In this week’s edition of FAQ Friday, we answer your burning questions on user experience, SEO, and how they can work in tandem to generate more leads through your website.
Ultimately, you want your website to act as your 24/7 salesperson, attracting new users and converting leads down your sales funnel. But, it’s easier said than done.
Where do I start?
Start with strategy. It’s best to plan ahead with your website design as much as possible. Your website is an important and sometimes costly component of your business, so it’s always better to get it right the first time.
At the very beginning of your design strategy we recommend starting with one of the core principles of inbound marketing best practices, your buyer personas.
Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers. This is really the core of who you are servicing.
Every piece of content, information, products, services and even web design should have these personas in mind. Your personas help you understand your target market, and understanding your market will inform you how to design and create content for your ideal prospects.
What is the best content to leverage for the user experience?
By creating buyer personas, you already have insight into your most ideal customers. By anticipating the questions, concerns, and needs of your website visitors, you can produce content that solves the various pain points of your site traffic. In an age when over half of users spend less than 15 seconds on any given website, it’s important that you provide an experience that is worth their while.
Users don’t have time to sift through irrelevant or boring information. When was the last time you encountered a website that was so informative, it was dull? You probably hit the back button within seconds. People want to find the website that contains the knowledge they are looking for, but they also want the experience to be as enjoyable as possible, too!
A great online marketing campaign is one that enables your company to present itself as an industry thought leader. You want the reputation of a company who not only knows its products/services inside and out, but also conveys that knowledge in a concise yet helpful manner. At the end of the day, all your marketing efforts should be putting the buyer first—and these buyers are looking to become educated on a certain obstacle or pain point they are having.
How do I optimize user experience for my website?
Streamline your experience across multiple channels.
Improving the user experience should be a robust, all-encompassing approach that goes beyond any one feature of your website. Your tone should be consistent across your website, blog, social media, and any other advertising channels you might use. For more in-depth tips on producing awesome video content, click here or on the video below.
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Align your sales and marketing teams.
Think about your sales funnel. Typically, the marketing team works to fill the top of the funnel, while the sales team tries to move leads down the funnel and close them as customers. This traditional sales process can be ineffective unless both teams are actively cooperating. Having weekly editorial meetings, for example, allows the copywriters to discuss the best content while hearing fresh perspectives from the viewpoint of sales. Transparency and communication will lead to a consistent, smooth transition as leads move down the funnel.
Optimize SEO through keywords.
There are many ways you can better your content marketing efforts with a well-developed and properly deployed keyword strategy. By putting full emphasis on your customers' and website users' experience with your content, you are keeping your most ideal customers first. Naturally, Google and other search engines will reward your site with high rankings. After all, the function of the search engine is to make the most relevant information available for a particular keyword, phrase, or query. Serve your visitors, leads, and customers with SEO that puts their needs and objectives before the objectives of your company.
What are some common challenges companies are facing with SEO?
Generating traffic and converting traffic to leads.
Clearly, marketers are struggling with producing enough demand for their content. And as the years progress and competition stiffens, this will only become truer. With so many options to publish their content and even more ways to promote it, it's hard to know where to focus your efforts. When it comes to creating content that produces enough traffic and leads, you should ask yourself two questions: Are you truly creating high-quality content—the type of content people would pay for? And, do you know the type of content your audience actually wants? Once you know you're creating the type of content prospective customers want, the focus shifts to promoting it in a way that makes your customers take notice. More than ever before, people are being flooded with content.
ROI and budget go hand-in-hand, and providing quantifiable data to back up your campaign is the bane of marketers everywhere. However, it can be done. If your business doesn’t use a CRM, you are behind the times. Even if you currently have a CRM, it’s almost a guarantee that you haven’t tapped into its full potential. Client Relationship Management software allows you to not only store crucial contact information from your site traffic and leads, but also to analyze and gain insight into a myriad of useful metrics like click-through rates, bounce rates, video playbacks, etc. Consider incorporating a Service-Level Agreement so that your sales and marketing teams can hold each other accountable, as well as precisely quantifying and defining your goals.
Keeping up with changing search engine parameters.
Appearing on the first page of search results is not easy, because the search engines are not static. With mobile search exploding in popularity in the last few years, Google knows where your users are when they search, and presents them with locally relevant suggestions. This puts you at an advantage for your most local customers but can present challenges when competing with other vendors in close proximity.
Social signals are also something to consider. What other customers are saying about you and your business is given more weight than other on-page SEO elements. Client reviews are more important than ever before. That’s why it’s so crucial to have good online presence. If you are a thought leader in your field, users will still be attracted to your sites and your offers.
Inbound marketing campaigns are not always as straightforward as they appear. Striking a balance between user experience and SEO takes planning, time, and persistence. The best inbound websites are optimized for search engines yet offer an aesthetic and helpful experience to individual users. Use what you already know about your best leads to think about what they want and need. Keeping the customer top-of-mind will put you and your team in the right mindset to maintain a killer website.
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