In the digital marketing world, it’s not uncommon to see SEO teams and CRO teams butt heads. With lots of overlap in their work and sometimes seemingly opposing goals, conflict between these teams is understandable. That conflict can lead to frustration and more importantly for healthcare marketers, less-than-ideal results.
However, SEO and CRO teams can work to the benefit of each other and their healthcare marketing agency. And when they do, they can deliver powerful results for their clients. We’ve put together this guide to help you align your SEO and CRO teams to create a unified approach and produce unbeatable, best-in-class content for healthcare marketing.
SEO vs. CRO for Healthcare Marketing
On a bigger level, SEO and CRO have the same goal – to deliver results for their healthcare marketing agency. How they achieve that, however, is quite different.
The job of a healthcare SEO is to create and optimize content that satisfies search intent and, as a result, helps a page climb high on the search engine results page (SERP) and get users to the content. A CRO, on the other hand, works to create a user experience (UX) that has the best chance at getting users to “convert,” or perform the desired action on the page, such as making a purchase or signing up for an email list.
Potential Conflicts Between SEO and CRO for Healthcare Marketing
The underlying conflict between SEO and CRO teams is that they work to serve slightly different interests. This can lead to goals that are sometimes in conflict with each other if teams aren’t aligned. Most of this conflict happens in a few different ways.
In marketing, SEO teams and CRO teams have fundamentally different priorities. Both work with the user in mind, but in different capacities.
An SEO’s job is primarily to get a user to a page and keep them on that page. To do that, they design and structure content that best aligns with the best practices for search engines. They also need to consider what makes their content more “clickable” and invite users who see a preview on a results page.
While SEOs also consider the on-page experience, CROs are laser-focused on it. They tweak content and on-page elements to maximize the chance that users will perform the desired action. Their sole focus is the user and their behavior.
This means that a CRO may sometimes implement strategies on a page that can interfere with the SEO strategy, and vice-versa. While users may respond better to the way a header for a content section is written by a CRO, for example, that may work against the SEO’s page strategy and hurt its performance in the SERP landscape.
Another area that’s susceptible to SEO vs. CRO conflict is when content gets swapped out. One common example of this has to do with personalization.
For the most part, the more personalized content is towards an individual user, the more likely it is that they will convert. However, this can work against the goal of an SEO, who may be trying to capture a wider audience from the search engines.
A high degree of personalization may deliver a high conversion rate, but it may also be too niche to rank for broader search terms and limit the number of users that get to a page. If content is designed to bring users in but is too broad to speak to individual users in a way that resonates, the conversion rate could suffer.
Split testing – or comparing the results from two versions of the same page – is one of the most powerful tools in a CRO’s arsenal. It allows them to see clearly how users respond to different elements on a page and find the most optimal solutions.
However, split testing – also known as A/B testing – can be a headache for SEOs. One of the bigger concerns for people on the SEO side is duplicate content, which Google and others are known to penalize. This means that split testing two versions of the same page with mostly the same content runs the risk of hurting performance in the SERPs.
How SEO and CRO Can Work Together for Healthcare Marketers
While there are challenges to getting SEO and CRO teams in healthcare marketing to work together, the results of them doing so can be more than worth the effort. Both sides have different perspectives on user behavior and search intent that can help create powerful, holistic solutions.
Sharing Research Insights
Both CRO and SEO teams rely on research to get results. The type of research they do is different in practice and produces different insights. But together, these insights can form a more complete picture of the user and their intent that can inform an ideal strategy.
Most SEO research involves identifying what users are looking for when they enter a search query. This can be gleaned from a combination of SEO keyword research tools, competitor analysis, performance testing, and more.
CROs, on the other hand, research what users do when they get to a page. By testing different elements, they can learn what users respond to best within the content.
When combined, this research can paint a clear picture of what users hope to find with a certain search query and what gets them to perform the designed response. With this in mind, SEOs have a more clear idea of the pathway from search query to action, and CROs get a better understanding of what users are looking for.
The two teams can also work together to deliver an on-page experience that maximizes conversion rates. While CROs can zero in on individual elements to inspire user action, SEOs are adept at guiding users to content.
These skills can work to serve each other. A CRO can create an experience that keeps users on a page for longer – a metric that can help a page rank. Similarly, SEOs can structure content in a way that leads users to the parts of a page where they can perform a desired action.
How to Align SEO and CRO for Optimal Healthcare Marketing Results
Even when you understand how your SEO and CRO teams can work to each other’s benefit, getting them to do that is a different thing entirely. But with careful coordination and an optimized process, it can become simply the way they operate.
1. Outline Common Goals
SEOs and CROs do have a common goal, but sometimes it can be easy to forget that. That’s why it’s a good idea to clearly identify goals with input from both sides before starting on a project.
Help both teams find common ground in what they hope to achieve with a page or site. Then, let the strategy and methods flow from there.
2. Identify Boundaries
For true collaboration, both sides will have to be willing to compromise. An SEO may have some practices that must be implemented, even if it means a CRO can’t execute something they want to. The same is true in reverse.
It’s much easier to identify which lines can’t be crossed on both sides. This creates firm boundaries that can help avoid conflict and give each team a clearer idea of where they can and can’t operate.
3. Share Research
Both teams have something to learn from each other’s research. It is critical that SEOs and CROs in healthcare marketing are transparent about what they learn.
This provides insight to both teams that they might not have otherwise. But it will also help each side understand the other’s job and methods more deeply. This can foster empathy and help teams learn to work towards each other’s benefit.
4. Share Results
When teams are competitive, it can be tempting to only share positive results with each other. And in some cases, one team may not know at all what kinds of results the other is getting. This can lead to misunderstandings and missed opportunities.
Provide regular opportunities to go over results judgment-free. In addition to celebrating wins, use losses as a chance to learn and grow.
5. Communicate Constantly
Overall, the main key to success on any team is communication. Both your healthcare SEO and CRO teams will run into problems that should be shared with each other. And no matter how much you foster collaboration, conflicts will still arise.
By creating a culture of communication, teams have the best chance of learning from each other and working in ways that benefit the other. It also allows them to address issues before they become big problems.
Aligning SEO and CRO for Healthcare Marketing: Conclusion
When your SEO and CRO teams in a healthcare marketing agency are aligned, they can produce stunning results for you and your clients. A strategy that takes both parties into consideration has the best chance of finding the ideal solution for a given project.
Open communication and sharing are the main keys to aligning these two teams. When you foster an environment that inspires both sides to make the other team’s job easier, the rest can take care of itself.