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CRO and SEO: a relationship for website success

Enhance your online presence with organic search strategies. SEO drives traffic, CRO boosts conversions. Maximize revenue potential today!

Written by

Robert Hufton

Director & UX Consultant

Organic search is a powerful tool for generating revenue. SEO attracts qualified visitors, while CRO converts them into paying customers.

Both strategies work together to maximize your return on investment without relying on paid advertising.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the relationship between Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO). The two can’t exist without each other; SEO is needed to increase traffic, while CRO is needed to increase new business and revenue. But here’s the important bit, if your website marketing is generating little or no revenue, you won’t be able to invest in it. Stop investing time and money into your site and it will quickly stop being an effective marketing tool.  

When we first meet with businesses, they’ll often say things like, “our website doesn’t do anything for us” or “we tried Google Ads, but they were a waste of money”.  

For a website (or digital marketing strategy) to be successful there needs to be a healthy relationship between your website traffic and sales strategies – and both should be designed to work in tandem to drive business growth.

A good friend once said,

“If you’re not doing SEO, there’s no point in having a website”.

He was right, but I would also add that,

“If you’re not doing CRO, you’re wasting all your efforts”.

Start by asking yourself this question: “What can I do to make my website convert more customers?”

Conversion rate is the metric that will really move the needle, and it’s so much more than simply a measure in Google Ads.

One of our client's enjoying great organic traffic AND excellent engagement time

The essential relationship between SEO and CRO

At Higher Ground, we offer website optimisation as a service. But, what’s more, we care about giving you bang for your buck. There’s nothing we hate more than businesses being persuaded to spend thousands of pounds on poorly planned marketing strategies that don’t see any return on investment. Any true Conversion Rate Optimisation company should be laser-focused on real results.

Understanding the value of a keyword

How does your keyword strategy equate to driving high quality traffic? Anyone who has tried Adwords has seen cost per click is expensive. So how do you reach people that are buying? What long-tailed and broad keywords are they using? In keyword marketing, there is only one thing worse than a poor website and that's a poor keyword strategy.

In keyword marketing, there is only one thing worse than a poor website and that's a poor keyword strategy.

If you're struggling to make Google Adwords or other paid ads return on investment, you might find our article useful adwords conversion rate optimization tips.

Practising what we preach

When it comes to our own website strategy, we know we need to look better than everyone else. If we don’t stand out from the crowd, our customers wouldn’t choose us. It’s that simple.

We attract the businesses who want a website like ours; one that looks smart, sleek, modern, and most importantly, engages their target audience. 

This doesn’t come without its challenges.

We rely heavily on SEO traffic to ensure people find our services. It’s always been a vital part of our marketing mix and an excellent source of new business. If you’re not driving traffic with keywords associated with your business and specialism, your website will struggle to drive more than 300 visits a month.

Website redesign for CRO and SEO 

We recently redesigned our website. Our goals from the outset were to ensure we ranked highly in SEO keywords relevant to our service and to drive new customers to Higher Ground over the next months and years.

A lot of blood, sweat, and tears has happened behind the scenes to create a web design that serves multiple purposes. We needed a website that delivers on all fronts and met Dieter Rams’ principles of design, which still hold true today.

Rams’ principles (with some personal adaptations) are: 

1. Be attractive and visually engaging

2. Have lots of interesting content that sells services

3. Load extremely quickly (a recent survey showed that every additional second on the loading speed of a website dramatically decreases its conversion potential)

4. Be easy to use and be meaningful to the users viewing it. Find out more about the key tenets of UX copywriting.

5. Be future proof

6. Be honest and show who we are and what we believe in.  

7. Be environmentally friendly (this principle is becoming more important over time)

8. Be structured so that search engines can easily understand the content hierarchy

Why is it important to design websites using Dieter Rams’ principles of design? 

FYI if you’re keen to understand more about Dieter Rams, you can learn more about him here. Apple has followed his design principles since its inception.

Do you remember the early days of the Internet when you could create a wall of text and Google would reward you with a high keyword ranking?

