SEO has many purposes, from branding to revenue growth. That said, an important aspect of our SEO Audits is Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).

Ultimately, for e-commerce websites, revenue growth is the end game. So your shopping experience will definitely impact your SEO, both from a search result perspective, and for acquiring new customers.

How Does CRO Impact SEO?

This is kind of a complicated answer. For a long time, the SEO community believed things such as your cart conversion rate, bounce rate, and “dwell time” directly impacted how Google would rank your site. Recently, Google has stated that it doesn’t really use any of these factors to rate websites.

So why do we care about it? For a few reasons, especially in e-commerce..

  1. We want you to experience a high return on investment for your SEO audit.
  2. Good user experiences are valuable, and valuable content is important to Google.
  3. There are elements of a good user experience that are direct ranking factors, such as page load speed and mobile appearance.
  4. Good experiences earn backlinks.

CRO & Your SEO Audit Return on Investment

Just like paid advertising, SEO requires an investment of time and money. In e-commerce, the way to make it worthwhile is to convert more visitors into customers. This is the heart of CRO.

You can think of it this way: What is going to be more beneficial to my e-commerce business?

  • More visitors at the same or lower conversion rate.
  • More visitors at a higher conversion rate.

The answer is pretty obvious.

While part of growing sales comes from targeting the right keywords, your category page layout, product page layout and calls to action, and your checkout go a long way towards increasing sales. 

More revenue from organic search? That’s a higher ROI. That’s why we check out all these things in our enterprise SEO audits.

The Value of a Good User Experience

It stands to reason that combined with competitive pricing, great customer experience, and a solid search strategy, user experience is going to help you drive revenue.

Part of that experience is going to be your content. If your customers find it unique, helpful, and easy to understand, its going to make them more likely to buy.

Google still rewards high-quality, original product and category descriptions, so that’s part of the audit as well. With drop shipping being such a prevalent business model these days, we tend to see a lot of product descriptions that are simply lifted from the manufacturer, as opposed to being hand-crafted and woven into the identity of your store.

Investing in original content is critical for both your SEO and CRO success.

CRO as an Absolute Ranking Factor

As mentioned above, there are a few experience elements that Google still values in ranking pages for search. So much so that they have their own reports in Google Search Console. At the top of this list are:

  • Page Load Speed
  • Cumulative Layout Shift
  • The Mobile Experience

In e-commerce, not only do these impact your SEO, but your conversion rate as well.

User have no patience for web pages that load slowly. In fact, Amazon believes that every 100 milliseconds it takes their site to load costs them 1% of their revenue. To Amazon, that’s a lot of orders…

Similarly, cumulative layout shift (CLS) can frustrate users, and make them leave a site without making a purchase. You’ve probably experienced this on your favorite news site- when you’re in the middle of reading a paragraph, and the text moves to show an ad or offer.

We don’t tend to see HUGE layout shifts in e-commerce, but we’ll certainly audit the site to make sure they aren’t hurting your conversions or SEO.

Last but certainly not least is the mobile experience. E-commerce takes place on small screens these days (and has been for a while now). Our SEO audit takes a critical look at the mobile experience to ensure its making users happy, and not costing you revenue.

A woman enjoys her mobile experience because of CRO

Better Experiences Garner More Backlinks

As it has been since the beginning of internet time (almost), the single most important off-page factor in SEO is gaining high-quality backlinks. To get these backlinks, you have to be found in the first place.

Discoverability on the web goes far beyond SEO. With the proliferation of social media, a user having top rate experience while becoming a customer is bound to be amplified on Facebook, Instagram, Reddit and more.

With that amplification comes the high likelihood of an influential blogger, or a reporter, or anyone else publishing digitally discovering you and potentially linking to you in an article.

So why not make the best user experience possible through CRO?

CRO & SEO Audits

A bad user experience can not only kill your sales, but also influence your SEO in negative ways. It’s time to do something about it. No matter who you use to do your audit, make sure that they will examine all these little factors that go into making a website convert.

Ready to get ranked? We’re ready to help.

Read More about our Enterprise SEO Audits

Kevin Webster

I've been doing digital marketing since 2003. I've worked with clients across dozens of verticals, helping them achieve results in SEO, Paid Search, and analytics.

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