Conversion Rate Optimization or Search Engine Optimization (CRO vs SEO): which option should you choose?


The digital landscape is evolving into a battlefield where every business is vying for the top spot when it comes to acquiring and converting users. Earlier, having a website was just optional, but now with almost every business in the world having their own website, it became so important to stay at the top, nothing less. This is where digital marketing experts began to leverage the benefits offered by CRO or Conversion rate Optimisation and SEO or Search Engine Optimisation.

In an earlier article, we talked about conversion rates, and how important it is to look into the conversion numbers to know how successful your website is. We also explained the factors that are likely to affect the conversion rates. The article also explains how you can increase the conversion rates and the techniques you need to embrace to improve the conversion rates.  When online presence is what drives your business, it is very important that this presence brings you to the top of search engine rankings. 

The battle for visibility is certainly fierce and the better user engagement you can bring in, the better it is. This is where CRO or Conversion rate Optimisation and SEO or Search Engine Optimisation act as key players. But which one should you use for your business?

This article deals with the benefits of both, and how to apply them to improve your business’s success rate.

Interestingly, both CRO and SEO are different from each other, and they have similarities too. They both have different objectives, but often digital marketers employ methods that make them both different too. Through CRO techniques, the digital marketers refine, adjust and change the website’s visuals and text content and design to improve page visits and engage the users so they become loyal customers. Through SEO techniques, the digital markets will work on a number of on-page, off-page and other technical aspects of the websites to ensure they rank higher in the search engine pages.

Conversion rate Optimisation

Through CRO techniques, visitors into your website will be converted into active customers. For this, the website’s looks, feel and content will be configured to attract and convert so the users will be motivated to take desired actions. Conversion rate can be calculated in the following manner:

Total number of visits/ordersX100% = Conversion rate

Through CRO techniques, you can effectively improve your sales and improve your relationship with your customers. With excellent tactics, you will enjoy customer retention, and eventually, they will be the best advocates of your business.

Benefits of CRO

Boost conversion rate – Through CRO, it is possible to boost the conversion rate, and this would help with more sales and more website visitors. It would also mean optimizing user journey so even casual visitors will turn into loyal customers.

More traffic into websites – You can optimize your website in such a manner that it will keep providing valuable content optimized for search engines like Google. Whenever someone searches for something that is related to your business, they will be taken to your website. This is mostly through organic search results.

Reduce bounce rates– The saddest situation happens when visitors enter your website, and leave without browsing through it, or spending time understanding your business and products. This means lost opportunities, and if a person leaves without clicking on anything, it means you really need to do something to keep the visitors engaged. This is possible with intelligent CRO techniques.

Reduce your customer acquisition costs – It is more expensive to acquire new customers because a lot of work goes into it. With existing visitors you don’t have to go about introducing your product and its visitors. CRO can help achieve new customers.

Search Engine Optimisation

Through SEO efforts, your website will have increased visibility on all the search engines. Whenever a user types something related to your products or services, it will give you better visibility when you use the right keywords. When you have proper content and multimedia on your website, it means your SEO is well on the track to attracting users. Supplement that with the exact keyword phrases that users type and they will be directed to your website.

Benefits of SEO

Organic traffic to your website – Every business dreams of having organic visitors to their website. It is believed that there are more than 63000 Google searches happening every second, and this number will only keep increasing. When your website has relevant answers to the questions that people are asking, they will be directed to your website. Google web crawlers will crawl through your entire website and will determine whether your website has relevant answers to user queries.

Increase brand awareness– SEO will increase awareness about your brand, and will establish your visibility and authority. Through techniques such as content marketing, the SEO experts will be able to educate people about your brand and its offerings. Through consistent and valuable information, people will know about your brand.

Optimized for mobile users– When your website is designed for easy mobile access, it would encourage people to shop online from you. While optimizing for your website, through SEO tactics, you can make sure that the website loads quickly irrespective of what the platform is.

Complements other marketing strategies – Your SEO strategy will definitely complement all other marketing strategies that you plan, including paid, inbound and outbound marketing. If you want your business to be listed among organic search and you do paid search advertising as well, then it means your site will be appearing more than once on the first page of Google search results. Of course, paid results come first, followed by organic search results.

It takes two to tango

If you are looking to choose between CRO and SEO, then it is vital to understand that both are partners in the digital landscape, and they work with one another to attract people to your website. So your website should have the perfect correlation with both these techniques.

SEO drives traffic to your website through organic and paid means, and CRO works there by tailoring your website so the visitors will be interested in making purchases and sign-ins. When SEO brings in traffic, you will be able to test the success of your CRO efforts as well.

If you are focussing on a new business, you will need SEO first because you have to build a strong foundation for organic visibility. On the other hand, if you have already established an online presence for your business but are struggling to convert visitors, then using CRO techniques will yield quicker results.


It is the ideal mix of SEO and CRO that will bring you closer to your business goals. Follow a data-driven approach through constant testing and emphasis on user experiences and you can definitely leverage the benefits of SEO and CRO, while both play their respective roles in bringing your website to massive success. 

Interesting Links:

Check out some of the ways to begin Conversion Rate Optimization

More information about Search Engine Optimization

Pictures: Canva

The author: Sascha Thattil works at which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.

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