Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) can be effectively integrated into most marketing channels.
However, it is rarely systematically included in search engine optimization (SEO) campaigns, and that is often a mistake.
While SEO and CRO have well-defined roles (which we’ll explore next), they can also produce significant cumulative gains that outweigh the value of each individual role when used in isolation.
In this post, I share three of the top reasons companies are rethinking a more integrated approach to delivering SEO with CRO.
The role of SEO
Basically, SEO is capable of raising awareness and bringing relevant people to your website, ideally on the pages that are best suited to their search intent and the search queries used.
As an expansive form of earned media, SEO gives audiences a wide range of coverage, branding, and current presence throughout the information search and purchase process.
It is the understanding of the user’s desired results through their search behavior and the available datasets that enable SEO professionals to fuel the marketing funnel with amounts of inexpensive potential buyers.
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The role of the CRO
In contrast, CRO aims to maximize every website interaction in order to increase final inferred value.
Put simply, CRO aims to increase the value of what you already have and what you are acquiring.
Often times, the CRO can rest until the required traffic volume is reached to make meaningful decisions.
Or it can be paused until other resources are available, e.g. B. Developer time to implement website changes.
Both points are a mistake.
3 reasons why you need to incorporate CRO into SEO
The function of SEO does not end with a potential customer landing on a website.
In this case, customers would not see SEO as a consistent and always up-to-date element of their marketing strategy.
CRO doesn’t just pause until a certain number of people land on a website or a company can justify developer time to make changes.
The fact is, both these business and marketing specializations are always required in order to get closer to the optimal value of a website.
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It can be useful to view these disciplines as overlapping, rather than entirely different, subjects in order to create an environment for interaction between the two.
1. Most of the search options are pre-click
The term “conversion” can be developed further and support the goals of digital marketing before people land on a website.
A large part of the untapped opportunity in most search engine marketing is the gap between impressions (people who see your ad) and clicks (people who go to your website).
The optimization of the click-through-rate (CTR) is an increasingly active part of the provision of SEO and can be considerably supported by the CTA (deep-to-action) expertise of the CRO and SEO experts together.
What is a call to action?
Purchases are the most obvious use case for CTAs.
However, the top Calls to Action are often the ones that connect the leads to your brand before they decide to buy, for example:
- Email registrations.
- Content downloads.
- Free trials.
- Webinar registrations.
In digital marketing, the initial conversion barrier often overcomes the barrier of enticing a potential user to click on your ad and even land on your website.
2. Everything can work harder
While the focus on this post is on the value added by combining SEO and CRO, CRO can function perfectly on a holistic level and integrate CRO with other channels like PPC.
For companies, it is the attitude and ongoing expectation that “anything can work harder” that is what makes CRO the fore in SEO and other areas as well.
Typically, SEO is one of the biggest sources of traffic for a website. With the associated low cost per visit, SEO is an ideal partner for CRO.
As SEO increases the number of people who land on the commercially relevant parts of your website, CRO’s job is to constantly conduct iterative testing, continually learning, and refining experiences.
This link between specialized services is necessary to reduce waste and provide each department with the insights they need to do more to achieve business goals.
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As an example of this in action, consider the following approach:
- Both SEO and CRO experts focus on the same important service category page.
- SEO changes on the page include adding keywords in headings, expanding the content to accommodate new search intent, and technical updates to make the page appear in Google Rich Results.
- The CRO focus speeds up page load and provides access to related content that has prevented conversions in the past.
- It also features new CTA messages and placements to aid in reading promotions.
- While these changes are being made, the CRO team is also running an experiment on the page that shows a variation of the page with a new short form that shows 50% of the visitors.
- After 4 weeks in which this page is active, both the hits and the rankings for the page will increase.
- In addition, more people contact the company without leaving the site.
- The CRO experiment also shows that a persistent short form generates new conversions (this then flows into the next experiment on short form fields and placement).
Using the simple example above, you can see how the value derived from both services is improved.
In addition, the next actions and experiments are always taking place so that future profits can be made.
3. The solution is not getting more traffic
A huge focus of digital marketing is on increasing access to a website.
For SEO, this is more accurate than a paid search, which is not least due to the low comparative costs of the traffic acquired via the organic search channel compared to paid search.
This inexpensive traffic association with SEO can lead to undue waste when it comes to the revenue-generating potential of SEO.
As well as the entire location advantages that result from the additional use of CRO.
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Both SEO and CRO can effectively target any part of the buying funnel.
From awareness and interest to desire and action, everyone has a function to play in order to positively influence the results:
The more marketers and companies focus on tracking, influencing, and enhancing the collective value of marketing channels, the more marketing becomes increasingly invaluable and impactful.
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In-post image: BronHiggs, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
All screenshots by the author, October 2020