Most online marketers work with limited budgets, so oftentimes they are forced to make a decision on how to best spend their resources in an effort to maximize their return on investment. This means that marketing managers are usually faced with a choice: either spend their resources on search engine optimization (SEO) services to generate more traffic to their e-commerce websites or invest in conversion rate optimization (CRO) services to help find the best way to close more business from the traffic that arrives at their websites. Should marketing managers choose one service over the other, or should they leverage both SEO and CRO? If both services should be used, which service should be used first? These are some of the many dilemmas faced by marketing managers on a daily basis, and we at Vertster have some thoughts to share about this topic.
Our view is that CRO service should be used first, and we don’t hold this view simply because CRO is our bread and butter that comes from being one of the top CRO service providers. We believe in SEO. We love SEO. Our roots are based in SEO (we were an SEO company before we launched our CRO services). We have many, many friends in the SEO space.
Our view comes from a simple real-world observation that can be applied to the online world. Have you ever seen a highway billboard ad with lettering too small to be read from your vantage point inside your car? I remember a recent billboard from a national wireless provider with a message too small to be made out. Imagine being a marketing manager who did not take the time to make sure that all marketing elements had been properly vetted out before all those billboards went up on a nationwide campaign to be displayed to millions of passing motorists. This particular marketing campaign certainly got the traffic, but the campaign was largely ineffective because the marketing message just wasn’t clear (nobody could even read it!). What if millions of new unique visitors came to your website and your message was muddled, your site was hard to navigate or your value proposition or order process was just not easy to understand?
We believe that your marketing message should be properly tested with CRO strategies first to make sure all elements are optimized: color, text size, graphics placement, page layout, price, order process, etc. Test for the best variations BEFORE you spend the money on SEO campaigns that will generate traffic to your website. Otherwise, your SEO marketing dollars may result in generating website bounces, not the website sales and profits you were expecting. SEO and CRO can generate positive results for you, and we certainly recommend that you rely on both to increase your conversion rates and sales. Just go with CRO first and then drive traffic with SEO for optimal results.
Remember: Always Be Testing!