Beyond Keywords: How to Optimize Your SEO Strategy for Conversion Rate Optimization

June 19, 2023
Three people interacting with a life size website


Combine SEO and CRO strategies for improved website performance. Discover how they work together to create a powerful, high-converting website.

About 21% of businesses in the U.S. struggle to draw and convert organic traffic to their websites. Investing in optimization strategies enables companies to enhance their website traffic - Enter SEO and CRO.

Search engine optimization (SEO) and conversion rate optimization (CRO) are, in many ways, two sides of the same coin. The relationship between SEO and CRO is symbiotic - they both depend upon each other's success.

SEO acts as the gatekeeper for your website, bringing in the traffic, whereas CRO acts as the bouncer, letting only the most valuable customers stay. With the combination of both strategies, you can create a powerful, high-converting website.

Simply put, SEO is about bringing more people to your site, and CRO is about turning those visitors into customers. When done correctly, combining SEO and CRO can help you boost traffic and increase conversions and revenue – the three key metrics defining success for any online business.

The power of SEO and CRO combined is far greater than either one on its own. Read on as we explore the relationship between SEO and CRO to see how these powerful allies tag-team to improve your website's performance.

Why CRO is Important for SEO

CRO plays a vital role in successful SEO strategies. Here's how:

Improved User Experience Leads to Better SEO Performance

Improved user experience leads to better SEO performance because search engines like Google prioritize websites that offer a positive user experience. Sites with a fast load time, ease of navigation, and relevant content engage users, encourage them to stay longer on the site and return for more.

Google E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) is a set of criteria used to evaluate websites to drive improvements in their algorithms and to ensure quality content is shown to users. For your website to be deemed credible by Google, you must show the following:

  • Content created by someone with experience in the subject matter
  • Have an established presence
  • Be seen as an authority in their sector
  • Display trustworthiness

By following Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines and optimizing the website for conversions through CRO, businesses can improve the user experience in the following ways:

Lower Bounce Rates

If visitors have a great experience on your web pages, they are more likely to interact with your content, provide feedback, and leave reviews. According to a recent study, 88% of internet visitors said they wouldn't revisit a website after a negative experience, which contributes to high bounce rates.

A website with a high bounce rate tells search engines that the site lacks the information users are looking for. Businesses can reduce bounce rates by enhancing the user experience and making the website more engaging. This signals to Google that the website is a valuable resource for users - leading to a higher ranking.

More Social Likes

Social shares can improve SEO performance by driving more traffic, generating backlinks, and enhancing social signals. Increased traffic and backlinks signal to search engines that a website is popular and valuable to users, which can better its search engine rankings.

Social signals such as likes, shares, and comments on social media can indicate that a website's content is popular and relevant. This improves its search engine rankings.

CRO Helps Improve SEO Metrics

CRO impacts SEO metrics in these several ways:

  • Enhances the user experience(UX)
  • Boosts engagement
  • Creates targeted landing pages
  • Reduces bounce rate
  • Increases conversion rates

By optimizing website elements such as headlines, calls-to-action, and forms, CRO increases visitor engagement and encourages them to take action. This results in more social shares, backlinks, and other signals that boost SEO metrics.

CRO Boosts Organic Ranking

Organic rankings refer to how highly a website ranks in search engines without paid ads. This is achieved by ensuring your website is up-to-date, optimized, and contains quality content, making users likelier to click through to your website.

With a CRO strategy, you can identify which pages on your website need to be better optimized to ensure they are more visible to users. Additionally, by improving the on-page engagement of each page, such as click-through rates, time spent on a page, and the average number of pages visited, your website will be seen as more relevant and trustworthy, thus increasing organic rankings.

How SEO Can Inform CRO Strategies

A life size search bar next to a woman

Understanding how SEO can fuel CRO enables businesses to build effective digital marketing strategies that get the most out of their campaigns. Here are a few ways that SEO can inform your CRO strategies:

Keyword Research

Keyword research for SEO helps marketers find keywords relevant to their business and have a high conversion rate. You can create content that drives conversions by targeting the right keywords with SEO.

Understand Target Audience and Search Intent For SEO

SEO isn't just about targeting the right words – it's also about knowing the searcher's intent behind those words. By understanding what your audience is searching for and what they want to accomplish, you can create content for the website with calls to action that are more relevant and effective.

Use SEO Data to Identify High-Performing Landing Pages

Analyzing data from past SEO campaigns helps identify high-performing landing pages - those that have generated a lot of organic search traffic and had a high conversion rate. By analyzing your website's search engine rankings and traffic, you can identify pages that are already performing well and use this data to optimize those landing pages and future landing pages for conversions.

How Can You Use SEO to Improve Conversions and Generate More Traffic?

