Work Together to Get Better Results for Your Campaign?

SEO and CRO have two different tactical goals. However, they share the same vision of generating success for your business. While they both have distinct differences, they can also yield the most enticing results when used together. Here are a few strategies that learn to combine both SEO and CRO effectively in your marketing strategy to prepare for notable outcomes:

1) Optimize meta titles and descriptions

Optimizing your meta titles and other descriptions on your website helps get your business one stride closer in utilizing better results for SEO and CRO. The first step is getting people to click on your organic listing (once you’re ranking on the 1st SERP page of course). Then it’s time to test out the meta titles and descriptions you have implemented.

When looking at your meta titles and descriptions, look at the data from an SEO standpoint and a CRO standpoint. With an SEO standpoint, it’s important to look at what keywords you are using within the descriptions. With a CRO standpoint, it’s important to look at which keywords are converting the best. Once you analyze and retrieve these findings, take them to your paid advertising team and share what details you found most insightful, effective, and valuable for future efforts and campaigns moving forward. Another place to find this type of data is through the free tool Google Search Console.

2) Optimize content for high intent keywords

Getting the right kind of customers and leads has a big impact on focusing on keyword intent. Keywords should hit the different levels of the buyers funnel which are: Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action.

Buyers Funnel Graph

  • Awareness: This is at the top of the funnel and is the widest part. This section brings in curiosity and traffic. This is the section where more users start out in the process and continue to seek interest.
  • Interest and Desire: This is in the middle of the funnel and starts to incorporate more long tail, specific keywords. It’s here that people get a better idea of what they want. This includes less general/ broad terms.
  • Action: This is the lowest part of the funnel and includes more specific and long tail keywords. At this point, conversion rate is higher and more people are ready to make purchases or submit a lead at this point.

While all content can be optimized for an element of CRO, ‘Action’ type keywords are great for generating leads or getting more people to make a purchase because they’re ready for that step. It’s important to be visible for those types of customers and clients. Therefore, create content to target those keywords and show up in SERPs for higher rankings and traffic.

3) Incorporate and test out various CTAs

CTAs, also known as ‘call-to-action’, is a great way to incorporate both SEO and CRO. CTAs have the purpose of calling out your users and giving them more information to look into. There are various forms of CTAs such as buttons, text links, forms, phone call links, etc. While some CTAs look like these, it could also be in the form of a resource for additional information. When you present this option, it gives the user an opportunity to dive deeper into your website and stay there longer. It also presents the opportunity to gain more conversions which is what you want for CRO. One way to add value through SEO is adding keywords into your CTA which will help strengthen your content overall.

4) Get valuable information from heat mapping tools

Heat mapping tools such as HotJar and VWO provide valuable information that can benefit your SEO and CRO. Tools like these show heat mapping data, scroll depth information (percentage of people scrolling through the page and seeing information), and tracking where people drag their mouse or click on certain areas of a page. 

These tools are helpful because you can see where real people are gravitating on your website. You can see what information might need to move up or down and how to get individuals to view all of the information on your page. It also helps to know what pages aren’t getting the most engagement and will signal a need to update your strategy moving forward.

Advancing to the Next Level with SEO and CRO

CRO and SEO are two of the most important factors in a digital marketing strategy. Learning from how they both differ and benefit from each other helps strengthen your strategy moving forward. It also helps your website with a lot of different factors overall.

Sometimes CRO and SEO can seem like too much to handle at once. Luckily, Boostability is here to help! With our white label SEO services, your SEO strategies can grow value into yours and your clients’ websites overall. Get in touch with one of our Partner Success team members today for more details on what this partnership looks like and how it can help your agency grow!

If you’re not familiar with what white label SEO is, our Ultimate Guide to White Label SEO Marketing is your go-to source. Learn what this looks like for businesses like yours, the benefits it offers, what to avoid, and much more!


Ansley is the former Content Marketing Manager at Boostability. Since graduating from Utah State University with two degrees in Communication Studies and Journalism: Public Relations, Ansley specializes in creating engaging and informative SEO content for readers, customers, and partners through different marketing channels. Along with creating new content, Ansley works to keep content organized and creates and executes new content strategies. When she’s not writing, she loves to travel, visit National Parks, and loves all things Disney.