The algorithm has evolved beyond recognition since then. In the new world of SEO, poor page experiences are penalised by Google. 

There are billions of websites live right now. Many of these sites are actively competing for Google’s attention, which is why the search engine decided to make user experience a key factor in website ranking. 

In fact, a website optimised for its users will also be optimised for search engines. The websites that rank in position one on Google are useful, environmentally friendly, optimised for relevant keywords, and able to drive conversions.

So, how can you make a website look amazing and catch Google’s attention?

Here is some GA4 conversion data showing increases following our CRO work

How to approach an SEO and CRO-ready website

Creating a website that does it all isn’t easy. It takes time, thought, and consistent effort. But, by taking the right steps based on the right thinking, there’s no reason why you won’t achieve great results. 

Here are our top tips:

1. Make your content easy to understand
Words matter more than you might think. A visually impressive website can only deliver if your users understand the value you offer. Great UX copywriting will speak directly to your customer, using language that informs, entertains, and engages. From effective CTAs to USPs that strike a chord, get in touch if you’re looking for impactful copy that converts.

2. Improve load speed

Every second counts. When attention is at a premium and most users will be accessing your website on-the-go through their mobile phones, load speed can be the difference between a click to buy or a click to exit. We can help you ensure your website delivers a dynamic user experience without becoming weighed down and sluggish.

3. Keep the design light and non-intrusive 

While you might be tempted to have a website with all the bells and whistles, the data proves that less if often more. Your website design should be light, easy-to-navigate, and free from features that immediately turn users off like full-screen pop-ups and hidden menus. Trust our team to design a site that reflects your business ethos while putting your users at ease.

4. Make sure each page is relevant and useful to the reader

Don’t be tempted to churn out content in the hope that something might stick. An effective content marketing strategy should be relevant to your industry, offering, and audience. Identify your target keywords and ensure every page exists for a reason. Take time to ensure the page is cohesive, tells a strong story, and includes the USPs and CTAs you want your user to notice.

5. Provide proof that your offering is something special

When you’re close to your offering and you’ve carefully crafted your proposition, it can be hard to be objective. Don’t assume that your users will instantly understand what makes your business better than everyone else – prove it. Real results, client case studies, and user reviews are all useful tools.

6. Talk to your customers and ask them why they love what you offer

User feedback is invaluable. Getting an honest assessment of your offering and the reasons why your customers decided to buy can help you hone your USPs and cater to your target audience. Don’t panic; we can support you with user testing, focus groups, and in-depth user research.

7. Provide information to back up your offering

If your users have frequently asked questions, they should find the answers on your website. Not only can providing this information help your users, but it can also satisfy the search engines and help you rank in Google’s sought-after featured snippets. Show that you have the expertise, knowledge, and experience to support your offering and you’ll start building up that all-important trust.

Best-in-class examples: Excellent SEO and CRO websites

The Nielsen Norman Group

As the world leaders in research-based user experience, it comes as no surprise that the Nielsen Norman Group have an excellent website that meets its SEO and CRO goals. Even though the design is minimal, its content is purposeful, useful, and easy-to-digest.

Pixel Kicks 

Shifting attention towards their case studies and narrating a flow more effectively through the utilisation of a great brand identity, the Pixel Kicks website boasts distinctive menu systems and captivating animations, enhancing the overall user experience.

Design by future

In the UK the number one result I find in Google for “Design agency” is Design by future. These guys know how to make a site interact and look amazing. It’s not easy to make websites index well for keywords and have high impact. Really great work.


OK, here is one we made earlier. Fettle is number 1 in google for “bike repair london”. 

We provided UX design, bespoke website development (using Webflow) and Conversion Rate Optimisation services enabling to quadruple their conversions and future proof their business online. It's a great website for generating sales through their booking system.

Trace Basement Systems

One of our most important clients are Trace Basement Systems. We've been working on their SEO & CRO for over 12 months. Their traffic from organic search is simply staggering. They enjoy top 2/3 positions for some excellent keywords in the business sector. Such as waterproofing contractors.

If you need help with your SEO & CRO get in touch with our team.

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