Website owners should be familiar with both SEO and CRO, but to those just starting out they can be a bit of an enigma. With so my abbreviations floating around, it can be hard to understand what they all are, and what they can do for you.

SEO and CRO are both highly-useful tools for any website, so we think it is important that we set the record straight and give people a clear understanding of what each does, and why you should be taking advantage of them for your website.

What is SEO?

Let’s begin with SEO, or in other words, Search Engine Optimisation. SEO is the organic, natural process of getting your website to the top of Google search engine results pages (SERPs) where customers can find you. SEO is the tool you need to increase your visibility through a search engine’s unpaid results and actually help potential customers or clients find you.

What is CRO?

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is the process of turning visitors that find your site into paying customers. More importantly, converting a simple spectator into a desired action. Desired actions can come in many forms, especially as your business and your website grows, so it is important that CRO is done properly as there are many variants that need attention.

What’s the difference?

SEO and CRO do tend to work hand in hand as one compliments the other, but they are different tools with their own unique functions. CRO is used to increase your website's conversion rates. What are conversion rates I hear you ask? Well, any visitor you receive to your website will most likely find themselves there because you either sell what they are looking for, or you offer a service they require. Once that person finds your site, you want to convert them from a simple viewing figure, into a happy customer through certain, specific actions.

SEO on the other hand, is a tool used to help visitors find your website in the first place. It does this by making sure they can find you through search engine results pages; because as you may very well know, if anyone wants to find anything online, they do it through a search engine like Google.

Firstly, SEO’s primary function is to bring traffic to your site through successful off-site links; once a visitor has arrived then CRO takes over, attempting to convert the traffic into sales through successful onsite efforts that increase engagement. 

Although SEO and CRO are different, your site needs to have both in order to see the benefits. If you optimise your website rankings with SEO but fail to optimise your site with CRO, visitors will be able to find you, but you will be unable to meet their needs. If you optimise your site but fail to utilise SEO in order to direct traffic towards your site, you’ll simply have no visitors to convert.

SEO and CRO should always be a part of any successful web design. Manchester based web designers Visionsharp are the ones to call if you are looking for a new website, so get in touch with the team today.