Building a company website for search engines and building a website for users are one and the same thing. In the early days of the Internet, SEO trends were quite simple (let’s not say primitive), as were the search engine algorithms. Machine learning improved in leaps and bounds and search engines have upped their game. And changed it a bit. At some Renaissance point in the recent past, the user emerged as the central figure of interest – for the search engines and businesses alike.
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Money makes businesses go round
Neil Patel, SEO maven, argues in one of his articles that optimizing your business website for user experience is basically conversion optimization. The fundamental goal of every single business activity is to make money doing what you do. If visitors to your website have a good experience with your product, services and everything you offer on your website, they are much more likely to convert into customers.
In other words, let’s suppose your SEO tactics get you 15,000 visitors a month who bounce the moment they hit the landing page. You obviously achieved good ranking if all those people thought you had the answer to their search – but that didn’t translate into customers or money.
Internet users have become savvier and consequently, more impatient, because they can recognize value much more quickly. According to a study, by 2020 customer experience will be the crucial factor for brand differentiation and preference, not price or product.
A treasure hunt
We’ve gotten this far without taking a stab at defining our central phrase – user experience. Things can get rather tangly, and you can read more about the differences between the user experience and usability here and here. But, for the purpose of this article we can afford to make this simple – user experience is the way users interact with a product/service/what is offered on a business website. What’s important is that user experience influences the user’s perception of that business.
Positive user experience (UX) means that users find value in what you give them. So, every search is a treasure hunt to users.
What does that mean for San Diego SEO?
If you want to improve user experience for your prospects, what are the exact steps you take?
Your website should be navigable and easily so. The information should be outlined in such a way that it reflects the questions a visitor would have. When categorizing information into sections, the point is not for you as a connoisseur to outline the information in a way you see fit. Bear in mind someone who needs your product but doesn’t know a lot about your business – how would they look for information on your website?
Navigability also means that the texts should have a healthy dose of internal links that logically take the visitors to information elsewhere on your website which they would benefit from.
Your website should be actionable too. The tasks the visitors would like to perform should be clearly segmented and signaled.
The design is also a big thing. An emotional design which taps into the power of image increases the desirability of your product and brand. However, the design doesn’t apply just to the visuals. Since a huge percentage of users visit websites on their mobile, optimizing for their experience has become unavoidable. If the mobile user comes across a site that isn’t optimized for mobile, research says 79% would leave in search of another site to perform their task. A bit more than 60% would quickly leave if it was difficult to find the information they needed (this takes us back to navigability).
Appealing, responsive design that sits well with mobile users is a great investment considering that two thirds of mobile searches want to make a purchase the same day and that 80% of local searches convert the same day.
And you need the unavoidable ingredient – high-quality, credible, authoritative content. There’s this comprehensive article by Neil Patel that advocates for blogs on company websites and provides some great evidence. Blogs give you an opportunity to prove your potential customers that you are an authority in your industry. And your customers appreciate quality blogs more than you think – around 80% of them enjoy reading them and a bit fewer than that find out more about the company through their blogs rather than ads.
Of course, when we say quality content, we also mean more than blogs. Think excellent service pages or FAQ pages or anything that you think is valuable for your customer to know about your product, business and industry.
Have a Maserati
Your San Diego SEO expert should help you build a site that is like Maserati. That’s how the author of this interesting article in Search Engine Journal succinctly puts it.
He says you should see your site as this luxurious machine. The on-page SEO is the engine and the interior workings of the Maserati. However, people wouldn’t buy a hot-rod clunker with a Maserati engine under the hood. They are attracted by what Maserati represents and stands for – the luxury, sleekness and brand name. That is, the user experience.