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Why Google is Obsessed with You

author image Written by: Lia           Categories - Digital Marketing, SEO Tips

How User Experience Plays a Key Role in SEO Marketing

SEO marketing is now more user-focused thanks to Google’s obsession with user experience (UX). Google now takes into account websites that don’t meet user needs by demoting them in the rankings. To earn Google’s approval these days and to avoid being kicked off the search results map, your website must provide a quality experience that is specific to user needs. SEO marketing now goes hand-in-hand with UX, optimizing websites and content based on user behaviour. For a website to reach, attract, and engage with target audiences, it will need effective keywords and relevant content customized to user needs, language, and the overall user experience. By providing the best UX for users, your online can successfully grow!

UX Optimization

To optimize a website for user experience, SEO marketers will often run analytics tools such as Google Analytics on a website to track how users are engaging with your pages. Analysis of this data helps find out what is working and what isn’t. Google collects data on user behaviour, such as keywords typed in search, that will be used to adjust algorithms and provide users with the most customized search results. UX optimization will improve your web presence. Better quality content that meets the needs of users will lead to better rankings on Google, and will be more likely to appear near the top of the search results page.

Use Relevant Keywords

SEO marketers will research and use keywords that are relevant and common among your target users such as:

  • User language: words used when users search for products and services.
  • User intent: long-tail phrases that provide context into exact user needs.

Attract Users

Getting users to click on your website amongst the many others on Google’s search results is a matter of rankings and attracting users with your information. The following is what users see on search engine results pages:

  • Title Tags: The main link to the website includes keywords, relevant information, and catches the user’s attention.
  • URL Addresses: Your website address that appears below the title tag. This is also relevant to the user’s intent.
  • Meta Descriptions: Provides relevant and valuable information that matches user language and intent.

Engage Users

Once you’ve attracted users to your website, you must keep them engaged by providing useful information so they know they’re on the right page. Clear, assuring, and easy-to-scan information that users want to see on your landing page should include:

  • Your business logo or site ID—provides some association or tagline with what the user is looking for.
  • Header tags—should be similar to title tags. Also, headings throughout the landing page will help users scan for useful information.
  • A navigation menu—includes a list of your most important products and services. Include keywords in this menu if possible. This will help users find specific services and inform them of all the other useful services you offer.
  • Individual topics on each page—quality content specific to helping a user’s need. You can redirect users to other pages with internal links, but make sure to stay on a main topic with each page.
  • Calls to Action—links that say exactly what they lead to. Indirect calls to action, such as internal links, can also keep users engaged.
  • Fast-loading sites—so you don’t lose users out of frustration. This can be done with compressing large images, streamlining code, and using fast servers.

Effective SEO marketing goes above and beyond to satisfy and optimize UX. So go along with Google’s obsession with user experience and try UX optimization as part of your digital marketing strategy. Remember, the user is your potential customer, and positive customer experience leads to successful business growth.

Lia

Is Personalized Content the New Standard?

03/30/2018

Learn How Affordable SEO and User-Generated Advertising Strategies Can Yield Powerful Results For Your Brand

Personalized content is taking over the world of content marketing. Why? Because it gets results in a big way. Personalized content increases user engagement. It targets specific needs and increases sales. But more importantly, it’s user-generated more often than not. Big brands have been using personalized content strategies for some time now. And brands that take advantage of it will likely see a significant increase in revenue within the next year. If you want conversions, consider the powerful effects of content personalization, behavioural targeting, and user-generated content. Here’s how it works:

What is Personalized Content?

