With the advancement of technology, the Internet, and search engines, companies have sought to provide end-users an optimal experience that meets consumer demand. Where as marketing companies could previously get away with manipulating search engine systems to their advantage (regardless of their actual performance), Google, Bing, and various other search engines have began to upgrade their algorithms to ensure that results match up with actual quality.
So what does this mean for the user?
Well for starters, search results will provide internet-goers with websites that meet certain “favorable” criteria including: site speed, mobile optimization, site structure, content, and a plethora of other subtle advantages that consumers seek.
As for the marketers and website owners?
It boils down to providing meaningful full site integration, quality content, and appealing visual structure.
Quality Content Answers Questions
Of course website analytics, Google trends and keyword data are valuable to the marketer. But the reality is that the web is about the consumer. Meaning that your success lies much more in the satisfaction of the site purveyor over automated systems that analyze data points. This doesn’t mean that analytics don’t hold the same level of importance as previously considered, but rather that content should validate the data and not the other way around.
As the search process evolves, so must the marketer, search engine, and website. Long gone are the days of general searches, keyword density, and meta descriptions.
This generation of common web users are much more aware of the importance of specific key words and details. In fact, search engines are beginning to recognize the value of semantics and are distinguishing a website’s ability to answer a specific question over a general statement. This variation in website content means that marketers need to stop banking on keyword density and instead need to focus on providing customers with meaningful quality content.
“Mobalization”A clean mobile user experience has gone from good to have to must have for the search engines. Click To Tweet
Changes in search engine algorithms are improving the visibility of websites optimized for mobile viewing. These seemingly “catastrophic” changes have essentially upped-the-ante for major corporations who had been lax on improving this aspect of their websites. This has also allowed small businesses to improve their online presence – assuming of course that they were a head of the curve and already mobile ready.
For a marketer, this means approaching design for a given website with a “less is more” mentality. As mobile Internet users won’t have the same sort of tech specs on their devices in comparison to a traditional desktop, websites have to be developed with the understanding that an overly visual stimulating site can lead to unnecessarily long loading times.
This is a big no-no for user experience.
Baring in mind that simplicity will go a long way in website mobilization should hopefully ease the transition in providing a quality site for mobile users.When it comes to #webdesign, less is more. Click To Tweet
The interconnectedness of the world is way too large at this point in time to ignore and with the use of social media web sites at an all time high, it’s almost impossible to not recognize the importance of social listening.
The intent shouldn’t be to simply increase your customer count by using these various platforms, but you should instead focus on social media signals that your website and business are creating positive user experiences. The reality is that people will post about anything and everything, so you want to make sure when your name comes up it’s for a good reason.
And if it’s not?
Well, that’s an opportunity to utilize these various social media platforms to make sure your customers feel like their voice is being heard. This should hopefully lead to more interaction and a better overall user experience.
A World of Data
So your organization has successfully hit the three previously mentioned markers. Now work behind the scenes to leverage the data. There are a variety of platforms that can be utilized to effectively understand your metrics and develop an ever-evolving plan.
Google Analytics is a valuable (and free) tool, but it can be complex and overwhelming. If you’re open to the idea of having this data analyzed by a third party, there a numerous companies like Cobalt Digital Marketing eager to assist you – all you have to do is a little research to make sure their skill sets, experience and track record match your needs.
Metrics such as time on site, bounce rate, pages per visit, return visitor rates, on page analytics and conversions should help guide the evolution of your website to improve user experience. It’s an ongoing process of evaluation, testing and re-adjusting.
Of course with the frequent (and seemingly limitless) changes in technology, staying up-to-date in the SEO world and news is going to be a major aspect of the game. But evolution is a good thing and ultimately leads to optimal changes. Subscribe here to get more industry news and commentary from Cobalt Digital Marketing direct to your inbox.