The All New SEO : Search ‘Experience’ Optimization
Today’s consumers are more sophisticated than ever. They expect interesting content, personalized marketing, and a seamless site experience. It doesn’t matter how creative your style is. If your pages take forever to load or your site looks boring on smartphone screens, people will not engage. Businesses and marketing firms have entered a cutthroat competition. Google and other search engines have updated their algorithms to account for all these user-experience elements when ranking the best of the best sites and content.
So, the world has entered the age of search ‘experience’ optimization, and marketers the world over are on the hunt for churning up profitable user experiences. The human element is the most important part of any marketing strategy. You’re trying to get people to click, read, share, or buy, and the only way to accomplish that is to get inside their heads and uncover their unique tastes. Accordingly, all your content and user-experience designs should reflect the type of experience you want people to have every time they interact with your company.
Just as marketing trends change at breakneck speed. The only way to stay ahead of them is to focus on the customer experience. Since the algorithms are built upon the work completed by automated crawling bots, it has always been difficult to truly simulate the actions of a human user. And it’s not feasible to create an algorithm that’s based on the feedback of users who submit their findings. Instead they have started to write logic and incorporate machine learning algorithms. Which are based on analysis of user behavior metrics – to provide the experience for users that should be on a website.
Some of the criteria are site speed, mobile optimization, site structure, content, and dozens of other signals that should give the algorithm an idea of whether or not search engine users are getting what they expect from a website. Previously, marketers used ideas like keyword density, meta descriptions, and link profiles. That’s the problem the search engines are trying to fix. Specifically, you need to think about your website visitors at every stage of your web design and marketing process.
For instance, if you’re designing a web page and you’re wondering how to make it appear in the Google search results, you should start by asking what your customers are typing into the search engine. And it’s the companies that are answering the questions for their customers that are starting to win in the search engine rankings. So, what are the important things which are needed to be implemented to make this search search engine experience worthwhile? Here are some of those:
Know Your Consumers
Pay attention to your user data, and you’ll know what direction you should choose. What features appeal them, and which do not. Use “voice of the customer” surveys to get at the heart of what your users need and want. There are various methods for collecting this data, including focus groups, email surveys. Create questions that suit each platform and take you beyond “yes” and “no” answers: Extracting qualitative data from your targeted audience will tell you the “why” and help you design your site and marketing experiences.
Start simply with website surveys. You will be pleasantly surprised with the amount of actionable insight you receive from your visitors. Employ pop-up surveys to find out what people want more of on your site. For instance, a simple dialogue box might ask, “What topics would like to see us write about next?” Then develop your blog posts, videos, and articles around what interests your users. Exit survey strategies provide insights into what your UX lacks and allow visitors to share feedback before they leave your site. Often, people will appreciate the chance to tell you what the site is missing, and you can respond through improved designs and content.
Feed Great Content
Search engines reward companies that publish well-written content. Blog posts and articles should sound natural and conversational to increase audience engagement. Also do make sure to assess how easy it is to comprehend your content. The terms people search – differ depending on whether they are speaking or typing. For voice searches, include long-tail keywords to increase your rankings.
Put yourself in the minds of your users. And find out their burning questions, obstacles they face and what piece of advice would change their lives? Check platforms like Quora and find out what they want. Then, craft posts around the popular topics dealing with your niche on those sites.
Structure your posts so they’re easy to read. Incorporate HTML semantics to break articles up with H2 and H3 subheads. Add plenty of rich media to enhance the writing. Photos, videos, infographics and additional trust factors will make your posts pop and add a level of credibility to the experience.
Content that makes people feel something—whether that’s surprise, awe, or anger—is more likely to go viral. But support those emotions with facts and actionable advice. People like articles that offer clear next steps. Finally, brainstorm a catchy title. Words like “lessons,” “principles,” “secrets,” and “tricks” are great for piquing people’s curiosity.
Make Them Come Back
Reputation affects your ranking. Write articles that showcase your expertise, and track your analytics to see which articles resonate most. Then, create similar content for added exposure.
Go deep on the topics you’re passionate about. The vast majority of organically top-ranking articles on Google are longer than 2,000 words. People crave genuine insights, so don’t hold back. Having a distinct voice will raise your profile even further.
Condensing your audience’s pain points into one comprehensive post will be appreciated, and it will keep them on your site longer. And longer content tends to be shared more often than brief tidbits of information. It’s a good idea to base your posts around expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Show your expertise with testimonials, and ensure your trustworthiness is apparent by citing research only from reputable sources. Readers will seek out your content as you become a recognized authority. Link to related pieces below each article as well; they generate additional clicks, and they provide your audience with helpful supplemental information. The continued engagement will also boost your organic search rankings.
Just as SEO has evolved, marketing overall won’t be the same in 2020 as it is today. Never stop looking for ways to improve your website to meet customer needs. Look at qualitative and quantitative feedback and implement changes responsively. Every customer journey is unique. While old SEO approaches were focused on machine experience, the new search experience optimization is all about offering value to end users. SEO is about people, not machines. Taking customers out of the one-size-fits-all sales funnel can increase web traffic, improve user engagement and raise conversion rates: all keys to a better bottom line.
For example, when you type in a keyword on Google, you’ll be offered a range of suggested searches that relate to your chosen keyword. You can also employ Google’s instant suggest feature, which fills in various long-tail search phrases as you type in your own keyword. Latent semantic indexing keywords can also help identify similar phrases. Tools like Übersuggest, the Google keyword planner, Google Trends, or Moz’s keyword tool can all help refine the keywords you should be using.
Be Available, Always
Customers want information tailored to their needs, and that sometimes means going beyond standard website information. The most responsive websites will offer quick access to a rock-star customer success team via live chat features, ensuring that any gaps in the content are quickly addressed. Customers are frequently looking to ask questions about a product. Installing a live chat tool on your website will not only help the company improve its user experience but the efficiency of its customer service team.
The user experience cannot be ignored. Free products like Crazy Egg can find where visitors click and scroll, while eye-tracking reports uncover where users look, gaze and fixate. It can be very insightful to be able to see through a visitor’s eyes as they navigate a site or app. Likewise, testing with Optimizely can help uncover the strongest website design. These tools all provide insight into how users engage with a website and offer valuable feedback for improvements.