Marketing experts often compare ideas with each other to understand which ones can be the most effective to achieve business goals. However, sometimes comparing two marketing strategies can be like comparing apples with oranges. Such is the case with SEO and CRO. Although they may be categorically different, any experienced SEO company will use them simultaneously to complement each other.
In this article, we are going to discuss the purpose of SEO and CRO and how specialists can share the data to complement each other.
What Is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are techniques that can improve a website’s visibility and rank on search engines like Google. These search engines use web crawlers to understand and determine the relevance of a website and rank them accordingly on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). SEO experts use specific techniques to ensure that the web crawlers can access the content of a website and render it so that they can rank higher for organic searches.
What Is CRO?
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is known as digital experience optimization, personalization, or AB testing. It is the process of enhancing a visitor’s experience on a website to increase conversions. The purpose of CRO is not only to increase sales, but also increase subscription, sign-ups, and app downloads.
CRO specialists often formulate hypotheses and conduct experiments based on variants of these hypotheses. The results of these experiments are used to determine the versions that can achieve the best results.
The Relationship Between SEO and CRO
SEO and CRO may not be comparable, but they are heavily dependent on each other. Most companies think that they only need to invest in SEO techniques. However, reaching out to the target market and getting people to visit the website will not be enough to generate revenue. Once a person visits the company’s website, he or she must feel attracted to interact with the brand.
The interaction can be in the form of purchasing a product or service, providing an email address, opting up for newsletters, or signing up for a free trial. Without CRO, SEO may rank a website high on search engines and attract several visitors. However, the SEO efforts will have a low ROI because these numbers will not get reelected on the revenue.
On the other hand, SEO is also equally essential because, without enough inflow of visitors, CRO will not be able to convert many users. So if companies think that they can only use CRO methods to generate revenue, they won’t be able to progress much. Getting a high ranking on an organic search may not be the only way to attract customers to a website. But it is one of the most effective ones to ensure large volumes of visitors.
In a nutshell, the objective of SEO is to attract more visitors to a website, whereas the purpose of CRO is to convert those visitors into customers. That is why a business must invest in both of them to ensure the maximization of their website’s ROI and revenues. Contrary to popular belief, CRO tests do not hurt SEO as long as search engines are kept in mind while conducting them.
How to Use CRO Without Affecting SEO?
AB Tests Without Cloaking
Cloaking is one of the biggest concerns when it comes to SEO getting affected by CRO tests. Cloaking is the process of hiding any changes made to the website to search engine bots. That means a user will experience the new changes, whereas the website will appear the same to search bots. However, cloaking is a violation of Google’s guidelines, and hiding user experience changes or tests can result in the website getting penalized. Therefore CRO specialists should not use cloaking methods while conducting tests on websites.
URL Redirects for Tests
When CRO experts are conducting experiments that will substantially change a webpage, they often place a URL on the site that takes visitors to another page. Redirecting is allowed by Google, but it advises CRO specialists to use canonical tags. These tags are essential for Google to distinguish between the original URL and the one getting tested so that it does not index the wrong one.
If the test URL gets indexed by Google, it can affect the search engine ranking adversely. Google also recommends that CRO experts must use temporary redirects rather than permanent ones for tests.
As we can see, SEO and CRO are complementary strategies that must get used in correlation to achieve better ROI and revenues. That includes the sharing of data generated by analyzing real visitors and buyer personas. SEO data can show the pages that are generating the most traffic so that they can be tested for better conversation rates. SEO data can also reveal the trending queries for the target audience, so CRO tests can determine if using the words in the content generates more conversion.