This article was first published on July 15th, 2019, and was last updated on June 8th, 2022.
Your business is your passion, your livelihood, and your legacy. As such, you are doing everything you can to help your business grow. One of the best ways to do that is to use integrated marketing campaigns to enhance the outcomes of both campaigns. Two strategies that pair better than peanut butter and jelly are SEO and CRO.
While they might pair well together, SEO and CRO are two different digital marketing strategies. The goal of SEO is to improve your website and search rankings so you get more traffic. The goal of CRO is to turn that traffic into a paying customer base.
Even though the two methods have different short-term goals, they share the same long-term goal of profiting your business. They also yield the most desirable results when used together. Learn how to combine the two effectively in your marketing strategy and prepare for an impressive outcome in this article. Let’s get started!
What is SEO and CRO?
If you’ve spent time in the marketing industry, you’re probably familiar with SEO and CRO. But if you need a quick refresher, here’s a brief description of both terms:
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of creating content that attracts “organic” traffic to your website. Its focus and goal is to earn high visibility in search engine results. Once dismissed as a marketing fad, SEO is now considered imperative for any serious marketing campaign. Why? Because your website won’t be visited if it can’t be found.
According to a Search Engine Land article, 53% of all website traffic comes from organic traffic. Considering most searchers will not go to the second page of search results, ranking on the first page is paramount for getting traffic to your site.
Why does traffic matter?
The more traffic that comes to your website, the more potential customers you have; That much is true. However, traffic alone isn’t enough. Search Engine Optimization also helps you to ensure the quality of your traffic is quality.
SEO is the process of optimizing your website so that it will rank higher in Search Engines like Google. Part of that process means selecting keywords that potential customers might type into a search engine to find your services. If done correctly, your website will rank for queries that are directly relevant for the product and services you provide. Which means that search engine users who are directed to your website are already looking for a business like yours! It’s a game of numbers, where probability is tied to good traffic.
This is one of the most important acronyms in the pay-per-click world. It stands for conversion rate optimization. This is the process of turning website traffic into revenue, by learning what your site users need to see in order to take a certain action. The premise is simple: CRO turns casual site browsers into serious shoppers by enhancing their experience on the site. After all, all the traffic in the world won’t help your business if they are all window shoppers!
Conversion Rate Optimization is first and foremost about gathering quantifiable data. This process involves creating tests to learn what website changes increase and decrease specific user behaviors. In order to know what changes cause what behaviors, traffic has to be split between different versions of the site. This means that you need a lot of traffic to both isolate the testing variables and create statistically sound data.
If it seems like a lot of work, be assured that the data is worth it. All the information gathered is then used to create data-driven website design. Once you know what changes invoke positive user behavior, and what changes invoke negative behavior, you know what design and UX choices are best for your site. All guess work eliminated!
How To Combine SEO and CRO for Best Results
Now that you know what the independent goals of SEO and CRO are, it will be easier to understand how they can work together. There are several things you can do to improve your website and increase your search engine rankings and conversions. These suggestions include some of the most effective SEO and CRO tactics. When used together, they can boost your success online. Here’s a quick overview of each strategy:
Utilizing an Online Sales Funnel Approach
Whether you are an ecommerce site, or a lead generation site for an onsite service- the classic online sales funnel will help you visualize how SEO and CRO go hand-in-hand. You want to attract traffic that will convert to sales. This is where search engine optimization and conversion rate optimization should go hand in hand. Using a funnel-based approach can help you create content that will attract qualified traffic to your site. To do this, imagine a funnel divided into four sections.
The top, largest section of the funnel indicates broad search engine queries. They’re questions generally asked by potential website visitors who don’t know exactly what they want yet. This is where you generate traffic for your website, but that’s only the first step! For example, if you sell guitars, your top funnel category might be people who want to purchase a musical instrument. They may not know what type of instrument they want to play yet. SEO may make an audience aware of your existence by getting them on the site, but now we need to capture their interest. Your goal is to answer their questions and raise awareness of your products.
