We have officially transitioned from the Industrial Age to the Age of Knowledge and Information. Your organization’s marketing strategy has to incorporate new languages for an evolving marketplace. You have increasingly sophisticated, intelligent systems looking for your content. Also, savvy users who often know exactly what they want when they come looking for your services. User experience (UX) and content searchability (SEO) matter.
In a groundbreaking study performed in 2018, it was discovered that an astounding 90% of all the available information created in human history, had been created in just the previous 2 years. More than 3.5 billion users worldwide search for content online. The amount of information (and sadly, disinformation) grows exponentially every year. That is a huge sea of written, visual and recorded data that you have to compete with. Also stand out from, somehow.
How does one know where to begin? You need your web pages, blogs, catalogues, or other materials to help clients find your content and hold their interest. There are literally entire college courses and hundreds of books devoted to this complex subject of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Avoid these SEO and User Experience Mistakes:
Two major mistakes that are made by many start-ups in their marketing strategy are
1) Creating great user content that your potential clients cannot easily find. The various search engines (“crawlers”) need to be directed to find your services. Incorporating good SEO helps this happen.
2) Creating sites top-loaded with buzzwords, industry jargon, hidden content, falsified or exaggerated claims, and/or pushy 80s-style sales techniques. These practices can generate good search results but have the effect of turning intelligent users off. This is where user experience becomes key.
Like many other aspects of good business, finding a balance between your user needs and SEO is as much an art form as a science. A one-size fits all “how-to” guide simply does not exist.
That being said, keeping a few basic ideas in mind can help you design fantastic web and other digital content that your users can both find and appreciate:
Short Guide to Combined SEO and User Experience:
a. Start with the Outcome; and let outcome define the platform, processes, content, etc.
This is a concept based on the IGOE technique, where you spend time first determining what business goals you want to achieve via an online platform. Then, depending on that outcome:
1) decide what medium and platform are best suited to your needs
2) determine what information you have at hand to verify the content and
3) choose what resources should be included in your platform.
To paraphrase Simon Sinek in his book, “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Others to Take Action.” you need to know why you do what you do. Then, what your clients are looking for from you. Your online content must clearly and visually reflect your vision and meet the specific user needs it was created to fill.
b. Then, make your content findable to search engines. Use carefully placed, organic, natural-sounding industry-specific language:
One key here is to include the language that a search engine for your industry would find. This is vocabulary that a savvy user would relate to immediately. Add enough supporting material that a layperson would still be able to understand the value of your services to them. Then be careful to not overload your site with jargon. Briefly explain technical concepts you use- and ensure that your product and service claims are verifiable.
c. Remember that Human Beings are Using Your Site:
People like content that they can easily navigate. They also like a variety of media. A person who wants to learn about your product while driving might like to listen to a podcast or spoken description. A visually oriented person might prefer a chart, diagram, graph, or video. A research-oriented person will want to read your article.
All of these users need to ultimately understand what your organization can do for them. They need to know how to contract your services or buy your products. They are also going to want to have a simple way to contact you. Also consider this- you need a system that your own team can navigate, maintain, and update without creating an overbearing workload.
d. Finally, Stand Out By Being Thorough and Comprehensive:
Sites in your industry that provide limited or partial information are a dime a dozen. They also do not stay long in the user’s memory. Remember you are competing for visibility and repeat use. You can stand out by taking a deeper dive and showing a thorough mastery of your topic. Show users how to do their own research; share success stories; take users step-by-step through a complex process. Help them make informed decisions rather than push a sale. You will be rewarded by long-term loyalty if you do.
e. Suggestion: Do an Internal Benefit-Cost Analysis to Determine if You Should Contract a Content Creator:
Meeting even the simplified above version of SEO and user optimization can be daunting. You may need a market analysis and think tank session with your team leaders and people on the front lines. You need input from past and potential clients. It may require data analysis, video skills, app design, graphic design, translation skills, story-telling ability, and more.
Companies such as Arcada Labs, who specialize in designing web and mobile content that optimizes user content and searchability on an individual basis, may be a great solution to support your marketing and sales team. Their process-management tools and visual Schema approach may be exactly what your team needs to create great apps and other digital media. If you prefer a DIY approach you may benefit from paid SEO and user courses such as those provided by platforms such as Udemy. Both options can help you brush up on this complex area and keep pace with the changing environment.
Ultimately, most businesses have a growth strategy in mind. You should examine how to improve your online and digital presence, since so many users are turning to these resources. If you determine that a professional service would return the best results for your investment, our team of professionals at Arcada Labs are available to walk you through our comprehensive solutions and select the services for your individual needs. We specialize in helping users who want to discuss options for site maintenance or rebuilding. These services emphasize consulting on SEO, improving traffic to your site, usability, and conversion rate. You can contact us obligation-free at any time at: Arcada Contact Page.