SEO & CRO: Do Conversions & Rankings Go Hand in Hand?

The short answer to this is, yes. However, all too often, we think of conversion rate optimisation (CRO) and search engine optimisation (SEO) as distinctly different elements of our marketing, often with different teams working on them to reach their objectives.

In most cases, the objectives are the same (more conversions and more revenue). However, the two can differ on their way of achieving this. For example, an SEO specialist may want to create a landing page with keyword-relevant, long-form content and small easy to load images, while the CRO expert may want short, to the point text and big images. The problem is that they are both correct. The SEO specialist wants to get traffic to the site using their methods, while the CRO expert wants to make sure the visitors on the site convert. 

While there may be a slight conflict between these two entities, they have to work together to get results. As such, specialists in the two fields have been starting to work together more and more in order to coordinate their strategies. 

This is happening much more naturally than you would expect, with Google recently publishing an article about the ways that search is changing and becoming smarter. 

In the article, Google identified user behaviour as one of the factors that it takes into account when deciding on its rankings. As the goal of the search engine is to provide the best possible results for users, it makes sense that how they interact with a website once they get there should be taken into consideration. This means is that the websites that provide the best experiences for searchers that visit them will be the most successful on the search engine results pages.

The following are some of the best techniques that your business can employ to influence both SEO and CRO positively.

Mobile-Friendliness

Google has been talking about its mobile-first indexing since early 2018, and it has since become a major factor in determining the ranking of websites. Optimising your site for mobile users will benefit both SEO and CRO as users are more also likely to convert on a site that they have a good mobile experience with. By 2021, it is estimated that mobile will have a share as high as 73% of the online purchasing market, which means that going forward, a good mobile experience will be more important than ever for increasing your business’ digital sales.  

Speed Up Load Times

Slow page load times affect both CRO and SEO due to the bounce rate issues that they cause. If a user clicks on your page from the search results, it takes too long to load, and the user clicks away, this counts as a bounce. This obviously impacts your conversion rates negatively. In addition, a poor bounce rate will indicate to Google that users are not finding what they are looking for on your sire, which will affect rankings due to the search engine’s new consideration of user behaviour metrics. As such, you should aim for your site to load in two seconds or less.

A/B Test

A/B testing is one of the core features of CRO. Marketers aiming to improve their conversion rate will naturally test a number of elements of their page such as the layout, forms, calls to action, and content to ensure traffic is driven to the version of their pages that are most likely to convert. This method has been mostly overlooked for SEO. However, it is now becoming increasingly important. 

In order to carry out the most effective A/B tests for your site, you need to understand the customers who are visiting your website in terms of their demographics, their buyer persona, the intent behind their visit and how they behave when they get there. Once you know these details, you are better placed to create effective content and try out different versions of it using A/B testing.

Improve User Experience

We’ve mentioned user experience (UX) throughout this article. It has become a major factor for both SEO and CRO and today’s marketers are starting to really focus on finding the best ways to not only attract customers but to ensure they get what they are looking for from the website. Google has released guidelines for webmasters to improve UX on their site. Some of the most effective ways to do this include allowing guest checkout, including site search, improving CTAs and simplifying forms. All of these are relatively easy to implement but are likely to generate significant results.

 

For more information on this article, or for help with your SEO strategy, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the digital marketing experts at the Lead Agency.