Why Conversion Rate Optimization is Guaranteed to Improve SEO Results
What is CRO?
“Conversion optimization is the science and art of creating an experience for a website visitor with the goal of converting the visitor into a customer.” – Wikipedia
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is normally implemented through conversion-focused design and copywriting in combination with ongoing A/B and multivariate tests. With testing, marketers can systematically prove that Version C of a website increased conversion and Version B decreased conversion over the original, Version A. After a series of tests, which individually demonstrate incremental improvements, revenue, and leads can be dramatically increased. CRO is consistently used at high-performing companies such as Amazon, Zappos, and Intuit, to name a few.
How does CRO improve SEO results?
While CRO does not directly improve search engine rankings (yet), CRO indirectly impacts several metrics which do affect rankings and the successfulness of an SEO initiative.
Improved Website Usage
The result of CRO is increased pageviews and increased time-on-site as visitors more effectively connect with their desired content and achieve their objectives. There is increasing evidence that website usage metrics are part of search engine algorithms.
Increased Social Activity
Similar to website usage metrics, social activity is a growing factor in search algorithms. Most social activity is related to a visitor’s experience, often a conversion or sale. Using CRO to better align a website with visitors’ needs will increase the frequency of positive website experiences, and thereby social activity. Additionally, for websites where social sharing are critical marketing goals, CRO can be applied directly to social sharing buttons and links.
Better Performing Title Tags & Descriptions
Title tag and website description optimization is an under-utilized component of many SEO campaigns, primarily because it is difficult to accurately test click-through rates (the Google Webmaster Tool can be a small help here). However, CRO can be utilized to find the proven and top-performing taglines, product descriptions and key benefits that convert your website visitors. This knowledge can be used when writing title tags to attract more visitors, and more importantly, better-targeted visitors.
More Accurate Conversion Data
Conversion rates on websites are often improved 10-100% through CRO. This results in increased conversion rate information on search keywords, particularly long-tail results. This data can be used to more accurately determine the correct distribution of budget to various target keywords.
Increased revenue is obviously the primary objective in any CRO campaign, but this revenue increase dramatically improves the return-on-investment on any SEO effort. Campaigns and content development initiatives that were not previously profitable are suddenly profitable. Selling budgets and proposals to managers are easier. Attribution issues are eased because of increased data.
In short, in addition to simply making a company more profitable, conversion rate optimization provides concrete benefits to every enterprise SEO campaign.
What SEO benefits of CRO have I missed? What correlations have you experienced with your own CRO efforts?
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