Why conversion rate optimisation is important for SEO

16 December 2016

When it comes to optimising a site, it’s easy to focus on earning more traffic and gaining ranking success. For any business, it’s clearly beneficial to have more visitors to your site. However, visitors don’t necessarily equate to sales or profit. For SMEs especially, it can be much better to focus resources on conversion rate optimisation to really utilise the traffic and visitors that a site is already getting, rather than trying to attract more. Despite a shift in focus sometimes being required between CRO and SEO, this doesn’t mean the two are independent of each other. Indeed, conversation rate optimisation is an important factor in SEO success. To understand the relationship between the two, it’s important to understand exactly what conversion rate optimisation is and how it can impact your website.

So, what is CRO?

Simply put, conversion rate optimisation is a means of increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that convert into customers or, more generally, take a desired action on a webpage.

If the desired action is, for example, to sign up for a newsletter, then CRO for the page would have the ultimate goal of increasing the number of visitors who click to sign up. On the surface, it may seem that to achieve better sign up numbers, work would simply need to be done on the call to action button, with some A/B testing to determine where improvements can be made. Whilst this would answer the question of ‘which is the best call to action’, comprehensive conversion rate optimisation delves much deeper than just examining the final engagement that triggers the conversion. Instead, the process looks at every step of the visitor journey and the factors that persuade them to take the plunge:

  • CRO assesses whether the design of the site is user friendly and intuitive
  • CRO examines whether the copy is engaging enough to lead the user towards a conversion.
  • CRO analyses the hierarchy to determine if it is easy to use.

User signals

Looking at these factors is at the heart of CRO and helps to identify exactly where users are straying from their intended conversion journey. When users deviate from an onsite conversion journey, these are commonly known as user signals. It is these signals that bring CRO back to work alongside SEO. The most common user signals include:

  • Bounce rate
  • Click through rate
  • Time on page
  • Number of pages visited
  • Engagement with content

How does this affect SEO?

These user signals are not only a sign that your page isn’t creating the correct journey to a conversion, but also an illustration that the overall quality of the page might not be good enough. Google assesses factors such as click through rates and time spent on a page when determining where a page can be ranked. For example, if your page has a high bounce rate this may illustrate to Google that your content isn’t engaging or relevant enough. If the time spent on a page proves to be very short, it may seem like the content doesn’t contain the answers the user was looking for. With user intent becoming increasingly important in SEO, signs like this can negatively impact Google rankings.

The good news is that conversion rate optimisation and search engine optimisation can work extremely well together. Great SEO copy is well-written, engaging and unique and those are the exact qualities that conversion-driving copy also possess. A visually engaging site that is easy-to-use will have far more success in leading a user to convert, as well as encouraging them to spend more time on the page itself. It’s vital to consider on-site optimisation of any kind not as entirely separate processes, but as several factors of the same strategy which can affect and inform each other.

If you’re looking to convert more of your web visitors or want to understand more about the user journey on your website, Wagada are here to help. Get in touch and let Wagada wake up your website.