CRO stands for conversion rate optimization, and it works in tandem with search engine optimization in the operation of a successful digital strategy. Conversion optimization is all about improving the user experience, which is what search engines like Google look for when they deliver results to users – they want to give their own users a good experience and can only do so if they deliver high-quality websites. CRO can be thought of as an element of SEO, or at least a parallel strategy to SEO.
A Holistic Strategy
Years ago, SEO used to involve using all the right keywords at the right places, and it worked because chances were your competitors had never even heard of SEO. Tricks like putting hundreds of keywords in a background-colored font at the bottom of the page worked for a while, but SEO has come such a long way from its early days; it is almost unrecognizable. SEO nowadays is a much more holistic strategy, revolving around keeping users on a site for longer and giving them what they want – including inventive and attention-grabbing content. Normally, when somebody buys a product, it suggests a good enough experience on a website to follow through and part with their money. They have been converted from a viewer to a customer. CRO involves optimizing a site to make it as easy as possible for customers to use a site and be converted – whether they buy a product or interact with the site in some way (sending you a message, leaving comments, sharing content, etc.).
Similarities with SEO
CRO uses many of the same ideas that technical SEO marketing companies have been using for years:
- Testing areas on your website and constantly improving
- Conducting both qualitative and quantitative research
- Carrying out competitor analysis to see what’s working
- Creating user experience road maps
It is a bit misleading to speak of similarities with SEO because getting visitors to enjoy enough value from a site to convert benefits your SEO goals. Google monitors how long visitors spend on each site, as well as how much content from each site is being interacted with and shared to social media.
What do they share?
In a Venn Diagram, CRO and SEO share a lot of area in common but don’t completely overlap. Here are some ways to make the most of the areas they share.
- Keep things simple: They both reduce links per page to pass more value to linked pages; this reduces distractions and increases conversion rate too. Have an idea of your most important pages.
- Tell stories: People love stories, so have some humanity and give people text that keeps them on the site with stuff they can learn about
- Relevant content: Use your keywords throughout your content and make it enjoyable, interesting and – most importantly for SEO – original
- Uses Social Proof: Show your visitors that if they convert, they won’t be alone. Use social proof testimonials and pack your site with reviews.
- Increases your site speed: A vital part of SEO that Google looks for is if your site is laser-fast, as people won’t get annoyed by loading times and leave.
Take a look at this infographic for more ways to boost your e-commerce SEO.