How 2017 Savvy Websites Should Optimize For User Experience
Just about every search engine on the net has upgraded its algorithm in an attempt to improve the end user’s experience. Sites are incorporating machines that use algorithms based on user behavior metrics and measure what users want from their search results. Site speed, mobile friendliness, and content are just a few features they’re paying attention to in order to determine sites are meeting user expectation. These new metrics are proving search engine optimization is quickly being overridden by a new SEO strategy: search experience optimization.
If your site is hoping to optimize for the new SEO, here’s what your website should take into consideration:
Getting On Top of Mobile
It’s old news that smartphones searches have overtaken desktop. Still, plenty of businesses are relying on marketing strategies that don’t account for this. If you’ve already begun to optimize your site for this climbing preferential treatment of smartphones, give yourself a pat on the back. Not only are you ahead of the curb, you’re also becoming a site favorite amongst your targeted audience. But don’t go thinking you’re all set when it comes to your mobile strategy, now you’ve got to optimize your site for mobile traffic too.
Start by having an understanding of mobile users and their needs. Remember, they don’t have the bandwidth that desktop users have. Not only is their internet speed slower than desktop computer’s, they’re also restricted by data limits. Meaning, mobile pages with a lot of data and images that increase load time are not ideal. If you find that your mobile pages aren’t serving users with prime speed and are instead struggling to juggle bytes and data, consider how you might reduce the noise. This might mean minimizing images and displayed features or implementing the help of lightweight HTML pages that function with more speed. Remember, the mobile sites that load and operate in the most streamlined manner will be the ones that better suit search experiences.
Asking The Right Questions
The days of keyword density, meta descriptions and link profiles are long gone. Now, search engines are also attempting to improve user experience by providing results that are relevant to the questions users are asking. Of course, this means your site has to follow suite. Make sure your site’s visitors are being considered at every stage of your marketing and site optimization process. It’s a tactic that will be easy enough to conduct if you ask yourself the right questions while you build your content.
As you create your content with search result rank in mind, think about the questions your customers are asking search engines. While your old strategy might have used a tactic that optimized for terms like “New York restaurants” or “lamp store,” today’s strategy requires an approach that accounts for user habit and behavior. People aren’t typing in keywords anymore, they’re asking questions. Now users use search engines to find out “what are the best lamp stores near me?” The companies that can answer these questions on their pages are the ones that are winning over search engine rankings. Take over search engine ranks by providing content that answers these questions.
Watching User Experience Metrics
After you’ve optimized your website and its mobile experience, your next step is actually assessing what happens during your user’s’ experience. Sites like seoClarity and Google Analytics give users a chance to analyze how visitors come to your site and what they do while on it.
Look for signs that indicate what kind of a user experience you are providing. Study metrics such as the amount of time users spend on your site, its bounce rate, page per visits, return rates and conversions. These bits of data can help you to understand what users are enjoying about your site and problems they might be experiencing with specific pages and links. Heat map trackers can help you to visually understand what parts of your site are attracting and alienating users.
Avoiding Dropping The Ball On Social Media
Last, but far and away from the least, is social media. Your industry might not be the most exciting, but don’t overlook the possibilities a creative and innovative social media strategy can provide. While channels like Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram might not be the lead drivers of traffic to your site, know that search engines are using social media sites to determine what kind of user experience a site offers. For your brand, this means social media should be used to stimulate conversations and drive traffic back to your site. Start by using social media as an opportunity to promote new blog posts and helpful information on certain pages of your site.