Conversion rate optimization (CRO) and search engine optimization (SEO) are seen as integral to the success of a business online – but this can be something of a problem because in some instances the best practice guidelines for each can contradict each other.
SEO focuses on making changes to a business’ website in order that it ranks higher on Google. This is vital in getting more traffic to your site; more traffic means far more potential customers. CRO is the discipline that attempts to get more sales on the site – after all, there is no getting lots of people on your site if no-one is buying.
But the real question is how well it is possible to manage both of these activities at once. Each of them is necessary for the smooth running of your business – so how do you deal with the fact that they don’t always appear to work together? Here we take a look at some of the important ways that you can optimize for conversations 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, while many of the tactics and techniques of CRO – high-definition images or smart graphics – will slow pages down. Page loading speed is a direct ranking factor too, so it is vital that you find a good balance.
The truth is that high-quality images can be compressed so that they do not take up too much space and can load quickly. Additionally, it should be pointed out that faster page loading speed can actually hugely benefit CRO too, as visitors are less inclined to get frustrated and click away from a site that loads quickly.
Ultimately you need to find an option that gives you both a website that looks great but also one that loads as quickly as possible.
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 can draw the attention of the visitor, they can encourage sales.
Take a look at the sale banner on children’s luxury clothing retailer Childsplay below. The banner is large and eye-catching but it is also important to note that it does not cover up the majority of the page. Visitors to the site can still see the products beneath the banner, so they have not been pushed below the fold.
Banners that push the main content below the fold are a hindrance to SEO due to the fact that customers may click away from the page if they can’t see any further content. 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 a strong website, but your content marketing strategy and link building are truly key to SEO.
When you get build links from powerful and targeted sites, it 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 so with extreme care. Google likes to see sites getting links from strong sites, but if these links are not earned, they can penalize the site.
It is the case that many businesses consider SEO and CRO to be in opposition when the truth is actually that they need to be working harmoniously. Any planning surrounding CRO should also encompass a great deal of thought about how this will affect your 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.