Gone are the days where website rankings, keyword optimisation, and backlinks were the backbone of SEO. While they have a deserved place in determining website quality, modern day SEO is all about focusing on the user, meaning the technical metrics that are being tracked by search engines has changed. Big focuses on how to provide a meaningful user experience include website speed, bounce rate, page structure/navigation, and relevance to the user.
Website speed is the most straight-forward. How often have you been trying to load a website or even a photo from Instagram and before you know it you’ve backed out or scrolled past because its simply a better use of your time to find a different website or look at different photos?
It happens before we are even aware of it sometimes, which means you need to have a fast-functioning website if you hope to actually get visitors to your website and provide a positive user experience. Several things can factor into your website speed like image sizes, current hosting methods, having a ‘clean code’ etc.
Relevance is another big one but is not always as obvious depending on your industry. This ambiguity is mainly because of user intent. A website needs to cover many kinds of levels of intent a viewer might have in order to perform exceptionally which isn’t an easy task. Intent of a user can range from general information and query (possibly never having heard of your brand or product before) to fully informed and ready to make a purchase (without having to be led through 10s of pages to do it) and everything in between.
Having an easy to navigate website is integral and allows users to find a page that is actually relevant to them if their landing page wasn’t; from the home page and main header the visitor should be able to see products, a logo, contact info, blogs or industry info, team info, testimonials and social media links.
The bounce rate is how fast/often someone will exit your landing page without visiting another and deeply depends on the rest of the factors mentioned above. Google uses bounce rate as a strong indicator in determining the user experience that visitors have with your website.
While a bounce rate of 0 is nearly impossible, the lower the number is, the more you can be sure you’re engaging and converting as much of your website visitors as possible.
The content on your website has never been more impactful and ties into the relevancy component to determine how Google views your site’s user experience. This can be a good thing and a bad thing depending on your industry (try making lots of exciting, varying, and educational content about industrial plumbing fittings). Either way it is how modern-day SEO works now so knowing the type and purpose of your content you’re providing is important.
Purpose and Intent
It’s important to build from the bottom up and cater your different types of website content to what your website visitors are most likely to want, whether its product information, online store, in-store info, website news etc.
Ask yourself ‘what is the average viewer looking for when they click on my website?’. It is likely they’re somewhere between ‘slightly interested in the benefit your product provides (and isn’t familiar with the product) but don’t know your brand’ and ‘ready to make an informed decision to purchase a product’.
Call to Actions
Whether they know it or not, your visitors are a few select steps away from making a purchase or some other type of conversion action; Call to Actions are a way to do this. A Call to Action is exactly how it sounds; a sentence to spur the reader to take action in a way that excites, motivates or urges them.
It might seem like a small detail but it makes a tremendous difference as it builds a relationship with the user as it creates the illusion you’re talking directly to them, it can built that trust (call us today to find out how we can HELP), and it shows how your business can benefit them.
No Silver Bullet
Unfortunately, when it comes to content, there is no golden ticket or silver bullet. It is all a process in seeing what works and what can be improved, which is why most SEO companies have dedicated content writers who do it for a living.
Content on websites need to be consistently added, which can change depending on your industry in order to keep up with your competitors online. But committing to this (or organising a digital marketing agency like us to handle all your SEO for you) is a tremendously beneficial for both your website’s SEO and your ability to make sales, generate leads and overall convert your website traffic to buying customers.
Keyword optimisation and research is often part of the nitty-gritty tasks when it comes to SEO and website content BUT it plays an important role in the eyes of Google, especially when it comes to relevancy. The basic idea is that for each type of intention that exists within a potential customer, your language and keywords are different in order to accommodate them to their specific need.
The types of intentions viewers typically coincide with the different levels of the sales funnel:
This stage is where visitors are aware they need a solution but not quite sure yet what it is. Take starting a fitness journey as an example; you might not know what type of ‘getting fit’ you want, whether it’s building muscle, cardio training, circuit endurance, CrossFit etc. So, the awareness stage is about general terms and leading the visitor with information to inform them instead of selling them something.
This stage is all about the visitor evaluating their options as they know the broad solution they need. Convincing them of the superior benefits your product/service provides is the best thing to do here and your keywords and language should be catered to compliment the keywords that your audience is using at this stage.
For example, if I’m looking to start financially investing and am searching queries such as ‘ideal level of diversification’ or ‘average return on investment over x time’, then whichever financial institution I’m viewing would ideally be showing me information such as benefits of different portfolio’s and their past performance.
The real talent within this stage is knowing what your audience and their priorities regarding the benefits of your product.
This is the easy part; your viewer is intending to convert in some way and you just need to show them how. Words like “buy”, “order” and “promotion” work best here. This would also be the most optimal time to sign them up for a newsletter or some other way to ensure they’ll become a loyal, reoccurring customer.
SEO and user experience are tough cookies to crack, and if it seems complicated to the uninitiated that is because sometimes it can be, if you’re not situated in the industry. The whole process is less a set of linear tasks that improve your business as each is completed and more a web that has every component tied to another like user experience, content, keywords, web speed, bounce rate etc.
While no one knows your business better than you, it is a safe bet we might know more about your market and potential customers since that’s the realm of our business; so if this whole user experience space seems important to you but still very complicated (and justifiably so), then give us a call because maybe KDM is the digital marketing agency for you.