What is CRO and how is it different to SEO?
- 16 Dec 2019
- 6 minute
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a core website topic that has been talked about for years and years. The conversation about Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) however is not as loud. Agencies and clients alike still talk about SEO a lot, as drawing more traffic to a website still remains to be one of the big determiners of a website’s success. While SEO (and other off-site marketing techniques) is important to get your target audience to the content that you want them to see, it’s also just as important to look at your website’s Conversion Rate Optimisation to improve the value of the traffic.
What is Conversion Rate Optimisation?
Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is the practice of going deep into your website, landing page or ad to learn how your users interact with it, with the aim of boosting your conversion rates. CRO looks at a number of areas of the website to continuously test and improve:
- Page load speed
- Readability of text and content
- Relevance of content
- The impact of content
- Brand use
- Sitemap structure
- User interface elements on desktop and mobile (buttons, sliders, menus, animations, and so on)
What is a conversion?
In website terms, a conversion is simply a website user who has performed an action on the website that fulfills one of the goals set out by the website owner. Your goals should be things that contribute to your Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) that underpin the purpose behind your website. Some common ones are below:
- Receive a website enquiry
- Secure a strategy session appointment
- Receive a new product order
- Register a newsletter subscriber.
For most businesses, these goals are either revenue generating in their own right, or a step in the right direction towards converting a visitor into a lead and then into a customer.
How does CRO compliment SEO?
Both SEO and CRO are marketing activities that work at different stages of your website’s user experience. If you think about a brick and mortar store for a moment:
- SEO is akin to getting more people walking into your shop
- CRO is akin to increasing the odds of these same people buying something in your shop.
Given that both of these steps play an important role, it’s also easy to see that marketing efforts of getting more traffic and converting this traffic is as strong as your weakest link.
- If your website has a great user experience but no traffic, then no one is seeing your ‘great’ website
- If your website has lots of traffic coming in but you’re not able to convert the traffic, then your users are visiting your site but leaving soon after (and likely never to return again).
Benefits of CRO
1. Lower cost per sale
When you are using paid advertising to draw more traffic to your site, optimising your conversions will entice your users to buy from you more, lowering your cost per sale (the cost paid to make 1 sale) and achieving higher revenues.
2. Less user dissatisfaction
When users have a pleasant website experience, they are more likely to have a better impression of your brand. When users experience confusion or frustration using your site, will they come back again?
3. Better synergy with your SEO
When Conversion Rate Optimisation is actively implemented, your users will be more likely to share your content to others, which increases your natural SEO and organic traffic.
How can I get started with CRO?
Conversion Rate Optimisation is best done when you already have regular traffic on your website. However, if you’re starting a new website or business which doesn’t have much exposure, here are some basic things you can do:
- Make sure your website is not sluggish and loads reliably. Users simply do not want to wait long and will otherwise move on
- Run the ‘5 second test‘ on your website – if your website’s primary message is not shown on your home page within the first 5 seconds, then quickly give this some attention
- Read through your website copy and make sure your messaging is on point and has the right tone of voice. Do this slowly and repeatedly
- Optimise your website to work smoothly and intuitively for both desktop and mobile users. Check every page, every button, every link
- Get your friends, family and Facebook group members to provide you with feedback for your website. The feedback from this process will be valuable!
Are there web development companies that can do CRO for me?
At Bode Contagion, we understand that a holistic website marketing approach requires both generating traffic and optimising the traffic that lands on the site. Bode Contagion are experts in website based optimisation, which includes User Experience, CRO and on-page SEO. Lock in a strategy call with us to speak to us today. Alternatively, if you think this introduction to CRO will be helpful for a friend, feel welcome to share this content to them.