First thing’s first: search engine optimisation (SEO) and conversion rate optimisation (CRO) are not enemies. Ever since user experience has become one of the key components of CRO, many businesses started thinking SEO is dead, and some of them even discounted the benefits of SEO and painted CRO as the new hero.
UX Vs. SEO
However, the reality is that for a site to achieve its goals, it must invest in both SEO and CRO. While the two are different entities, they share the same goal—which is to provide results for the site. Of course, they could and would intersect with each other, and when that happens, it is easy to assume that they’re conflicting but if you look at the bigger picture, they are just working in different ways.
In the heydays of SEO in the early 2000s, many SEO companies employing techniques that are considered unethical these days, some of which cared less about user experience. When Google rolled out updates to prioritise user experience, websites that benefited from the old school SEO methods saw their rankings fall down. Today, Google wants websites to prioritise UX so SEO techniques must be aligned with that goal. However, Google’s algorithm still heavily relies on non-UX signals, such as keyword placement, H1 tags, and so on.
Do They Affect Each Other?
According to experts from both sides of the fence, yes—but it could be manageable. For example, CRO changes would have little to no effects on the SEO ranking of a site if they are done on non-indexed pages. However, it is also worth noting that changes done on either SEO or CRO could dramatically affect each other. This is why A/B testing has been the go-to solution of marketers; tests are done to know the risks of carrying either SEO- or CRO-centric changes.
As marketing gurus say, it is all about finding the right balance between the two. You can’t afford to let go of the other just to please the other; you need both SEO and CRO to maintain a perfectly balanced website—a website that gets good traffic and converts.
A 1-2 Punch Combo
The formula is simple: SEO brings in free traffic, and CRO converts them. With this, it would be a grave sin for a site to solely focus on one. By focusing too much on CRO, you might be missing other important SEO-centric factors such as including the main keywords on the page. And by paying too much attention to SEO, you will hurt CRO by including links that will prompt visitors to leave the site. In a nutshell, every website must focus their attention to both to get the right balance.
There are several ways how you can improve your site’s SEO and CRO simultaneously. These hit-two-birds-with-one-stone techniques have been proven to complement SEO and CRO campaigns:
- Ensuring the website is mobile-friendly. Google favours sites that are mobile-friendly, and most searches today are made through mobile devices, so it is essential for businesses to pay attention to the mobile-friendliness of their sites.
- Improving load speed. A website that has shorter loading time is more likely to be ranked higher by Google, plus it has more chances at retaining the attention of visitors, which could lead to conversion.
- Displaying HTTPS protocol. HTTPS protocols are important for Google and users. If your site doesn’t display such protocol, it’s very likely that Google will penalise it, compromising your SEO efforts. Additionally, when users see that you don’t have an HTTPS protocol displayed, you can bet that they’ll not trust your site.
We Agree, It’s a Complex Thing to Understand
If you see yourself squinting your eye trying to understand all the things we’ve written on this content, don’t blame yourself. Understanding how CRO and SEO affect each other and how you can make them work together is indeed no easy task. This is why it is important for business owners to regularly consult with professionals who can help you comprehend the trends in today’s digital marketing world.
Your website needs to have the winning formula for SEO and CRO for it get traffic and to convert. With the help of an agency that eats CRO, SEO, and anything in between for breakfast, your business will be able to reach its goals this 2019. Call us or shoot us an email to know how your website’s SEO and CRO could be improved.