If you want to sell more products, get more clients or increase profits, you first need to attract people. As any SEO company will tell you – how can you convert website visitors if there’s no one on your website in the first place?
Optimising your website for conversions (CRO) and optimising your website for search engine visibility (SEO) are two of the most important things you can do for online success.
Although CRO and SEO have been considered separate strategies, they actually have a lot of overlap.
Forget trying to answer the question “which one should I focus on?”. Both SEO and CRO work best when they’re working together.
In this post we’ll dive into some practical ways you can use SEO and CRO together. But first, let’s get the basics out of the way.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the art of improving your website so that it shows higher on a search engine’s organic (non-paid) results.
Why do you want to do that? The more visibility that your website gets for relevant search terms, the more likely people will click through to your website.
There are two key concepts that an SEO company keeps at the heart of their strategies:
- Search term – this is what people are typing into the search engine. Your aim is to create content that’s optimised for the actual terms people are searching for.
- Search intent – this is the reason why a person is making the search. It could be that they want to buy something, they want answers to a question or they’re trying to find a certain website.
You want to create content that addresses both the search term and the search intent. Why? Because that’s what Google’s algorithm preferences.
There’s also a lot of other factors which determine whether Google will show your website higher in the results. These include mobile-friendliness, fast load speed and better user experience – factors that overlap with CRO.
What is CRO?
Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is the art of improving your website to gain more leads and improve conversion rate.
A “conversion” can be any action someone takes that you deem desirable. Conversions will vary from website to website, depending on what your business goals are.
For an online retail store, the primary conversion will be the sale of a product. But you might also have micro-conversions like signing up to a newsletter or adding a product to the shopping cart.
To be successful at driving up your conversion rate, CRO should be based on some hard data. Start by tracking the way people behave on your site so you know what pages of your website to focus on. You can also gather useful information from customers through surveys.
5 Tips for using SEO and CRO to rank and convert better
While they are distinct processes, it’s easy to see how SEO and CRO overlap and influence each other.
- You can’t convert site visitors if there’s no one on your site in the first place.
- Optimising your website for conversions can actually improve your Google rankings by making your website more trustworthy and user friendly.
Let’s get down to some practical applications. Here are 5 ways to use SEO and CRO together to improve your rankings and drive up conversions.
Create content based on search intent
As mentioned above, a person’s search intent is the reason why they’re searching.
Google has improved its algorithm over the years to better recognise a searcher’s intent. So creating content that addresses that intent is important for your Google rankings.
Make sure you address searcher intent right from the title tag and meta description of your page. These are the first things someone will see and can determine whether or not they will click through to your site.
When you focus on creating content that’s optimised for searcher intent, you’ll get more qualified traffic. Plus, the people who come to your website get what they’re looking for.
Keeping search intent front and centre will create higher satisfaction for your visitor, lower bounce rates and increase conversions.
Provide value-adding content
Don’t just create content that hits the right keywords, make sure it’s adding value to your potential customers.
Aim for longer, more useful and original content as this will engage your audience better, build trust and grow your authority – three things Google loves.
The E-A-T acronym tells us that Google will reward websites that display Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness.
But it’s not just Google that likes high quality content – users do too. A strong marketing strategy understands that quality content will drive up conversions.
Make shareable content
So you’ve gone to the effort of creating high quality, value-adding content for your website. Now you should make it easy for readers to share it.
The more your content is shared, the more others will see it and the more visits you’ll have to your website. Plus more shares is more social proof of your authority and trustworthiness – and we know Google likes this.
When another website or social media platform has a link pointing back to your website, you show Google that people think you’re a site worth sharing.
Shareable content can also help you access new audiences on social media and grow your relationship with them. A great way to increase warm leads and conversions.
How to get more shares? Add share buttons to all your blog posts. Consider showing how many other people have shared it to encourage others to do the same. You can also include an embed code under graphics you have created.
Optimise for mobile
Did you know more than half of search traffic comes from mobile? Ignoring mobile users is a huge mistake!
Optimise your website for mobile and you’ll dramatically increase the user experience for mobile users. When they can quickly find the information they need, they’re more likely to stay longer on your site and take the next steps towards conversion.
Google loves mobile friendly sites, so optimising for mobile is not just about CRO. It’ll improve your SEO too.
Improve page load speed
One of the biggest reasons why people bounce from a site is slow load speed. You have about 3 seconds to capture someone’s attention before they leave and jump onto a competitor’s site.
Try these tips to speed up your website:
- Reduce HTTP requests
- Optimise images
- Minify files
- Reassess your hosting
Not only will a faster website improve user experience and drive up conversions, it’s also good for your search engine rankings. Again, Google preferences websites that are faster to load.
Time to optimise!
Don’t get caught up on whether you should focus on CRO or SEO. As we’ve shown, focusing on one will help the other perform better too.
Get started by creating high quality, shareable content that’s optimised for user intent. Then knuckle down on faster load speeds and mobile friendly designs.
Don’t forget to test and measure your results along the way so you can keep improving both SEO and CRO for your website!