A question marketers often find themselves trying answer is, “Which should I focus on more: the brand’s SEO or its CRO?” The brand’s online presence needs to do well within search engine rankings so that people on the internet can find it, and so that it has a strong and credible status as a resource in its field. Good SEO will probably indirectly lead to sales as well. However, the brand really needs conversions in order to make money and continue doing what it is doing for the consumer. The business has to have actual customers, and not just browsing its website.
This is a real dilemma, which has challenged businesses since the earliest days of the internet. Which is more important, and which will contribute more to the bottom line of the business? The answer is both. CRO and SEO are highly important in determining the amount of revenue brought in by a business and need to have their own emphasis on a marketing plan. Your brand needs traffic to its site, by way of its optimization for search engines, and that site needs to convert shoppers into buyers.
1The Links Connecting CRO & SEO
Essentially, the relationship between CRO and SEO comes down to the user’s overall interaction with a brand’s online content and presence. SEO done well is what gets users to the site itself; CRO is what gives the site’s visitors the best user experience that it can offer. Both optimization tactics serve the purpose of attracting users to a brand online, they just each go about it with different methods and through different mediums.
You need to get visitors to your high-quality, informative site through your exposure-gaining, search engine-impressing SEO efforts, then turn these visitors into buyers through the efforts of your CRO. Use the two optimizations to mutually benefit one another. SEO will lead users to your site and the awesome user experience it provides (courtesy of CRO), and CRO will give a positive user experience, and generate more unique hits for your site, that can, in turn, lead to shares and boost SEO.
2Giving Both Forms of Optimization a Boost
In order for CRO to do its job well, and to positively affect the business’s bottom line, the type of organic traffic that is being brought to the site through SEO needs to be quantified. Backlinks and landing pages can both be designed to assist with the CRO and the SEO of your online brand as well. All the content that your brand creates, and the products and services that you have to offer to your target market, should share the common goal of providing value to the consumer.
In order to up the ante on your brand’s SEO so that it can compliment your CRO, you need to first ensure that your site has a recognizable domain name registered. It also must utilize the proper keywords and phrases that will garner the exposure, and the search engine rankings, it needs to land your site on the first page of a Google search. These common practices of SEO will help in making a brand’s website appear at the top of more searches, operate more efficiently, improve the quality of content, and increase the quantity of traffic. In turn, these methods of SEO will lead to more opportunities for conversions. SEO is done properly to reach a brand’s target audience also brings visitors to the site that are probable candidates for boosting the rate of conversion.
Good SEO can, of course, get users to your brand’s site, but it will not necessarily make them stay on the site once they have arrived for any particular length of time. This is where CRO comes into play. To convert site visitors to loyal customers and engaged followers of your brand, you must first optimize the site so that they want to stay on it longer and see what all it has to offer them.
Your brand needs to narrow its focus and market to its target audience, not just to everyone that is out there on the web. SEO can be used to define your target audience, then CRO can be used to reach that particular demographic. The two optimizations work together.
SEO and CRO are always related, but, as crazy as it may sound, sometimes they are inversely related to one another. As evidenced in this case study, you can see that sometimes less traffic to a site means more revenue. Why is that? It is the same concept as using your brand’s site and its content to market to a target audience, rather than to the public as a massive whole. Sometimes you need to tighten your focus: casting a wider net does not always catch more fish. If your marketing focus isn’t specific, and you don’t truly understand what type of customers will actively seek out your business, you run the risk that many people will hear you, but nobody is actively listening to what your brand has to say.
3Common Perceptions: Some Think SEO and CRO Do Not Work Well Together
The first thing to note in regards to the “rift” between SEO and CRO efforts you may have heard about: many of the ways some marketers perceive how CRO impedes the efforts of SEO and vice versa are simply not legitimate. In reality, the two desperately need each other in order to make the most of a brand’s online presence.
The perception is that, sometimes, the pages that are created simply to increase the amount of traffic being directed to a brand’s site are not perfectly optimized for conversion rate. That does not mean they are going to hurt CRO, though. Also, sometimes in the workings of CRO, duplicate web pages are developed for testing purposes, and these pages detract from your SEO efforts.
But forget these are false claims: it has been found that 95% of companies that put several different forms of optimization into place saw higher rates of conversion, as opposed to only 72% of companies that utilized CRO alone. CRO and SEO, coupled together, can do much more good for the marketing of a business than they would be able to do separately.
CRO means a lot more than simply including a call to action buttons, and writing content that is without grammatical errors and inaccurate information. You must go much deeper. Know your brand’s target market, and be able to cater your site to speak to this market, what they want and expect from you, so you gain real traction in the digital domain.