Why Not Try Both?: Why You Should Add CRO to Your SEO Strategy

Why choose “or” when you can choose “and”?

It is a common misconception that you can’t do both Search Engine Optimization and Conversion Rate Optimization at the same time. You may worry that CRO can derail your SEO campaign, or that SEO can throw off testing data in CRO. You might think that you have to choose one or the other, but that’s not true. Not only is it okay to use both strategies at once, it’s encouraged! When integrated correctly, SEO and CRO boost each other up and make both campaigns more successful.

Here’s four reasons you should use a combined CRO and SEO strategy.

1. CRO is SEO’s next step.
The whole point of Search Engine Optimization is to help your website rank higher search engine results. But, why do you want to rank well in search engines like Google? For traffic, of course.

The logic behind SEO works like this: A person goes to a search engine like Google and types something in the Search Bar. This is called a query. The higher your website is listed on the search engine results page (SERPs) the more likely that user is to click on your site link. Therefore, the more query phrases (called keywords in SEO) your site ranks high for, the more traffic your site will receive.

SEO brings more traffic to your website, but more traffic doesn’t always mean more registrations, appointments, or sales. Now you have traffic, but how do you turn that traffic into customers? Conversion Rate Optimization is the answer. Conversion rate Optimization converts a higher rate of your traffic into customers by optimizing your site to meet the needs of your users expressed through their behavior.

The logic behind CRO works like this: users come to a website and do certain things. We observe user behavior and test to see what design changes encourage customers to increase actions we want users to take (like completing a transaction, or signing up for a newsletter), and which changes influence negative behavior (like abandoning a cart, or bouncing off the website).

By knowing- with data- what website changes influence user behavior, you learn what you users truly want to see on your site to become a customer. After all, having a high number of users is great, but having users who are actually buying your products and signing up for your services is even better.

2. CRO can boost SERPs rankings.
The exact algorithm search engines use to rank websites is unknown, but one thing Google (and other search engines) have made clear is that user experience is a key factor in their ranking placements.

Think about it,
Would you recommend a restaurant to your friends if you know their menu is confusing to read, their servers are rude, and their payment system is sketchy? Probably not. Search Engines feel the same way about websites. They only want to promote websites that users have a good experience with.

How do Search Engines know if visitors are having a good experience on the site? By observation.

Search Engines like Google use bots called crawlers to track how long users behave on your site. These crawlers take note of things like, how long users are spending on your website, how many pages they are visiting, whether or not they are making purchases, setting appointments, etc. Generally speaking, website users do not make purchases or spend a lot of time on websites they do not like, and search engines like what users like. So, when more people convert on your site, your SERPs go up!

3. SEO can make CRO testing more efficient.
Just like Conversion Rate Optimization can increase your Search Engine Optimization campaign, the traffic you get from a well-run SEO campaign increases the statistical validity of your CRO data.

Here’s how:

A large part of CRO is about conducting tests to gather usable data. In order for data to be usable, it has to be statistically significant, and in order for data to be statistically significant, there must be a large sample size to pull from. That’s where the traffic from SEO comes in. The more traffic that comes through a site, the more samples or “experiment sessions” you have to work with.

Not only does increased traffic mean that the data is more reliable, it can also speed up the testing process, as it will take less time for tests to reach a statistically significant result. This means more data in a shorter time frame, which leads to more optimization, which can lead to higher SERP rankings, which brings in even more traffic. This is what scientists call a positive feedback loop!

4. SEO and CRO make your site better.
The word “optimization” appears in both Search Engine Optimization and Conversion Rate Optimization for a reason. To optimize means to make something as efficient, as effective, or as perfect as possible. That’s what both SEO and CRO aim to do; make your site as good as it can possibly be.

It’s not enough to just have a website anymore.
Constant work has to be put into keeping your website visible, relevant, and attractive for users. Algorithms, design trends, traffic flows, and visitor tastes are always changing. Because of this, constant work has to be put into making your website attractive to users. The competition is high, but SEO and CRO are proven ways to make sure you are making the cut.

Rather than making changes based on “hunches”, CRO and SEO strategy rely on thorough research, data science, and applied analytics to make onsite recommendations. With scientific data and real user feedback (through user behavior data) to back it up, SEO and CRO take all the guesswork out of content and web design.

Summary: When it comes to choosing between Search Engine Optimization and Conversion Rate Optimization, the choice is clear: choose both! These two digital marketing techniques work together to create a website that not only attracts visitors, but converts them into customers. The big takeaway is this: SEO captures users’ attention, and CRO makes the sales.

Ashley Mae Biggerstaff