Conversion rate optimization (CRO) and search engine optimization (SEO) are seen as integral to the success of a business online. However, this can sometimes cause problems, as the best practice guidelines for each can contradict each other.
SEO focuses on making changes to a website to help it it rank higher on Google. This is vital in getting more traffic to your site — and more traffic means more potential customers. Then, we have CRO. This is a system for increasing the percentage of site visitors that take a desired action. These actions could be anything from completing an order to filling out a form.
But the real task is managing both of these activities at once. Each of them is necessary for the smooth running of your website – so how do you deal with the fact that they don’t always like to work together? Here we take a look at some of the important ways that you can optimize for conversions while still improving your SEO.
Find a Page Speed Balance
One of the key battlegrounds between SEO and CRO is page speed. In general, SEO benefits from faster page loading speeds. But many tactics CRO, like high-definition images or smart graphics, will slow pages down. Page load speed is a direct ranking factor, so it is vital that you find a good balance.
To start, those high-quality images can be compressed so they take up less space load faster. Faster page speeds will benefit CRO as well, as visitors are less inclined to click away from a site that loads quickly.
Ultimately, you need your site to look great, but still be able to load quickly.
Ensure Banners Do Not Take up Too Much Space
Large banner images can be an extremely useful technique in terms of improving your CRO. When a banner draws the attention of visitors, it encourages sales.
Take a look at this sale banner on children’s luxury clothing retailer Childsplay, below. The banner is large and eye-catching, but does not cover up the majority of the page. Visitors to the site can still clearly see the products beneath the banner without having to scroll.
Banners that push the main content below the fold are a hindrance to SEO because they may cause customers may click away from the page. This example is a sensible compromise between the two.
Ensure Your Content Marketing and Link Building is Targeted
It is a myth that SEO and CRO strategies are in opposition to one another – in fact, in many instances you will find that they actually work best in connection. A great example of this comes in content marketing and link building. Great content is the cornerstone of any strong website, but your content marketing strategy and link building are truly key to SEO.
When you get links from powerful and targeted sites, they can be extremely valuable. Not only are you getting the SEO benefits of a link from a well-ranked site, but also the potential for highly targeted traffic.
Conducting link building in 2020 needs to be done with extreme care. Google likes seeing you get links from strong sites, but if these links are not earned, Google may penalize your site.
Many businesses consider SEO and CRO to be in opposition, when in truth is, they need to be working in tandem. Any planning around CRO should also take into consideration how it will affect SEO – and vice versa. These two vital facets of digital marketing are far more effective when they are deployed together, rather than having them run in isolation.
Ensure that your digital marketing staff communicates often on these issues in order to ensure that you are following best practices from both perspectives.
This article was contributed by Chester Avey. Chester has over a decade of experience in Business Growth Management and Digital Marketing. He enjoys sharing his knowledge with other like-minded professionals through his writing.