Working at a digital agency, it’s our job to keep up with the latest search trends to give our clients an edge. Clients are usually less interested in reading about PageRank dilution, AMP integration, and 3-packs. They’d rather us do the reading and provide them the key nuggets and takeaways.
When I’m on client calls, they undoubtedly ask SEO questions, and sometimes those questions don’t have a clear-cut answer – no blog post that exists, or nothing I’ve read about previously.
I never fear answering these questions because, at its core, SEO is based on fundamental principles. Even if I haven’t read what the experts think about tactic X or what new thing Google has added to their search results pages, I can usually predict its importance and how critical it is to implement.
How can I do this?…
By knowing that the primary aim of Google and other search engines is to provide the most relevant search results possible (more on this later). Also, by simply asking myself the question…
“What impact does this have on the user experience?”
… I can quickly prioritize its importance and put together the best next steps.
I believe there’s a 3-part framework anyone can use to provide a quality user experience for not just SEO, but your entire digital marketing strategy as well. If you take the time to apply this strategy consistently, I believe you’ll find yourself on the positive end of the next Google algorithm change, or the next SEO tactic that comes along.
Deep Understanding of Your Customer
Before you even begin writing that new blog post or invest in an infographic, you better understand your ideal customer. And I mean really understand them.
At Fathom, we build personas that provide the name, age, location and more of our client’s ideal customer. If you haven’t done this already for your business, I’d highly encourage you to do so because it sets the foundation of your entire digital marketing strategy going forward.
You also want to meet and talk with your customers whenever possible. What is the exact language that they use? What are their biggest pain points?
Keyword research is a critical part of SEO today and is another tactic that you can use to better understand your customer. For example, if you’re a makeup expert, you might consider writing a blog post about your latest silicone makeup product. But if you take the time to better understand your customers and do the keyword research, you’ll find that your customer doesn’t search for “silicone makeup” but instead looks for “sweat proof makeup”. Knowing that difference can have a significant impact on not only traffic but also on conversions.
You can also run surveys. These can be really simple to set up. You can generate a popup for visitors that have viewed a few pages and simply ask them…
“What’s stopping you from trying our product/service right now?”
The answers that you get back can be incredibly enlightening, and may provide you insights about your product/service offering that you could never have predicted without asking.
When it comes to SEO and digital marketing, make the investment in knowing everything you possibly can about your customer. And never stop learning, because trends change just as businesses and markets change.
Create Incredible Content
Knowing your customer helps answer many of the questions you may have about what content to create and produce.
In today’s age, “content” is so much more than words on a computer screen. We have video, audio, podcasts and more. Knowing your customer helps guide you toward what content to produce, and where to produce it.
Google’s goal is to provide the most relevant search results possible. They know that if a user does a search and they deliver content that solves the user’s intent, that user will return to Google the next time they’re searching for information. Google expects that by providing this service, eventually, the user may click on an ad and purchase a product.
If Google fails to deliver what the user wants, eventually that user may decide to try a competing search engine.
This is why Google loves websites with outstanding content. It provides them the resources needed to make their users satisfied so they’ll return back to their site.
Therefore, if you want to receive a top ranking for a particular search term, it makes sense to develop content that delivers far better quality than anything else available on the Web.
Today, it’s not good enough to churn out average content. It’s better to produce content less frequently but make it truly outstanding.
Measure Results and Make Adjustments
We know our audience. We’ve started developing great content. Now we need to monitor how we’re doing so that we can do better in the future.
You may have heard the quote, “what gets measured, gets managed” If you don’t have processes and systems in place to monitor how you’re doing, you’ll never reach your full potential in your digital marketing efforts.
Many companies do this well with paid advertising. It’s easy to track cost, clicks, impressions and conversions. But take this further with your content marketing and SEO efforts. What pages have poor engagement? What blog posts do/don’t receive the most likes and shares? Digging into this can help you shape the content and strategies you use going forward.
Remember, though, which metrics really count. Likes, shares, and email signups have their place, and are great indicators of how you’re doing, but the KPIs that most businesses need to focus on are revenue goals.
We see many companies make the mistake of not having these metrics tracked. By putting a focus on how your digital marketing activities affect revenue, you can be sure to do more of the right things in the future.
Theoretically, SEO changes on a weekly and even daily basis. Algorithms change. New features get added. It’s beneficial to keep abreast of these changes and act accordingly.
But never forget the fundamentals. Have a deep focus on your customer’s experience by…
- Knowing them better than anyone else
- Deliver great content that’s better than anything else on the Web
- Measure results and make adjustments
Rinse and repeat.
If you do that, you’ll have an advantage over the competition. And you’ll find search engines bringing you more and more qualified customers for your efforts.
Did you like this post? Let us know why (or why not) in the comments below. In the meantime, check out our blog SEO: The Skill Set Every Marketer Must Have to learn more about why timeless SEO skills are essential to your entire team.