Conversion Rate Optimization takes care of the rest of the sales funnel. CRO will take the traffic generated by SEO and learn what users need to capture their interest, spark their desire, and complete the final action. For example, people who are looking for more insight about instruments make up the next section of the funnel. They are getting a little more serious about making a purchase. Your SEO content should answer their more detailed questions and guide them toward making a purchase. For example, you may want to create blogs or other posts about the different guitar types or the best ways to find the right guitar for your genre.
At the bottom of the funnel, you have your “prospects” and “customers” sections. Content for these audiences should focus on convincing potential buyers to make a purchase. It’s the most critical step in your CRO efforts. You should plan on resolving any concerns your customers may have at this stage, including the following:
- Customer services
- Delivery and shipping costs
- Custom order queries
You may also want to incorporate video testimonials and customer reviews into your website. Both are effective ways to encourage your visitors to make a purchase. Also through testing, CRO can help you learn where you are losing your audience, how you can recapture them, and guide them through the rest of the tunnel.
Improve Page Speed Loading Times
Slow-loading pages can sometimes spell death for conversions. In fact, over 53% of mobile users leave sites that take longer than three seconds to load. Improving your page loading time is key to converting traffic to sales. Page speed affects SEO and having faster pages also tends to rank higher in search engines than slower sites with low engagement. When you’re able to improve page speed,
Fix Site Navigation Issues
If your site is full of broken links, visitors will see that there’s clearly something wrong. You can use an SEO crawler tool to identify and fix broken URLS that are causing issues for your website visitors.
What Does an SEO and CRO Campaign Look Like?
An integrated Search Engine Optimization and Conversion Rate Optimization campaign would work to ensure your landing page is optimized from the top of the sales funnel to the bottom. While every business, website, and marketing campaign will be unique, you can expect a few similarities across the board. Here’s an idea of what an integrated campaign might look like:
- A landing page and keywords are selected for SEO.
- Onsite and offsite SEO Optimizations begin.
- The landing page is audited for CRO testing opportunities
- Offsite SEO work continues as normal, increasing search engine rankings and driving website traffic.
- A CRO test is proposed based on the results of the audit, stated CRO goals, and stated SEO goals (namely, the keywords)
- After the proposed test is approved by appropriate parties, it is built and launched.
- The CRO test and SEO rankings are closely monitored for performance.
- Once the CRO test is completed, the data is analyzed.
- The results of the CRO test will be discussed. Recommended site changes, campaign changes, and future tests will be addressed at this time.
- SEO campaigns will continue as normal, until new page/keywords are selected.
There are a lot of moving parts in both SEO and CRO campaigns, therefore there are a lot of questions you may have about integrating these strategies. While it is impossible to address them all in a single article, here are some frequently asked questions about SEO and CRO:
Will CRO interfere with my SEO campaign?
In short, no. The method of testing used for Conversion Rate Optimization is not crawled by Google and will not be taken into account when your website is scanned for SEO rankings.
Could the recommended site changes from CRO impact my SEO ranking?
Yes, but almost always in a positive way. Google and other Search Engines prioritize user experience above all else when determining rankings. If your users are finding what they need, your rankings should increase.
Could SEO impact my CRO campaign?
Yes, Since CRO relies on isolating variables, any change made on a page that’s undergoing a CRO test could invalidate the data. However, this can be overcome with clear communication and collaboration between teams.
Will there ever be times when an SEO edit and a CRO edit conflict?
Maybe. Search Engines frequently update the algorithms they use to determine rankings. However, for now defaulting to the recommended CRO edit is recommended, as current SEO algorithms favor user experience for top ranked spots.
Working Together with SEO
SEO and CRO are both excellent tools for your online business to utilize. While their surface purposes are different, their end goals are the same: to bring you more business! These two strategies are different ends of the same sales funnel, which is why they are better together.
CRO and SEO can sometimes seem like too much to handle at once. Luckily, Boostability is here to help! With our affordable 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!