Whether they’re on your site to make a purchase or for research, the users visiting your site are there for a variety of reasons. Beyond sales and personal research, they might be looking for a job, following a referring link, or could be inbound from a social media post. The details aren’t important, at least for the moment. What does matter is the variety. Keep this in mind at all times and never forget it: User intent varies – so page content should, too. What’s relevant and useful to one visitor might also cause others to leave your page. A massive 71% of consumers want personalized ads, according to one study. Users want content that caters to their needs, after all, so the more effort you put towards creating that personal touch will go a long way. And, of course, personally-relevant content increases interest in a brand’s products and services. So: personalized content converts, which means more revenue for your business. Great! …but where do you start? We’ve got two words for you:

Behavioural Targeting

Behavioural targeting is exactly what it says on the tin: a way to target content based on insights from user behaviour. If you’ve spent any amount of time checking out the insights you get from your site, then you’ve already got a sense of user behaviour. We typically use Google Analytics, and it’s the standard for most digital marketers out there, but we supplement that insight and research with other tools as needed. Regardless of the tools you use, you can easily gather demographic and browsing data to target different content to different types of visitors. This is where personalized content starts to come into its own.

Behavioural targeting can maximize your content personalization as part of an affordable SEO strategy.
Photo by Tom Holmes on Unsplash.

Location Targeting

This behaviour data gives you tremendous insight into different subsets of your audience. Maybe you’ve got a bunch of young professionals in your city who access your site close to payday. You can specifically target these groups based on geolocation data to display ads relevant to their location. Changing your web content based on which country a visitor is from will help with sales, too. If the currency for your products is in their currency, it will remove a barrier to a sale—i.e. needing to calculate exchange rates.

Variables to Target

  • Device – Android phone or tablet, iPhone, iPad, Mac, Linux, Windows, etc.
  • Location – city, province/state, country, region (even neighbourhood)
  • Age and gender
  • Date and time of day – including how close to it is to payday
  • Purchase history
  • Behaviour – clicks, page views, session time
  • Search terms – which keywords brought them to your page
  • Referring URL – what backlinks that brought them to your site
  • Visitor frequency

Ad Targeting

When a user shows interest in a product online, you can target ads based on this behaviour. Users will start seeing ads on websites with a product they previously searched for. This is like online stores creating lists of suggested-items for visitors based on their search behaviour—i.e. “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought,” “You May Also Be Interested in These Items,” and, “Frequently Bought Together.”

Ad targeting based on behavioural variables can help you develop segmented content.
Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash.

Segmented Content

So now you’ve done your research and you’re ready to start specifically targeting key user groups. Fantastic! Using all your target research, you can develop A, B, and C copies of a home page or landing page to better target your user groups. For example, users visiting a page from one target group will see page A, while others will see B and C, respectively. This is segmented content, and it relies on some smart software and plugins that interact with your site and ad campaigns. It’s an easier, if still somewhat generalized, method of personalizing content. But developing personalized content based on these variables and behaviours is a time-consuming process. Why not have your users do it for you?

User-Generated Content

Creating content is a time-consuming job as is. Social media, site content, and images take time to research, plan, develop, and implement. You’re already creating content for a variety of audiences. It’s part of your initial content strategy. Fitting in these subsections is even more time-consuming than your existing content efforts. The solution? Get your users to do it for you. Instead of spending extra resources trying to make relevant content for everyone, why not leave the work to your audiences instead? Some brands are turning to talented consumers and influencers, asking them to share their experiences in a creative way. It’s a working partnership that creates greater authenticity for these brands by having actual consumers use and engage with products in more meaningful ways. It’s a remarkably affordable SEO strategy that keeps your costs low, too.

User-generated content is an equally beneficial and affordable SEO tactic.
Photo by Skye Studios on Unsplash.
These content creators use social media to share relevant brand content and reach new audiences. Because these creators and influences have such dedicated followings, it means your brand gets in front of even more eyes. In turn, this authentic, engaging social content creates meaningful connections with consumers. Businesses may find it difficult to keep up with personalized content creation, especially across all platforms. There is an ever-growing demand for content across various channels, especially social media. Brands may think they don’t have the resources or technology to invest in this personalized content marketing. But there are solutions to get you on board this new powerful ship to conversions. With the right approach and strategy, this remarkably affordable SEO means your business can offer engaging, personalized content that converts. CONTACT US TO LEARN MORE!  

