How to Use SEO to Improve Conversion Rate Optimization

Shane Barker
Sep 22, 2017 · 3 min read

One of the best parts about search engine optimization is that not only is organic traffic some of the most valuable you can get, you can use the process of SEO to optimize your conversion rate as well. When it comes to improving your website’s conversion rate, your SEO audit tool is your best friend.

What Is Conversion Rate Optimization?

Wikipedia defines “conversion rate optimization” as “a system for increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that convert into customers, or more generally, take any desired action on a webpage.”

Boil that down and it’s basically finding out where and why users abandon the conversion, and then fixing it.

The key concept behind CRO is maximizing the value of your traffic, not necessarily getting new visitors to your site. This distinction really matters. Forcing more water through a leaky pipe will fill your bucket, but fixing the pipe will save you time and money doing it.

Now, a short vocab lesson. While some of you might be familiar with these concepts, everyone should know them.

  • Conversion: The desired action you want a user to take on your website. This could mean anything from a purchase to an email sign-up. It’s anything that turns a site visitor to a customer or lead.
  • Conversion rate: This is the percentage of website visitors who finish the conversion process. You can calculate this mathematically as (Number of conversions/Total number of website visitors) * 100.
  • Call-to-Action (CTA): A directive to the user to take an instant action. Usually, CTA buttons (or links) use vocabulary like “buy,” “sign up,” or “order,” but this depends on your website’s goal. CTAs also typically use “now” or some other timely word to create a sense of urgency.
  • Conversion/Sales funnel: This is the path visitors take to conversion. This could be, for example, a funnel of home page, category page, product page, and finally, checkout.
  • Exit rate: The rate of users who leave your site after viewing a page. This isn’t the same as a bounce rate, because it also includes people who land on the page from elsewhere on your site.
  • Abandonment rate: The rate of people who leave the conversion funnel before completing the desired action. This is sometimes known as “shopping cart abandonment rate.”

How Does SEO Improve CRO?

Mobile Friendliness

But hey, you might be thinking, mobile users don’t convert anyways. Well, hay is for horses.

True, mobile conversion rate is generally below half of desktop conversion rate. But when you break that down by device, you see that tablet conversion rate is about even with desktop, and smartphone conversion rate is trending up every year.

Audit to gauge your website’s mobile friendliness will show you where you can improve your mobile user experience to make users more likely to convert:

Read the full article on Shane Barker’s Digital Marketing blog.

Shane Barker

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Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant that specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic and website conversions. #InfluencerMarketing Writer for INC.