Normally, search engine optimization (SEO) and conversion rate optimization (CRO) would be two completely separate topics, but following the common threads between them can have a major impact on your business.
Increasing website traffic and ranking higher is the first and arguably, the most important step towards the ultimate goal – conversions.
It’s all about the user experience. If done right, SEO will most certainly boost your conversion rates.
Page Load Speed
Every marketer in the world can tell you that website loading speed is one of the key factors that directly influence both SEO and CRO.
For that reason alone, the Google algorithm deems it an essential ranking factor. In fact, 70% of online shoppers’ decision to buy is affected by page load speed and almost 90% say that slow loading is the main reason for abandoning the said page.
In short, if a page takes more than two seconds to load, it’s bad news. Every additional second increases the bounce rate exponentially. Nobody likes a slow website, regardless of its quality content and/or beautiful design.
Have no fear! You can expand your toolset with PageSpeed Insights. As the name suggests, this diagnostic tool can provide some handy tips to improve your website performance.
More often than not, the cause of lag is usually trivial and manageable, but if the problem is rooted deeper, it’s advisable to seek professional aid.
If you own a small business, we recommend hiring local web development professionals because they’re directly engaged with your community. If you live in Chicago, Google web development Chicago to get the most relevant results.
Your website navigation needs to be seamless in order to positively influence your conversion rate, as well as your ranking on search engines. When browsing through products and/or services, your users want to find what they search for quickly and efficiently.
You need to implement a search bar, internal links, include various category and filter options (if needed) or present visitors with a mapped experience by carefully designing their journey.
So, how to improve your website navigation?
Consistency is essential, so keep it streamlined and logical. If your navigation is constantly changing throughout pages, visitors will lose interest.
Divide categories clearly. If your navigation menu contains multiple categories, they MUST be clearly and visually defined.
Use accurate headings. Your visitors may know what they’re searching for, but they should also have a general idea of where they are on a page, even before consulting the navigational menu or link.
Optimize your search bar. It must always produce relevant results. It must take misspellings into account and show related products/services.
Similar to page load speed, Google considers mobile-friendliness as an imperative SEO ranking factor.
Many businesses disregard it, as mobile conversions are statistically inferior to desktop conversions. However, this trend is experiencing a major shift. Current data shows that one in three users have purchased a product and/or service via a mobile device and they continue to do so.
Mobile-friendly also means that your website is designed with user experience (UX) in mind, as the number of app downloads and mobile users worldwide is projected to increase (up to seven billion mobile devices by the end of 2021).
Better UX = better conversions!
Aiming for a responsive website is a costly and time-consuming effort but it’s worth it in the long run, both for SEO and CRO.
Additionally, you can use Google’s AMP standard to make pages mobile-friendly, especially if you’re a content publisher. It makes sure that pages load quickly and also look good on mobile devices.
It goes without saying, but site security is a must, especially if you handle your customers’ personal information. If your website isn’t labeled as secure, users are less likely to spend time on it, not to mention filling the forms, giving address or credit card information.
See where are we going with this?
Getting an SSL (resulting in acquiring “https://” tag) certificate will make you more trustworthy in your customers’ eyes, which automatically means more conversions.
What is SSL?
It stands for Secure Sockets Layer which is a data file that adds a cryptographic key to data transfer between the web browser and the server.
It’s all a bit technical, but the end result is an encrypted connection that gives certified website integrity.
SSL certificate is somewhat of a badge of quality and, as far as Google goes, a secure website means ranking higher on the search engine results page (SERP).
Increase Dwell Time
Dwell time is the amount of time that goes from the moment a visitor clicks on a search result to the moment he/she returns to the SERP. The more time users spend on your website, the greater are conversion opportunity and SEO ranking potential.
To make the most of SEO and CRO, dwell time should be somewhere between one and three minutes. Anything less than thirty seconds is frowned upon by Google.
What to do to increase that time?
It’s time for an eye-pleasing design to shine, coupled with the aforementioned clear navigation of course.
Of all the visual elements, videos are by definition the best. Creating useful, information-heavy videos is a perfect opportunity to show visitors your unique value proposition (UVP). In addition to that, users are more likely to watch an entire video than carefully reading through a huge block of text.
When writing content, make sure to cut everything unimportant. Your website is not a place for flexing your eloquence muscles, so only include the informative and keyword-heavy text.
Keywords are the foundation of SEO, but even seasoned marketers sometimes struggle with how to naturally insert them in the copy, especially since the Google algorithm is sanctioning keyword stuffing.
We already touched upon the visitors’ attention deficit. Since attention is the most important SEO currency, be sure to strategically place keywords in your copy to emphasize its most important segments.
Heatmaps show that, instead of attentive reading, the general audience scans the website pages in “F” or “Z” patterns. Place your keywords in the text having those patterns in mind to organically lead them to the conversion points.
Voice Search Optimization
Although many believed it to be a passing fad, voice search is becoming more and more popular. In fact, the amount of searches originating from voice recognition devices/apps is growing exponentially.
Optimizing your pages for voice search is a no-brainer, especially because it is still a novelty. You can improve your conversion rate organically by providing users with the conversational interface and messaging aimed to answer the exact intent of your average customer.
By thinking ahead, quality SEO results in an increased conversion rate. It may be a marathon, but by putting UX as a priority, you’re on the good path to the end goal.
The greatest advantage compared to the conventional pay-per-click (PPC) tactics is that it’s a one-time deal. With some negligible adjustments, SEO works in your favor years after you implemented it.