Skip to content

The Human Touch: How Optimizing for People Drives Profit

SEO and CRO lead the way in driving profitable growth

Measuring the impact of marketing is a numbers game, so it's easy to look to data for the answers. In reality though, data only gets you part of the way. Sure, it tells you what's going on, but it doesn't tell you why.

In the digital marketing landscape of 2024, true profit lies in understanding and catering to people. That's where two often-underrated heroes come in: conversion rate optimization (CRO) and search engine optimization (SEO).

Think of it like this: SEO attracts the right audience, like inviting the perfect guests to your party. You know they're perfect, because they've been looking for a party just like yours. CRO ensures they feel welcome, have a blast, make lifelong friends, and leave wanting more. It's the recipe for building profitable relationships, not just a one-night stand with traffic numbers.

And the numbers paint a clear picture. According to NP Digital's analysis of the digital channels with the most impact on profitable growth, CRO ranks number one and SEO comes in at number three, for driving the highest ROI. Why? Because they prioritize understanding people.

Human-centric SEO: putting people first in search

Forget chasing the latest algorithm quirks. It's not just the rules of SEO you need to get to grips with... it's the principles. Regardless of how and where people are searching, search engines have to deliver exactly what they want, fast. 

Success in SEO lies in understanding user intent and creating content that genuinely helps, informs, and delights. Google has long made user experience king, prioritizing websites that load quickly, are mobile-friendly, and engage users.  Content that's off-topic, websites that insist on showing the spinning I'm slowly getting around to loading wheel before they load — anything that stands in the way of putting quality information in front of the user won't make the page-one grade.

Today's business decision makers are spending more time than ever researching before talking to sales people, and expectations of digital performance and the availability of information have never been higher. Search engines win by delivering on those expectations, and so do the businesses supplying the content they serve up.

Ads drive (expensive) traffic, but it's earned placement that gains trust. High ranking search results deliver the goods, and users are more likely to click on relevant, high-quality content. It's a cycle that naturally increases website traffic from qualified visitors who are genuinely interested and ready to engage.

As an added bonus, high search engine rankings can only improve your brand reputation. Providing content recognized by search engines as valuable positions you as a trustworthy resource, and trust can often be the key to reducing long sales cycles. Delivering value is only possible when you deeply understand what your customers love about what you do, and what your prospects are trying to solve.

SEO specialists can put you on a fast path to increased profitable traffic by understanding how the machine works, but it's your understanding of how your customers and prospects work that will deliver the results.

CRO: optimizing the user experience for action 

SEO brings the right people to the door, but CRO opens it and welcomes them in with open arms. By understanding your users' behavior and motivations, you can remove friction points and guide them seamlessly towards conversion. For large organizations with already high traffic volumes, increasing conversion rate by even a few percentage points can have a significant impact on profitable revenue.

Here again, the user experience plays a key role. Slow website performance, confusing navigation, dead links, broken layouts, typos, and chatbots sitting on top of clickable elements can send users running.

Words, phrases, images, calls to action, button placement, and even colors can effectively influence click rates, while streamlining the paths to the conversions that matter to you — purchases, demo requests, and other intent-to-buy signals — can dramatically boost success rates.

And, it's all upside. Effective CRO takes your existing traffic and makes it more valuable by making it easier for users to become customers, at a lower per-customer acquisition cost.

People first, profits follow

It's not just about the numbers; it's about building genuine relationships with your audience. By focusing on creating a positive user experience, both SEO and CRO prioritize human needs and motivations, leading to sustainable profits and growth. In a world saturated with noise, it's the human touch that makes the difference.

Invest in human-centric SEO and CRO, and watch your profits blossom. After all, in the digital world, the most valuable currency is trust, and the best way to earn it is by putting people first.