CRO: Big for 2012

The reason why content is king is because even the best, most effective SEO won’t make you a dime or ensure entrepreneurial success if it does not correspond with CRO, or conversation rate… optimisation.  They are really two sides of the same coin, but CRO is poised to become even more important in the coming year.  Continual changes in search algorithms and, indeed, the entire industry, make driving traffic inconsistent; focusing on CRO not only helps boost SEO efforts, it creates a better experience for users.

Putting aside the jargony acronym, CRO is actually built on a very simple basis: to get people to do something – to buy, to sign up, to get email updates, or whatever your site is geared for.  Excellent, relevant, interesting content is a major component of this, but other factors play a role as well:

  • Intuitive site navigation.
  • Clear path from entry to purchase (or desired outcome).
  • Consistent branding.
  • Security certificates (such as the VeriSign seal)

Many of these issues are related to web design and development, so it is worth your time to see if your site is structured to encourage CRO.  Your first stop should be Google Website Optimizer. First, because it’s free.  Second because it helps you test your website and analyse content and conversation rates.  You can, for instance, see which content combinations drive conversions, which landing pages are most effective, increase time spent on your site, and more. This is an invaluable tool, particularly for small businesses.

A study by Econsultancy found that businesses that implement a structured CRO approach are twice as likely to increase sales and that technology is not a barrier.  Any website owner can find the tools necessary, like Google Web Optimizer, to make the necessary changes. It is a matter of prioritizing it – and it is really time to put it at the number one spot on your SEO to-do list.

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