Google has significantly updated their algorithms over the years to provide a better user experience to their search engine users. This caused shifts in SEO strategies because Google made it a priority to get devalue the sites that were ranking from spammy techniques. It’s safe to say that user experience is one of the most important aspects of your SEO strategy.
What Provides a Good User Experience?
There are many variables that go into what provides a positive experience for a user. Each variable needs to be considered when developing and monitoring any on-going strategy. Here are some of the primary areas to focus on:
Easy to Navigate Website
Websites that have confusing navigation for the user and search engines, won’t rank as high in the search results. The architecture of a website plays a huge role in how seamless and easy it is to navigate. The second a user or search engine bot has any confusion, they drop off. The navigation and URL structure should follow proper siloing techniques that make it easy to understand for users and search engines.
The most frustrating experience to a user is landing on a page that isn’t relevant to what they searched. To keep your content relevant, your pages should each be optimized with relevant keywords. When we say optimized, we mean that the content is answering a problem related to the search query. When the content is completely irrelevant to the search, users will most likely bounce off the page. Keep your keywords in the primary headings to prevent this.
Content That Delights Users
Content is another variable within the strategy that will help attract leads to your website. Types of content used to delight users may include: helpful blog posts, eBooks, social posts, case studies, newsletters, press, etc. You want to attract users with quality content, and delight them with more content that is relevant to their needs. Setting up workflows and email campaigns will help keep your content fresh and in front of your ideal audience on a regular basis. This also keeps your brand in front of your potential client without pitching them directly on a sale. When they are ready to buy, they will remember your brand because you’ve delighted them with quality content that was useful to them.
Landing Page Optimization
This directly relates to relevancy and content that delights users. When attracting leads with your content, you have a goal in mind with this content and how the user converts into a lead. This is where your landing page comes into play. Whether you’re sending a user to a landing page from your blog post or email, you want to make sure it is fully optimized with a clear call to action. Let’s say you wrote a blog post that had a call to action sending the user to a service page, you then want to make sure that service page of your website has a clear next step for the user such as the phone number. You also might want to add a contact form for them to request more information. Every page of the website needs to have a clear next step for the users, which is how you can turn them into a qualified lead.
Google recently released an algorithm update known as the Google Mobile-Friendly update or Mobilegeddon (as some are calling it). This is going to devalue any websites that do not provide a positive mobile experience for users. To provide the best possible mobile experience, a response design is what is recommended. This is where the website will scale to fit all devices. If you still have to pinch and zoom to see the content and click the navigation on your mobile site, your website could suffer from this new update.
Fast Loading Time
Check the website speed test to see how your website is performing in terms of speed. When a website takes too long to load, it is losing potential leads and search engine bots depending on how long the site takes to serve up the important content. Websites should load quickly on all devices to provide a decent experience.
Google Focuses on User Experience, Not SEO
In order to achieve competitive rankings in Google, stop focusing on quantity and focus on quality. Providing a quality experience to your user should be your goal because your rankings are going to depend on it. Since Google’s primary focus is to provide its users with a good user experience, your website should mimic just that. Google controls your website rankings, why would you consider anything less than quality?
If you’re not thinking quality and still doing “old school” SEO, this might work temporarily, but ultimately will only leave your website vulnerable to a penalty in the future. The last thing you want is a Google penalty because it can take months or years for your website to gain any indexing back, which means NO keyword rankings period. Avoid these outdated techniques and focus on quality in order to prevent anything negative happening to your website rankings and traffic.
Your Website Will Become Your Top Lead Generating Source When Done Right
When your website is properly optimized for search engines and the user experience, it will produce qualified leads. Keep a close watch on the user behavior in analytics to see how users are engaging with your website. Specifically focus on bounce rates, average time on site, pages per session, and conversion rates. Constantly monitoring these metrics will help you identify which landing pages may not be providing the best experience for your user and where you may be losing leads. Also, pay attention to the landing pages that are turning your users into leads. What did you do differently with these pages? Make sure each landing page is fully optimized to reach your end goal.
The most successful SEO campaigns we manage here at Eminent SEO are the ones that have high quality content to delight the users with, as well as a beautifully designed website that also provides users with a clear call to action. Today’s SEO shouldn’t be focused on the volume of traffic, but the volume of converting traffic. It is our job as organic search engine marketers to make sure each website and marketing campaign provides a positive user experience.
Need help converting your website into a lead generator? Give us a call today: 800.871.4130