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Designing for Three Levels of UX

12/18/2017

How Marketing Companies Use Design to Improve User Experience

Design guru Donald Norman once said, “Good design is actually a lot harder to notice than poor design, in part because good designs fit our needs so well that the design is invisible.” The beauty and mystique of design is that it works in ways we’re not always conscious of. Design affects us on deep emotional levels, influencing behaviour without us ever noticing. Good design plays a major role in effective marketing strategies. User experience, or UX, is subject to massive scrutiny and attention to ensure optimal results. Marketing companies focus on creating user-friendly designs that are easy to use, and that shape user behaviours on a subconscious level. UX designers focus on pleasant, intuitive, and memorable experiences to get users to convert and return in the future. In fact, in his book Emotional Design, Donald Norman delved into these subtler aspects of UX. He refers to the three levels of design, three key ways in which it affects us without our knowledge. Understanding these three levels can help designers and marketers create emotional responses in website users. Careful application of these lessons can help influence product purchase decisions, CTRs, and conversion rates. But what are these three levels, and how do marketing companies make the most of them in UX? Let’s take a closer look:

Visceral Design—Gut Reactions, Lasting Impressions

It’s good advice when it comes to UX design!
They say not to judge a book by its cover, but it’s the first thing humans do, instinctively. It’s a gut reaction, and the first emotions users experience when they encounter a design reflects this. These are visceral emotions, better known as gut reactions or instincts. Visceral emotions are subconscious. They are immediately felt, triggered by the initial sensory experience with a design, and are beyond our conscious control. These sensory experiences are influenced by design aesthetics, such as look and feel and how they engage our senses. This is the first impression your design will make on users, so it must be excellent. Malcolm Gladwell refers to this as “the blink,” that moment in which we create a snap judgment of something. This gut reaction influences everything from product credibility and quality to ease of use. In fact, a more attractive design that elicits a positive response will likely be considered easier to use. Creating a compelling design that sets your users at ease and instills confidence is a challenge but pays dividends.

Behavioural Design—Delivering on the Promise

Behavioural design influences how users interact with your site, and how they respond to frustrations.
Frustrated users are typically experiencing issues with behavioural design.
After visceral emotions, users experience behavioural emotions. This refers to the user’s experience with the function and usability of a given design. Users develop opinions on how easy the design is to learn, to use, and overall functionality. User experience will always run on a learning curve. Functionality must always start simple; overly complex functions too early on could scare away a user. A single bad experience, after all, can quickly outweigh all the positives you’ve created for a user. For example, say you’ve developed a professional-looking site that conveys confidence and respectability. Then say the moment a user takes an action, functionality falls short. It’ll be hard to rebuild the trust created by that gut reaction, as behavioural responses are starting to form. Behavioural design may be the most meaningful aspect of these three levels of design, more so than the visceral, because users develop an opinion informed by experience. It goes beyond the emotional and into the practical and pragmatic.

Reflective Design—“Now that I think about it…”

Reflective design refers to how a user will think on and assess a design after the fact.
Like The Thinker, your users will reflect on their experience after they’ve left the site
Design and user experience continues when the user logs off. People keep thinking! Their experiences stick with them, and users will reflect on these experiences when the design is no longer in use. If you’ve done your homework, they’ll develop positive associations and familiarity looking back at your site. It’s a challenge, but guaranteeing form and function operate hand-in-hand ensures your users will be left with a positive experience. Users will determine, independently, if the design will have any positive impact on their lives, attaching value to it if it does. This is where UX designers can maximize a user’s desire to continue using the design, which is to say, buy the product. Positive associations when reflecting on a design include:

  • Beauty;
  • Pleasure;
  • Satisfaction;
  • Ease of use and impact on the user’s life; and,
  • A bond with the product.

While designs that elicit positive experiences cause users to disregard minor downfalls, negative experiences will cause users to focus on everything that is wrong with the design. Marketing companies and UX designers work hard and consider every aspect and level of design. For true success, users must enjoy positive experiences throughout their journey, from the very first impression all the way to the end after they’ve completed a conversion.

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