Search engine optimization (SEO) and conversion rate optimization (CRO) may seem like two entirely distinct strategies. While they each have unique benefits to offer marketers, combining them can help you boost e-commerce success.
In fact, integrating SEO and CRO can turn an e-commerce site into a high-performing revenue generator. Separately, they may yield quick upticks in certain metrics. But together, these strategies can lead to increased traffic, more engaged visitors, and higher e-commerce conversion rates at scale.
Here, we’ll explain just why it’s so important to combine these techniques and how to seamlessly integrate your SEO and CRO tactics to enhance e-commerce marketing results.
Understanding why combining SEO and CRO is important
First, it’s important to understand what CRO and SEO strategies are individually.
SEO is the process of optimizing website content to improve search engine rankings and increase traffic. Say you’re launching a campaign to sell a new line of running sneakers. You conduct keyword research and see that your customers are searching for “best long-distance running shoes.” You update your product page and metadata to include that keyword phrase. Now, your product page shows up when customers search for that phrase, driving traffic to your site. That’s an example of search engine optimization.
Conversion rate optimization is the process of optimizing website content to increase conversions, such as purchases or newsletter signups. More specifically, your CRO strategy aims to improve your conversion rate, which is the number of conversions divided by the number of website visitors. Say you have 10,000 daily website visitors but only 500 of them convert. Your conversion rate is 5%. To get that rate to 7%, you might place clearer CTAs on your product pages or reduce steps in the checkout process.
Evidently, SEO and CRO are unique strategies, and they can often be applied to different stages of the marketing funnel. SEO is about building awareness and website visitors while CRO is about converting those visitors into paying customers. Still, it would be a mistake to keep these strategies siloed. SEO and CRO must work hand-in-hand to enhance e-commerce marketing success.
Why combine SEO and CRO to make them work together
SEO and CRO can complement each other to yield a stronger e-commerce strategy and optimize marketing results.
If you launch your SEO strategy in a vacuum, for example, you may be able to increase organic traffic. But what happens when new visitors land on your site and look to take the next step in their customer journey? You need a strong CRO strategy to guide them and drive conversions. Otherwise, you risk increasing your bounce rate and losing out on valuable leads.
On the other hand, if you focus solely on your conversion rate optimization strategy, your site will be prepped to increase performance results. But you might struggle to actually expand your reach across the web and drive those potential customers to your pages.
Together, robust CRO and SEO strategies can help create seamless, intuitive, and engaging customer experiences — from the moment someone becomes aware of your brand to the moment they make a purchase.
How to combine your SEO and CRO strategies
Now let’s explore nine ways to combine your SEO and CRO strategies for better e-commerce results.
1. Keyword Research and User Intent
Keyword research is the foundation of a good SEO content strategy. These keywords indicate what your customers are searching for, and they can inform how you build your content pages.
Use keyword research platforms to find high-converting keywords among your target audience. You can use Taboola Trends, for example, to see which keywords are driving strong engagement and competition for certain verticals, platforms, and countries.
Keywords can also help you understand user intent and behavior. Say you sell pet supplies. Instead of just using generic keywords like “dog bowl” or “cat bowl,” you might conduct keyword research to see that people are searching for “dog bowl keeps spilling” or “when to replace your cat bowl.” These results indicate that customers have certain pain points and are looking for specific solutions.
2. On-Page SEO and User-Friendly Content
Now you can meet that user intent by optimizing your site content for conversion rate optimization. To start, try these tactics:
- Update product descriptions and landing pages with relevant keywords. Include these keywords in page titles, subheads, and body text. But beware of keyword stuffing, which can negatively impact your SEO ranking.
- Streamline content creation by minimizing page elements and cutting down on clutter.
- Divide pages with clear headings and succinct bullet points for more scannable and user-friendly content.
You can also improve on-page SEO by incorporating keywords into metadata like title tags, descriptions, and image tags. While this data might not be visible to users, it can help make your site more discoverable by search engines and boost your rankings.
3. Website Speed and Mobile Optimization
Make sure you have a mobile-friendly website that loads quickly across devices. After all, mobile devices are responsible for more than half of global website traffic. And 76% of U.S. adults report buying products using a smartphone.
So, how can you reach consumers across devices and increase your e-commerce conversion rate? With these mobile optimization tactics:
- Improve your website speed. Use website speed optimization techniques for faster load times. For example, remove extraneous code, cut down on external scripts, and compress images.
- Build a responsive website. With responsive design, your website will automatically adjust to fit the device it’s displayed on, making it easier for visitors to consume your content and navigate your pages. This can help increase user retention and engagement.
- Test your mobile-friendliness. When in doubt, run your site through mobile-friendly test to see if it’s suitable for smartphone and tablet
4. High-Quality Product Images and Descriptions
A picture is worth a thousand words, and that’s true in e-commerce marketing, too. High-quality images can help improve your search rankings and on-site user experience (UX). The right visuals can also influence ad clicks and purchase decisions. That’s why it’s so important to pair your keyword-rich product descriptions with high-resolution product images.
