I’m sitting at my desk answering emails, starting to write a press release for a client and here comes a Linkedin update, CRO vs. SEO. So my first thought was CRO? So I clicked on it and sure enough the first comment was “great another acronym.” So it wasn’t just me that had a WTH moment. (Note: effective use of an acronym, where you don’t need an urban dictionary to figure out what the person is trying to say).
So I started into this article that had the premise of you should be paying attention to CRO, conversion rate optimization for the rest of us, vs. SEO. /insert sound of tires screeching to a halt here.
Really, why would anyone ever write an article that pits the two of these things against each other? What is the point of SEO if not to create a conversion? Well, I read the article over and I wish there was not only a dislike button but a BS button. The article was trying to say these were two separate disciplines, which some can argue they are. But that you should look at the ROI (yet another acronym) independently and which gains you more.
Now I get that conversion management is something that is talked a lot about by PPC SEM types (keeping the acronyms going). But a good SEO type should also be concerned with connversion. What are you serving the user when they land on your page? And how do you take that informational page that often falls in another part of the funnel and acutally monetize the page? But yeah, that is not what this article was about. It wasn’t even about SEM vs. SEO.
Everything I read these days is trying to make the case that SEO lives in solitary confinement. I think that’s a very old-school view of things. SEO is labor intensive across multiple disciplines. PPC is different, labor intensive, but usually its one guy running the whole thing. The statement that I’ll put traffic at your door but its up to you to make them buy is so 2002. CRO is only one more thing an SEO firm needs to be concerned with. If the site ranks but can’t convert, there is a huge issue there. Users are getting smarter, and if the page doesn’t address the needs of the user, almost immediately the user has bounced back to Google, hopped over to Amazon, or sprinted to a niche site that better aligns with what they want.
SEO and CRO are soulmates. Every click you get on great content must have a plan for conversion. Every page you put up must have a targeted audience in mind. Take me for a minute. I write my blog with several purposes. First and foremost it is to provide information on everything web site related in hopes that someone may see the article, become educated, and not make huge dollar mistakes by hiring the wrong person. I am convinced that there are very few people that know how to do this all correcly. And I’m even more convinced that we are one of a few that will deal with smaller business, and actually know what we are doing. So I guess you could say my blog helps me demonstrate our 20+ years of experience. And third, my blog is so that I can gain social engagement, so that it helps my SEO business. As time passes our phone rings more and more with people asking if we can help them solve their problems. A ringing phone is also known as a conversion.
There must be a balance on a website, and everything you do should’t be done just to chase Google (which is what SEO implies), more over it should be for your end user. Ah, you say that is CRO. No, it’s just good SEO, and now Google is looking at all of those things and has raised the bar yet again.