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CRO vs. SEO for my Shopify Store – Which One Should I Prioritize?


Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) aren’t simply buzzwords: they have a real impact on the success of your Shopify store. Both of these factors go hand in hand: you need SEO to drive traffic, but if you don’t provide the optimal user experience and encourage purchase behavior, visitors simply won’t convert into customers — and won’t generate any revenue for your store. As a new business owner, your resources are limited, and so the question is:, where should you funnel your resources? Let’s weigh our options.

CRO – Conversion Rate Optimization

Conversion Rate Optimization Concept on Laptop Screen








Your conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who turn into customers — that is, the amount of visitors who make a purchase. If your website is not optimized for conversions and presents a confusing user experience, then any money and effort you spend on driving traffic is simply wasted.

Let’s break it down. Say, for instance, you have 1,000 visitors at your store and the average purchase is $50.

   A website with a low conversion rate converts at under 1%, meaning:

    1000 visitors x 1% conversion rate = 10 orders  @ $50/order = $500 in new revenue

Now, say you improve the overall experience of the website, making it easier for visitors to find products and browse your website resulting in a 2% increase in conversion rate. This marginal improvement of 2% will boost your sales by 300%. Let’s do the math; same 1,000 customers and $50 average order:

   1000 visitors x 3% conversion rate = 30 orders  @ $50/order = $1,500 in new revenue

That’s 3x the amount of revenue using the same amount of traffic, but with a more user-friendly website that encourages purchase behavior. The numbers don’t lie — CRO helps boost sales.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization

Seo on Green Highway Signpost.






Making it easier for search engines to find your website helps drive traffic (and potential customers) to your store. When someone searches online, the search engine reads the keywords, meta tags, page titles, content, and ranks your website based on over 200 variables to measure relevance to the search query. Pages that are determined to be more relevant are ranked at the top and generate the most clicks. Check out this article about a new Google Algorithm RankBrain

Optimizing your website’s discoverability and improving your ranking on Google is one of the most important ways to drive people to your website and get exposure for your product. After all, you cannot convert visitors into customers if you don’t have any visitors, right?

While SEO is important, our verdict is to prioritize spending on CRO. It is essential to ensure your  website is optimized to convert visitors into customers from the very beginning, and then ramp up your search engine ranking and visibility after you are reasonably sure that your website will provide a near-optimal user experience. There are also other ways to improve your visibility without spending money on SEO. Social media pages such as Facebook and Instagram are great ways to help build and establish your brand, and are an easy way to network with customers, spread the word about your products, and drive traffic.


Now that you’re ready to dive into CRO, where should you begin? Check out our handy guide to CRO, and let us know in the comments if you have a great tip on improving conversions!


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