You’ve probably read virtually every beginners guide to SEO there is on the web, and all of them are telling you to make sure you have your keywords here and there, and there… and there. Eventually, you’ve finally put all your content on your site and read it thinking, “What did I just say?” According to those guides and some site analyzers out there, you’ll probably even have great scores for your on-page SEO. Wonderful! Right? No, not even close.
What most of the guides to SEO don’t consider is, how will this content grab my customer and make them want to buy from me?
The time of keyword stuffing has come to an end and it’s the user’s turn now. Search Engines have become smart enough to realize that content needs to be more than a repetitive explanation of how you’re the best web designer in your state/city, over and over again. It’s about user statistics and their experience with your website.
Let’s dive into what really matters these days on your website. I’ll go through a few tips and tricks to help you engage your customers better, as well as give you a way to track your work through Google Analytics.
First, go read the copy on your website, would you want to contact you after reading your “optimized” copy? If the answer isn’t, “I’m calling me right now!” then we will want to start with a rewrite designed to get your story to your customer. Here are some items to consider when writing for the user:
- Do the titles above the paragraphs convey what the paragraph is about, or is it a keyword stuffed in an awkward space?
- Is the paragraph text short & sweet, getting straight to the point, or is it a long drawn out paragraph so that you can stuff as many keywords into one page as you can?
- Is there a clear call to action telling a customer what to do?
- Does the call to action clearly indicate what will happen if they commit to it?
- After the call to action, are expectations set for the user?
- Does your site navigation make sense?
- Are you engaging the customer when it makes sense?
Tips to Improve User Experience
- Write each page of your website with a specific purpose in mind, don’t try to cover multiple topics in one place. This’ll help the search engine determine which page to land your customer on, and if they land on a page specific to their search on the Search Engines, they’ll be more likely to browse around and will be less confused.
- Headers & copy should be coherent, not just chock full of keywords you wish to rank on Google. Make sure whatever a H1 or H2 tag has in it, is conveyed in the paragraph below it.
- Use lists, they’ll help you get your points out faster and in a more pleasing manner to the user.
- Make sure there is a clear and concise call to action on each page that is specific to your goals. If you want them to sign up for a newsletter, buy a specific product or contact you for a consultation, then tell them to do so. You should have covered the why do so in the copy above, so they’ll be looking for how to do so next. Use a button that contrasts your brand coloring and looks pleasing so it sticks out and is easy to find. You don’t want your buttons getting lost in the web design.
- Answer these 3 questions in 3 seconds or less: Who are you? What do you do? Why should I stay? The key to keeping customers past the dreaded 3-second rule is to make sure they know they landed somewhere that can take care of what they were searching for in the first place.
- Engage the customer directly with the right message at the right time:
- Using pop-ups on your site doesn’t have to be annoying and can drive lead generation through the roof when used correctly. If a user is reading up on tips & tricks, offer them a chance to get more tips like them, or an eBook related to the topic that covers everything they need to know about the topic.
- Don’t pop-up offering a free consult on high funnel content and expect users to convert day in and day out. It just doesn’t work that way, they need to be nurtured and trust you first.
How Do I Track My User’s Experience?
Don’t worry, there is no voodoo, magic or palm reading involved in tracking your user’s experience. In Google Analytics there are a few simple statistics to follow:
- Average Session Duration – The length of time “on average” that the users spend on your site.
- Pages per Session – The amount of pages “on average” that the users browse on your site per time they visit.
- Bounce Rate – The rate at which users leave your site without interacting or clicking any links.
Average session duration is simple, the longer they are in your content then most likely the more they are engaged. Keeping your averages high shows the Search Engine that they served up the right content to their user and that is what they want to do. Pages per session only matters if you need to guide your visitor through the site. If you need to educate your customer to make a purchase, then the higher the better. It’ll mean they are captured and wanting more and more information about your product. If your goal is to land on a product and check out, then the fewer the better. It means you landed them in the right place right away. Bounce rate is calculated by users that land on a page and with no further interaction, leave your site. This one you want to keep as low as possible. It means that the wrong content was served, and that’s no good.
Designing for the user will prove to be easier than for the search engine. It’s a more natural thought process than trying to stuff your keywords into as much text as you can. It’ll also help you increase your website conversions dramatically once you’ve completed this task. It’s a great place to start if you’re just getting off the ground with a new website design, or if you’re seasoned with 1,000s of visitors every month. Good luck on your content journey!
Updated May 8, 2018