The digital arena is awash with acronyms that could well confound and confuse. But we are here to demystify three of the most important that you absolutely must understand with crystal clarity for your business to achieve its true potential online – SEO, UX and CRO.
Digital agencies have been very successful in whipping up passion of their products, in convincing the business masses that they absolutely must have SMM or without CRO their venture would surely die. But while business owners know in their hearts that they must have these things, because, well, everyone else does and they don’t want to be left behind, do they really know what they’re buying? And, if they don’t could they be wasting money on something unsuited to their organisation, or worse still passing responsibility for their success to a third party? Take back control of your business potential by getting a fuller understanding of these acronyms so you can optimise the optimisers.
In a marketplace flooded with traditional high street and online estate agencies, your ability to stand out, to attract attention and convert is more important than ever.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the cat and mouse game between websites and search engines where you attempt to prove that your website, above all others, is relevant to their audience for specific search terms. For years this was a dark art, a smoke and mirrors affair that would have SEO consultancies giving little away about what they were actually doing with a client’s money. These were the dark days of ‘black hat’ techniques to ‘fool’ Google, et al, into ranking sites higher in their listings for the traffic driving benefits that this could offer. The stakes were high, with more and more people buying online the real estate of page one rankings was as valuable as the sales potential from the traffic it generated. Much has changed and the days of vein and often erroneous claims of “we’ll get you to page 1 of Google” are now pretty much over, thank goodness. Today search engines are smarter and the idea of eviction penalties from Google are enough to largely prevent SEO bad practices.
Today SEO is all about good website design, quality content, and laboured over credibility building. There is no quick fix, just good old fashioned quality over quantity. Today SEO is as much about the monitoring of what your customers want from you and like of what you’ve done, as it is quality content production. It’s also about social proof, with social media engagement now being ranked as a highly influential factor in your search engine visibility. So find yourself an SEO consultant with these things in mind.
User Experience (UX) is both an art and a science. UX consultants are tasked with the role of ensuring that your website offers a good user experience for all visitors that find it – ultimately to increase sales and brand confidence. Analysis may involve market research, heat maps, eye tracking software, and AB testing of design and copy. While the process may be incorporated into your web developer’s work, or could be employed independently for website redesigns or rebranding projects you should expect at least a low level involvement on an ongoing basis to make sure that new product releases, changes in trends, market preferences and so forth, are all taken into account when optimising the UX your website offers.
Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is all about what happens to the traffic that SEO brings you. SEO is designed to drive or draw traffic to your website, CRO is how to craft your website to convert more of those visitors into customers. This may involve adaptations in design, content or structure. It may involve offers and deals. And it may involve tiny tweaks or a swathe of changes. This is a complex craft that involves AB and multi-variant testing to regularly review which versions of landing pages convert best. The winning page is then used as the baseline for further testing. Over a period of time significant benefits can be gained from CRO work. There are now a wide range of tools that can help you to conduct your own AB and multi-variant testing, tools such as Optimizely and KISSmetrics, but often it can be best to call in an expert because, as I said, it’s a complex craft.