The Relationship between SEO and CRO

by Jacob S

If you ask an amateur SEO what his job is, he’ll tell you that his job is to rank high in search engines to bring the highest number of visitors to the website. And, if you ask an amateur CRO what his job is, he’ll tell you that his job is to maximize the number of conversions on the website.

If you ask me, I’ll tell you that my job is to rank high in search engines to bring the highest number of visitors to the website and then, once they are there, employ techniques to maximize the number of conversions. I am, as you would say, a SEO/CRO hybrid.

And that’s the position you want to be in.

What is CRO?

CRO stands for conversion rate optimization. Basically, CRO is the act in which you optimize your website so that it is fully prepared to maximize the number of conversions. A conversion is a sale, a lead, or whatever else your ultimate goal is on the site.

The ultimate goal of CRO is to ensure that the website is generating the maximum amount of revenue–or whatever the conversion is–as possible. If they are not generating high numbers of conversions based on the amount of traffic coming to the site, something is wrong.

How Does SEO and CRO Mix?

The goal of SEO is to target keywords that will bring the highest number of visitors to the website. And the goal of CRO is to make it so those visitors can convert. But, they need to mix together to really maximize the site.

To do that, the SEO needs to pick keywords that put the user in an actionable mentality. Take, for example, jewelry. If I do a search for ‘diamond rings’, I am obviously doing research. Do I want a princess cut or a round cut diamond? Do I want platinum or gold? What about other stones on the ring? I am looking for information, but I am not in the buying mood.

If I were to rank for the keyword ‘diamond rings,’ the SEO inside me would be crazy happy. All of that traffic coming to the site would be phenomenal. The problem with that is if the site isn’t geared for lots of traffic–doesn’t rely on advertising for money–then all of that traffic is nothing.

Therefore, when picking the keywords, you want to find ones that are actionable. You want to find ones that elicit a response from the reader. Here are a few examples:

  • Buy Diamond Ring
  • Diamond Ring Sellers
  • Diamond Ring Sales

You get the idea.

The reason you are doing this is because, naturally, those are people that have one thing in mind: actually making the plunge.

But, wait!

It’s not just the SEOs job to optimize for the site, though. The CRO also has to ensure that optimization is perfect. To do that, there are a few things that he needs to do.

First, he needs to make sure that the site is showing some great looking images of the rings in the case of the ‘diamond ring’ keyword. The reason you want that is it encourages a response from the person. “Oh wow,” the nervous man might say, “that looks really nice.”

The second thing you want to do is make it as simple as possible to get to the product page and then make the purchase. I work for a company that, to get to the important pages, the user has to click three times. In three clicks, they’ve got all the information they could possibly want in front of them. That’s amazing. Therefore, when optimizing, make sure that you have made it as simple as possible to get the information.

Take, for example, Amazon. Ever notice that they have that “One Click Checkout” button. In one click, you’ve got the item. This is to ensure that people don’t back down and go, “Well…Maybe we won’t buy this.” With one click, you’ve got the sale.

Finally, you want to convert even the customer into a future customer. If you only sell diamond rings, this might not be important. But, if you sell anything else, you want them to come back to you.

To do this, make it so that they can subscribe to a newsletter, Twitter, Facebook or whatever else os they remember you. Maybe give a free shipping coupon code–or something equivalent–to everyone who subscribes to the newsletter. This way, you get the sale and you can also remind them that on Valentine’s Day, your honey will want a pair of earrings to go with that ring.

Successful SEO is Successful CRO

In the end, without CRO, SEO is totally useless. And without SEO, CRO just has an optimized page with no traffic. Therefore, you want to make sure that the two are working harmoniously with each other. Doing that maximizes your leads, maximizes your traffic, and maximizes your revenue.

Jacob owns BlogRevolter, a blog about how to get people to your blog and then keep them there for maximum profit. Be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook.