Customer experience in modern times cannot escape some online engagement, and in many cases, end-to-end internet connection. That said, how many marketers understand how an organic search represents their brand? My guess is not many. And yet, as a starting touchpoint, it’s a critical juncture in the customer journey.
CX consists of a string of interconnected touchpoints, zig-zagging in and out of online resources, driving a customer toward a purchase and, hopefully, long-term brand commitment. Nonetheless, when gaining new customers depends on finding them online, SEO should rank highly on your strategy checklist. Indeed, you may have an effective marketing program, but it amounts to nothing if customers bypass you. The bottom line? Your position in the search results is vital for securing new and repeat customers.
Did you know that Google designs its search engine algorithms to generate results that provide a “positive experience”? So how does Google know what’s what?
The short answer is user research and Big Data. All the metrics like click-through rates (CTRs), bounce rates, and page load speeds figure into their rankings of web pages as a good match. In short, SEO best practices suit Google, your business, and of course, your customer engagement.
How can I make it happen?
Artificial intelligence (AI) powers Google and other search engines, so there’s no way to “guarantee” optimal page placement. You should know that at the outset to keep your expectations in the real world. Instead, adopt a policy of optimizing for a visualized result. It will get you through the Google eligibility door – generally by industry – to technically qualify for selection.
For example, suppose you are in the running shoe business. In that case, you should aim at result types that permit customers to find your shoes for different situations on the search results page.
The Google algorithm constantly experiments with search result types to improve CX. That means companies must develop an adaptable SEO strategy – one with the ability to rapidly adjust to evolving search technology. The big takeaway is diversifying your SEO marketing strategy to make the most of existing and emerging search result types.
SEO without CX is like a bicycle without pedals
SEO without CX is directionless, and the customer journey is unsustainable for any length of time. The two concepts are inseparable because the search experience ties in strongly with customer experience data. Indeed, touchpoints center around the terms people use to find your product or service. Thus, the big fuss around keywords. In addition, Google captures data on how many times the same terms come up in customer searches. As crucial as volume is, relevance trumps it every time.
What is “relevance” in the bigger SEO picture?
General information about a topic carries little SEO power if you expect it to rank for all loosely related keywords. On the other hand, specific, easily referenced tables/charts or an interactive tool can create significant search traction. There are two rules I suggest you follow to inject relevance in your keywords:
- Analyze the keywords specific to your product/service benefits that your target audience will likely use at different touchpoints when searching online.
- Apply those words to the content/pages that align with the stage at which you intend to connect with the customer. Map it out from end-to-end over the entire customer journey.
Here’s a thought: The critical consideration in SEO relevance is having results about your company or products appear on pages that trigger positive customer reaction, in turn leading to the next logical touchpoint. Any organic placement on a search results page amounts to a free ad. Your integrated message in that space determines whether or not the audience clicks through to your website. At that point, you have the opportunity to engage them with relevant, practical, and groundbreaking content.
Selecting keywords: Some helpful tips
Let’s say you provide products or services related to kitesurfing with an online store. Unsurprisingly, the term “kitesurfing” has hundreds of thousands of searches monthly, but exactly how helpful is that to you? Unfortunately, so generally expressed, “kitesurfing” goes with so many different aspects related to the term, like:
- Kitesurfing for women
- Kitesurfing for beginners
- Kitesurfing clubs
- Kitesurfing beaches near you
An endless list of combinations moves the odds of a good page positioning heavily against you. Alternatively, selecting more definitive terms (with less volume and competition) closely related to the content of your landing page is much more SEO-centric. For example:
- Eco-friendly wetsuits for kitesurfers (connects to a specific product category)
- Best value kitesurfing board accessories (links to the accessory pillar page)
- Most aerodynamic kitesurfing boards (links to a product category page)
- All-in-one kits for advanced kitesurfers (perhaps leads to a blog)
- Kitesurfing versus surfing (links to a YouTube video)
- What you need for your first try at kitesurfing (links to a blog)
Ideally, your online store covers all the above. Finding appropriate search terms will engage customers when they’re in a mood to find the subject matter on your site at the right time. Connect with a specialist in your company (or outside of it) to identify the terms that will grab the customer’s attention. Even if your potential customers are a relatively small segment of all kitesurfers, but there’s enough of them, your ROI will reap the rewards. Inserting these unique terms constructively in your site content will align it with Google’s algorithms.
Remember, Google collects information on billions of searches worldwide. It then uses that data to determine how relevant your page is to future searches within defined decision verticals. This data is accessible in:
- Google Search Console (GSC) as Impressions
- Google Analytics
- Google My Business
So, do the analysis, and the traction will follow. Here’s a list of some of the answers to crucial questions you can nail down in minutes:
- The queries entered when your page ranked in the search results.
- The average positioning your page’s impression obtained.
- The number of prospects who clicked on it and the click-through rate.
- How many searchers went as far as rich results (e.g., videos, how-to-steps, etc.)
- The pages with high bounce rates.
- The pages holding the audience’s attention for the longest.
- The pages on your site falling short on measures like speed and layout stability.
- The best pages on your site for organic traffic.
- The worst pages on your site for organic traffic.
- The number of organic visitors (by page) making a purchase or responding to a call to action.
SEO strategy and customer experience is vital for generating new customers and retaining the customers you already have. With AI algorithms evolving all the time, companies must constantly re-examine their SEO and marketing strategies. Sogolytics can help you take a deep dive into your customer experience, and in turn, help you understand how your customers feel about your company or products. And being armed with this kind of information helps you to build a better SEO and marketing strategy. Contact us today to get started.