A woman looking at a life size analytics report on a computer screen

When it comes to boosting website performance, SEO can be a powerful tool for generating traffic and increasing conversions. Here's how:

1. Keyword Research For Conversions

Keyword research involves identifying the specific words and phrases potential customers might use to search for products or services similar to yours. These strategies can help you identify high-value keywords for conversions:

Learn Your Target Audience and Their Needs

Before you begin your keyword research, familiarize yourself with your target audience and attempt to predict what they are looking for. This helps you identify the keywords and phrases most relevant to your business and potential customers.

Use Keyword Research Tools

There are a variety of keyword research tools available that you can use, including Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Moz. These resources effectively recognize words and expressions frequently used by your intended viewers and provide data regarding search frequency, competition, and other significant indicators.

Focus on Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are characterized by their specificity and lower frequency of usage compared to broad keywords. Despite having a lower search volume, they are often more advantageous for generating conversions since they are highly relevant to the particular user intent.

For instance, a long-tail keyword like "gray men's hiking boots," is more inclined towards generating conversions than the broader keyword "boots."

Consider User Intent

Are people searching for information or looking to buy something? Keywords that indicate a high level of purchase intent, such as "buy," "sale," "order," or "discount," are often the most valuable for generating conversions.

Analyze the Competition

Evaluate the competition for each keyword you are considering. Examine websites that are presently ranking for those keywords and analyze their content, backlinks, and other elements that contribute to their online success and apply them to your strategy.

2. Tactical On-Page Optimizations For Conversions

On-page optimizations are a time-tested way to grab readers' attention and get them clicking on your content. Here are some on-page optimizations for conversions that help improve your website's SEO:

Compelling Meta Titles and Descriptions

As the first item users see in the search results, they must be descriptive and engaging. A good meta title should include the main keyword and be at most 60 characters long. The meta description, on the other hand, is a concise summary of the page's content and has a call to action.

Optimized Header Tags

Header tags H1, H2, H3, and so on organize content on a page, making it easier for search engines to understand the page's structure. You can enhance your website's relevance and user experience by using header tags correctly and incorporating relevant keywords.

Incorporating Keywords in Your Content

Properly-placed keywords boost conversions but don't overdo it. Keyword stuffing attracts penalties from search engines and harms the user experience by making the content difficult to read.

Using Images and Videos to Boost UX

Optimizing images and videos with descriptive file names, alt text, and captions is crucial for enhancing their SEO value. This, in turn, helps users understand the content more easily and engage with it more effectively.

3. Technical SEO for Conversions

Technical SEO refers to the practices that optimize the technical aspects of a website to refine its search engine ranking and user experience. Here's how:

Site Speed

The speed at which a website loads significantly contributes to user experience. A slow-loading site often results in a higher bounce rate, negatively impacting conversions. To improve site load speed, take advantage of a range of technical SEO tactics, such as:

  • Optimizing images
  • Reducing HTTP requests
  • Minimizing CSS and JavaScript
  • Employing browser caching
  • Employing a content delivery network (CDN)

A difference of 0.1 seconds in loading time impacts the user's experience throughout their journey on a website, ultimately leading to higher conversion rates. Retail websites experienced an 8.4% increase in conversions, while travel sites saw a 10.1% increase.

Implementing Schema Markup

Schema markup is a structured data format that helps search engines understand the content on a website. By implementing schema markup, you provide search engines with more details and structured information about the content and purpose of their website.

Schema markup boosts SEO in several ways:

  • Rich Snippets: Using schema markup enables search engines to exhibit rich snippets of data on search results pages, such as reviews, ratings, images, and other related information. Rich snippets enhance web page appearance and offer users additional details, boosting click-through rates and traffic.
  • Better Understanding of Content: Through schema markup implementation, website proprietors furnish search engines with additional context and information regarding the content presented on their site. This enhances search engines' comprehension of the website's content and intent, increasing visibility and relevance in search results.
  • Improved Local SEO: Digital marketers use schema markup to provide information about a business, including its name, address, phone number, and operating hours. Search engines use this information to display local search results like Google Maps listings, which is especially beneficial for businesses that rely on local customers.
  • Enhanced UX: Schema markup betters UX by presenting more precise and comprehensive details about a website's content. This simplifies the process for users to locate the information related to your business. It increases engagement, time spent on the website, and lower bounce rates.

You can learn more about schema markup here.

Creating a Mobile-Responsive Design

Mobile devices account for a significant portion of internet traffic - and Google loves this. Google prioritizes mobile-optimized websites in its SERPs, generating more traffic. And because over 85% of U.S. adults own a smartphone, a mobile-friendly design ensures your website looks and functions well on different devices.

4. Link Building for Conversions

A man holding a screen with a link in it to represent a backlink

One effective way to boost conversions and generate more traffic through SEO is through link building. Link building involves acquiring high-quality, relevant backlinks from other web pages. This increases a website's authority and credibility in the eyes of search engines.