Native advertisers can use Taboola Image Trends, for example, to see which types of visuals are driving the most clicks and engagement. Do tech customers prefer close-up shots, black-and-white photographs, and images with food? Do fashion shoppers prefer visuals with women, overlaid text, or illustrations?
Answering these questions can help enhance user experiences, and, in turn, improve conversion rate and SEO.
5. Internal Linking and Navigation
Speaking of user experiences, there’s nothing more frustrating than clicking on an ad, being taken to a site, and…realizing you’re totally lost. E-commerce marketers must make it easy for visitors to find exactly what they’re looking for with strategic internal linking. This way, they can create a cohesive UX from the search results page to the checkout page. And this is just another reason why syncing your SEO ranking strategy and conversion rate optimization is so crucial to driving performance results.
So, be sure to use a logical and intuitive internal linking structure for better user navigation. Say your search results snippet promises “thousands of online games,” for example. Make sure your landing page clearly displays not just information about top games, but internal links that users can click to learn more and find the right fit for their interests.
6. Schema Markup for Rich Snippets
Schema markup is a term for the standardized code that search engines use to read, understand, and categorize website content. Marketers can use schema markup to add rich snippets to their search results and improve their SEO. Rich snippets are basically additional features that give customers more pre-click information about a business, which can then help increase CTR, CRO, and on-page engagement.
There are different types of markup schema for different types of rich snippets, such as image carousels, customer ratings, logos, and videos. Incorporating these schema markups into your code can help improve user experiences and enhance search engine results page (SERP) rankings.
7. A/B Testing for CTA Optimization
A/B testing can help optimize any aspect of your e-commerce marketing operation — including your SEO and CRO. For example, you might test two different landing page headlines or ad visuals to see which performs best among your target audience.
However, when your goal is to drive conversions and revenue, it’s also necessary to focus on CTA optimization. By regularly testing CTAs, you can find the most effective versions of each button and create a smoother intuitive user interface for your customers. For instance, you might also experiment with different colors and font choices for your CTA buttons. If your goal is UI optimization, you might also run a test to see if your CTA button drives more clicks above the fold, in the middle, or at the bottom of your landing page.
With Taboola, you can also use our built-in generative AI tools to quickly create multiple variations of your content and then test them against each other.
8. Implement User Reviews and Testimonials
You can spend hundreds of words extolling the benefits of your products. But, in the end, a few authentic user reviews can be more influential in driving purchase decisions and e-commerce revenue.
So remember to display testimonials and user-generated content (UGC) on your site. Highlighting these genuine success stories or recommendations can help build user trust. Authentic UGC can also help positively impact your SEO, driving more people to your website.
If you’re still looking to build your own pool of reviews and testimonials, try asking customers to provide their feedback via email and social channels. You can even offer a reward in return, such as a chance to win a free product or a discount on their next purchase.
9. Content Marketing and SEO-Driven Blog Posts
Content marketing is crucial for both SEO and conversion optimization. High-quality, personalized, and informative content can help attract the right users to your site and keep them engaging with your brand.
So use these content optimization techniques to boost SEO and CRO strategies:
- Make sure blog posts and articles optimized for search engine rankings. Meaning, they should include high-value keywords and be easy to digest. Most importantly, they should be relevant to your audience’s needs and interests. Say you’re a travel brand, and your keyword research shows that customers are searching for “affordable winter getaways.” You might publish a blog post like: “7 Winter Getaways That Won’t Break the Bank.”
- Think like your customer. If you click on an ad for a certain product or service, and you’re taken to a landing page, what do you want to see? What questions do you want answered? What makes the experience feel intuitive? What makes it feel frustrating? Use your answers to update your content and improve customer experiences.
- Strategically place CTAs and internal links within content. Don’t make readers work too hard to find information. With helpful CTAs and links, you can keep potential customers on your site, encourage them to continue learning about your brand, and help them discover the next step in their user journey.
SEO + CRO = E-commerce Success
As your e-commerce business evolves, so should your SEO and CRO strategies. Remember to continuously analyze customer data to better understand how website visitors behave and how you can improve their experiences. You can use Google Analytics metrics to track clickthrough rates, bounce rates, referral sources, and, of course, conversation rates.
Beyond this quantitative data, consider gathering qualitative feedback from your customers by launching email surveys. You might ask questions like: “Did you find what you were looking for on our site?”, “Was the site easy to navigate or confusing?”, “When and why did you decide to leave the site?”, and “What can we do to make your experience better?” This information can help inform ongoing optimizations and nurture customer relationships.
You can also use a platform like Taboola to fuel e-commerce success across every stage of the funnel. Launch high-impact native advertising campaigns to reach targeted audiences on top publisher sites. Personalize those ads with dynamic keywords and eye-catching visuals. Then drive those users to custom landing pages, where they can learn more about your brand and ultimately convert.
Ready to optimize your e-commerce results? Create your first Taboola campaign.