There has always been an old age discussion around whether CRO & SEO get in each other’s way. In this article I am going to show dispute this myth and explain why I think they are in fact, a match made in heaven.
CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation) is essentially optimising your website to increase conversions. It is one of the most important aspect of the digital marketing spectrum. You can have all the traffic in the world but if you have a conversion rate of 0%, then who cares?
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is focused on optimising your website to rank as high as possible on google and in turn generate further traffic for your site.
There might be cases where your SEO consultant is pushing for long content and quick loading page, where as your CRO consultant want short snappy content with plenty of click to actions. Therefore, businesses need to work towards the two strategies aligning & how rankings and conversions complement each other.
1. User behaviour will Influence your rankings.
SEO & CRO are becoming more aligned by the way that googles algorithm is changing. If you are ranking in the top 10 for a desired keyword, and you steadily drop over a period, it’s an indication that your result is not relevant. The lower your CTR is compared to competitors for this keyword and the less your behaviour metrics on analytics are, the lower google are going to rank you.
The image above shares an example where a page talking about ‘how to get quality backlinks’ was ranking 6th for ‘how to get high’. This ranking dropped as clearly someone looking to get high would not want to read an article about link building in that instance. This shows how CRO & User behaviour influences your SEO rankings.
2. Think Mobile First
Google become mobile first index in 2018, it is now a huge factor in the way websites rank. This is due to the fact mobile users have increased dramatically over the last 10 years. Not only to SEO’s need to think mobile first but so does your CRO consultant as mobile user experience is going to affect both in the long run.
A great example of this is ResponseiQ call back widget which has a mobile & desktop version. Each version is created with a specific user in mind to increase call conversions on your website
3. Find a middle ground
From experience there is always a way of optimising a page correctly for SEO, while ensuring that the page is able to convert.
Let me give you an example here and how this can be easily fixed.
SEO consultants want long content on the page, CRO consultant want’s more empathises on getting users to enquire.
A good designer would easily be able to tackle this problem by using accordions to ensure there is an ability to have as much content as possible, but also limiting how much it asks the user to scroll by using an accordion.
4. Embrace the crossover
There is so much cross over between the 2, at times you’ll be working on one while improving the other. Below are a few areas where you can both make incremental improvements across each.
– Title tag optimisation
Of course we advise you optimise your page’s title tag with the keyword you want to rank for, but use CRO techniques to ensure the heading is clever & clear to increase click through rate, this will generate further traffic & further conversions.
– Meta Descriptions
Although meta descriptions are notoriously discussed within SEO, they probably sit more with a CRO consultant who would understand what language is going to get someone to click from the search engine results page to your website.
5. Without Strong SEO, How do you test CRO?
CRO & SEO do not have to get in each other’s way. I have always thought about the connection like this. SEO + CRO = Increased higher converting traffic. SEO will increase your search visibility and traffic and your CRO work will convert that traffic into customers.
To test CRO effectively you need to have traffic flowing through the website.
So when you ask yourself, should I be focusing on CRO or SEO, Remember that user behaviour affects SEO & User behaviour is affected by CRO. Do both for the best results.
Author: Michael Ryan is an SEO consultant based in Essex. His approach is to provide ROI-led transparent SEO consultancy.