The more authoritative a website is perceived to be, the higher the ranking on SERPs, which leads to a rise in traffic numbers and more conversions. Here are three ways to improve link building and generate more traffic:

Conduct Extensive Research

To identify high-quality, relevant backlinks, it is essential to research websites in the same industry or niche. This involves finding sites with a similar audience that would be interested in the content on the target website. It's also essential to evaluate potential backlinks based on domain authority, page authority, and relevance to ensure quality.

Build Relationships with Other Websites

Building relationships with other websites is crucial to establishing a mutually beneficial link-building strategy. This may involve contacting website owners or content creators to offer guest posts, infographics, or other shareable content that includes links to the target website.

Create Shareable And High-Quality Content

Crafting top-notch content that meets the objectives of both CRO and SEO is crucial for successful digital marketing. Your content should be optimized for search engine visibility while integrating convincing components that transform visitors into customers.

Producing shareable content that is informative, useful, or entertaining is another effective strategy for building links and generating more traffic. Shareable content is likely to be shared by website visitors or social media users. This increases the chances of earning backlinks from other websites and attracting more traffic.

Consider calls-to-action, internal linking, and other conversion elements when crafting compelling copy to achieve both goals simultaneously.

5.  Analyzing and Testing for Conversions

Analyze and test for conversions using various techniques to improve conversions and generate more traffic through SEO. This includes:

  • Tracking conversion rates
  • Conducting A/B testing to identify which variations of a webpage perform better. A/B testing may reveal which elements of your website drive users deeper into the conversion funnel and drive revenue.
  • Using heat maps and click tracking to gain insights into how visitors interact with the website

These techniques enable website owners to optimize their websites, improve the user experience, and ultimately increase conversion rates and traffic.

Benefits of Combining SEO and CRO Strategies

When SEO and CRO work together, the benefits of a well-rounded digital marketing strategy are hard to ignore. Here's what you get from combining these two strategies:

Better SEO Performance

CRO aims to enhance the user experience - a crucial aspect for search engines to determine a website's rank. By refining your website's usability and conversion optimization, you augment engagement, minimize bounce rates, and enhance the duration of user visits, ultimately raising your search engine rankings.

A superior user experience increases inbound links and social shares, providing an additional advantage for SEO.

Increased Conversion Rates

CRO is about improving the user experience and making it easier for customers to take the desired action on your website. This can be achieved by:

  • Optimizing landing pages
  • Improving website navigation
  • Making the checkout process smoother

CRO also identifies areas of the website that the marketing team should optimize for more conversions, such as calls to action, forms, and pricing pages. With improved conversion elements on your website, businesses can see an increase in conversions, resulting in more sales and/or leads.

Better User Experience

A study found that 17% of consumers will walk away from your brand after just one bad experience. But by optimizing your website's UX, you can create a positive experience for each user, resulting in higher customer satisfaction.

Whether it's optimizing content for readability, adjusting web design for quick loading speeds, or leveraging CTAs for better engagement, every feature of your website can be tailored to create a more enjoyable user experience.

More Social Shares & Inbound Links

User experience is one of the key factors in social sharing. When visitors have a great experience on your website, they're more likely to spread the word by sharing content or linking back to it from their sites. This can help with content distribution, extend the lifespan of your posts and boost local SEO efforts. Social shares build brand reputation and overall trustworthiness.

Implementing Your Strategy

Ultimately, when it comes to website optimization, SEO and CRO are two sides of the same coin. SEO brings in more potential customers as CRO ensures visitors stay engaged and interested. By combining the two, you can reap the rewards of a faster website, better user experience, and higher traffic.

At Steel Croissant, we understand the value of this harmonious relationship. We provide SEO strategies that concentrate on optimizing conversion rates. Our UX designers and SEO specialists collaborate to help your business drive traffic, enhance user experience, and boost conversions.

Get started today by contacting Steel Croissant for a free consultation, and see how much your website performance can improve when SEO and CRO merge!


How can I apply the knowledge gained from the SEO course to my business or website?

Our SEO course is designed to provide you with actionable knowledge that you can apply directly to your website or business. We understand that simply learning about SEO is not enough - you need to be able to apply what you've learned in a practical way. That's why our course is structured as a "do it with you" program, where you will receive hands-on guidance and support from our team of experienced SEO professionals.

Featured Ebook

Stimulating conversation. Our book club is about more than just reading — it’s about supporting continuous learning for ourselves and our partners. Join the club for thought-provoking reads and conversation about the future of business.

Thank you for submitting the form
Please check your email inbox for a link to download the eBook.
View More
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Ready to Elevate Your Brand?

We're more than just a click away. Reach out for a personalized consultation or a casual coffee over Zoom. Let’s make your marketing goals a reality.

No items found.