If you’re a freelance writer, blogger, business owner or website builder, chances are you’ve heard two phrases over and over again: “SEO” and “conversion optimization.” While you probably won’t get very far in your field without understanding these two basic concepts, you may not know what either one means. In the ever-changing Internet and computer world, it’s tough to stay on top of trends even if your career depends on it.
What is Search Engine Optimization?
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It’s a way to get traffic to your website at no additional cost. It’s all in the wording; certain words are best suited for SEO because they’re searched often. The more of these words your website contains, the more often your site will appear in search results. In turn, the more visitors you’ll get to your website. For some site owners, that could mean more revenue and income.
What is Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)?
Conversion optimization is a bit trickier and more complicated than SEO, even though the two work together. Conversion optimization, also called “conversion rate optimization” or “CRO,” has to do with the homepage of a website. The homepage, or landing page, of a site is the first page that a consumer will see when they visit your URL. The idea of CRO is that this landing page has to entice visitors enough so that they go from guests to actual customers. If you don’t grab visitors at your landing page, you’ll probably lose them forever.
How do SEO and CRO work together?
SEO and CRO work together to multiply the website owner’s and business owner’s revenue earnings. The more people you can drive to your website with SEO, the more opportunity you have for gaining new customers with CRO. If you break down what each term means, it makes the most sense. Search engine optimization is designed to optimize the amount of visitors that are driven to your site from a standard search engine. Conversion rate optimization is designed to optimize the amount of visitors that convert to customers. Without one, the other doesn’t have much purpose. However, it can be tricky to utilize both tools on your website. For example, SEO words don’t always make for a strong landing page.
Landing Page Optimization
The landing page of your website should focus on one topic. This is the best way to increase both SEO and CRO. If consumers can’t make sense out of your website and easily figure out what service or product you’re selling, they’ll quickly move on to another site. You don’t have much time to grab your visitor’s attention once they’ve made their way to your site. The page that you want to use for CRO, i.e. the homepage, should have more SEO keywords than other pages of your website.
The headline or headlines on your homepage should be clearly stated. While you may think that a clever headline will be appealing to customers, the opposite is true. A headline that’s clear, straightforward and obvious will garner you more SEO and CRO results than a headline that’s cute and witty. On the same note, your homepage shouldn’t be clogged up with animation and useless images.
You also want to consistently and constantly update your website. Search engines like Google, for example, index pages higher if they’re updated frequently. The more fresh content your website and homepage have, the more easily Internet browsers will be able to find your site. The layout of the homepage is extremely important as well. You want to make sure that the proper hierarchy is represented on your homepage. The most important information should be at the top of the page. Secondary information should be moved down on the page and it should be in smaller font as well. This is key if you need to include SEO on the homepage but don’t feel that the SEO information is vital. You can carry out both SEO and CRO by moving less important SEO words farther down on the page.
About the Author
Sam Mauzy is an Internet marketer with a background in SEO. While he is slightly newer to conversion optimization, he is intrigued by the idea that improving your landing page design can make the difference between customers completing the sales funnel or clicking away to a competitor’s site.