SEO vs CRO - Which Comes First?

Posted by Kelly Braun on March 5, 2020 at 7:07 AM     SEO
SEO vs CRO - Which Comes First?

SEO or CRO? The chicken or the egg? It’s one conundrum after another.

Some will roar, “SEO first!” Others will raise their fists and cry out, “CRO first!” And yet, there are many who will slink back in their chairs and quietly think … uhhh, what is SEO? what is CRO?

Whether you’re ready for a philosophical debate or just want to know what all the hype is about, this is the article for you. Let’s break down SEO and CRO and solve the age-old question of which comes first?

What Is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It involves implementing tactics, both online and offline, to increase the visibility of your website in search. With keywords and a user’s search intent playing a large role, SEO has a big impact on if your website shows up and on which page when users type or say a search query. No business wants to be on Page 10, or even page 2, of Google search results. This is where an SEO strategy comes into play.

What Is CRO?

CRO stands for Conversion Rate Optimization. It includes the tactics used on your website (forms, buttons, newsletters, shopping carts, etc.) to capture new leads and convert leads into customers. The goal of CRO is to continually increase the percentage of visitors to a website who convert into customers, or more generally, take any desired action on a webpage.

Which Comes First?


SEO drives traffic to your website; CRO takes the wheel to convert this traffic into leads and customers. As a business, you want both.

If you have traffic to your website, but no action that allows a visitor to become a lead or a customer, what does your business gain? Nothing. If you have conversion points on your website, but no traffic to the site, again, what does your business gain? Nadathing.

So, which comes first? Both.

SEO and CRO should be implemented as a pair. To truly drive lead generation and increase revenue, start with an SEO and CRO integrated strategy

How to Implement an SEO & CRO Strategy

First, we recommend getting a professional SEO CRO audit. This audit should include a technical website audit of both the backend and the actual keywords and conversion points used on the web pages. Also, you’ll want an evaluation of your online presence compared to your competitors, and professional analysis of what’s working and not working.

Next, map out a strategy that has Key Performance Indicators that roll up to your overarching business goals. SEO and CRO should not be implemented as one-and-done projects. SEO CRO must be managed on an ongoing basis to maintain rankings and stay on top of search engine algorithm changes. This is why it’s essential to map out the right strategy with KPIs as your checks along the way.

With a strategy mapped out, you can begin fixing errors found with the audit and implementing changes to improve your site’s performance. Some tactics may include:

  • Keyword and user-intent targeting
  • Paid search targeting
  • On-page SEO
  • Off-page SEO
  • Local SEO
  • E-commerce SEO
  • Optimization of page titles, headers and meta descriptions for target keywords
  • Backlink building
  • CRO shopping cart strategies
  • A/B testing of forms and buttons
  • User experience optimization
  • And more!

Last but not least, you want to continually collect data, monitor results and make changes -- or as we like to chant: Optimize! Optimize! Optimize! That’s how we ensure our clients keep hitting those KPIs.

What about the Chicken and the Egg?

Well, we don’t have 🐔s, and we don’t sell 🥚s. But we do have a flock of SEO CRO experts. 😜

As a certified Google agency partner, we have years of experience in the online digital world. Our team of SEO and CRO experts will work with you from audit to implementation to you hit your goals. Contact us for a free SEO CRO consultation.

Learn more on how to optimize your website with SEO and CRO to drive revenue in this fun gifographic:


Download and print this helpful gifographic >>


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