Oh man, people love the term “SEO.”
It’s a buzzword that many know they want, and they’re scrambling to get it. And for good reason. Search engine optimization is what’s going to improve your search ranking and drive visitors to your site. If someone types in “best shoe store” and you’re a shoe retailer, heck yeah you want your eCommerce site to show up at the top!
But what happens when visitors get to your site? Do they stay and look around? Do they bounce off and keep browsing their search engines? How do they decide that your site is right for them?
Sure, SEO will get them to your site, but what keeps them there?
This is where Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) comes in.
SEO and CRO are like peanut butter and jelly. Alone, they’re both helpful tools. Together, they combine forces to both drive people to your site, and then encourage visitors to complete a purchase when they get there.
So what exactly is CRO? It’s refining your site to inspire visitors to follow through with a conversion, whatever a conversion is for your particular business or campaign. It could be selling a product, downloading an e-book, signing up to a service…whatever you want to encourage visitors to do on your site, CRO helps guide them through the funnel. In essence:
Search Engine Optimization improves your website’s organic ranking
Conversion Rate Optimization increases the percentage of visitors who take action on your website (buying your products, calling for reservations, ordering a service)
How? There are lots of ways you can improve the CRO of your site, and at Epic, CRO is in all our web development equations (you could say we’re big fans, and that would be putting it lightly). For a quick, how-to guide of what you can do on your site, jump over to our blog post: Beginner’s CRO Guide: 10 Tips to Maximize Conversions. For a less quick, more in-depth conversation, contact us to learn more about how we can help turn your website in a high-performing, sales-converting machine.
But back to SEO and CRO…
How do you know if you need to focus on SEO or CRO? Or both?
It’s all in the analytics.
If droves of visitors are getting to your site, but your purchases rates are low, you know focus on CRO is in order. On the other hand, if your visitors are following through with high purchase rates (way to go!) and you know you want even more visitors to do the same, some investment in SEO will help boost that visitor number. Simple.
You can also make deductions based on data from marketing programs. Were people driven to your site from an email campaign, but then failing to make purchases once they’ve landed? You may know your marketing campaign is working because people are opening and clicking through, but you need to focus on keeping their attention and driving them toward conversions once they get where you want them.
Another way to think of it:
Let’s say you operate a banana stand at the county fair. You want people to know you’re there, so you ask for an overhead announcement telling everyone that if they’re hungry, your stand has fantastic frozen bananas. That’s the SEO. Now, you need to have everything in place (a nice stand, clear menu board, delicious recipes and payment options) so people buy your bananas once they get there.
Together, SEO and CRO work to bring visitors to your website and then encourage them to do what you want them to do once they’re there. It’s following through from beginning to end, optimizing your efforts all along the way. So take a look at how your site is performing. Where do your efforts need to focus? Often, there are WAY more answers than one to that question, but jointly leveraging SEO and CRO strategies is an excellent place to start.