SEO is no longer just about adding header tags and schema. Since Bill Gates famously quipped “Content is King” in 1996, search has, across the board, pivoted to creating a flawless customer experience.
From Google’s continuous algorithm updates, like EAT, BERT, and passage indexation, it’s obvious that experiential search is the new king.
By incorporating customer experience in your SEO strategy you’ll be able to stay ahead of the latest updates and tap into a strategy that your competitors aren’t using.
How do you create customer experience (CX) in a world where you don’t actually get to interface with your customers? As industries continue to move online to meet the demands of our time, creating a customer experience that is both satisfying and authentic can be the key to successful sales.
What is CX?
Customer experience (CX) is the experience of the interaction a user has with your business from the first click to the last. This lifecycle experience should be smooth, easy, logical, and helpful.
Easy ways to improve the on-page CX for a website include:
- Have a chatbot
- Internal Linking
- Easy access to help
- Recommended (similar) products
- Easy, clear, navigation and buttons
Why does CX matter?
CX fills the void that is left by a stronger reliance on technology-based interactions. Where previously brands had non-digital touchpoints, those opportunities grow fewer and fewer. CX creates that bridge by extending opportunities to create a positive experience with your customers.
How does CX impact rankings?
Google uses certain metrics, like how long someone spends on your website or how many pages they visit, to judge the quality of a website. Google also factors in things like page load speed and site structure to this calculation.
Why is this important? Well, if you have a website that people don’t visit or people leave because it takes too long to load – you aren’t going to rank well. These signals make Google “think” that you don’t have something that people want.
Google is in the business of providing people satisfying answers to their questions. By optimizing your website for CX with SEO you’re more likely to rank for your targeted keywords.
How to implement CX with SEO:
If you’re already incorporating user intent and content development into your SEO strategy then optimizing for CX isn’t that far off from what you’re already doing.
If not, start by creating content that dials into user intent.
(Conveniently, we have a free blog on how to create user-focused content!)
By starting here you’ll begin to shift your mindset by stepping into the shoes of your users. How are they talking about your brand? About your products? What are product-adjacent topics and concerns they have?
For example, Tylenol created a dosage chart for parents for their children’s products to make it easier to use their products. Likewise, one of our manufacturing clients heard customers frequently complain about nut/bolt conversions so we created a chart, to great success, that addresses that problem. Not only that, but it makes their product even easier to use!
Do some deep listening, talk to your sales team and client-facing staff, and gather ideas!
Make sure that your pages are mobile optimized and load quickly.
With more and more search, and sales, conducted on mobile it’s important to make sure that your website is up to scuff. Not only that but Google is switching to mobile-first indexing in March 2021. If your website isn’t ready you’ll be dropped from rankings. Learn more about that here.
Page speed is important for both mobile and desktop versions of your website.
Have you ever clicked on a website and it takes, what feels like, FOREVER to load? I definitely have. It’s frustrating, annoying, and, like myself, you probably clicked back to search results and found a different link. Even though it probably would only be a couple of seconds, you end up feeling like the whole website is going to be slow and – who has time for that?
Have you ever considered that that could be your website?
Never fear: Google has a handy tool to check your website’s page speed. Not only that but it’ll give you ideas on what to fix.
Do you have a local business?
If you have a business where the location is important, make sure that your Google My Business and Facebook Business accounts are up-to-date. Think about the number of times you've popped a store or restaurant into Google to check the Holiday hours or COVID-19 restrictions - your customers are doing the same thing!
Does your website have reviews?
If your website is listed anywhere that has the opportunity for reviews - collect them!
Again, think about how you shop. If you were comparing two items that are similar and one had a dozen 4-star reviews and another product had a couple of mixed reviews - which would you pick?
If your website doesn't have the option for reviews then add a page, or blog post, for testimonials. Testimonials usually talk about a product and include keyword-rich text that search engines like.
Another great way to highlight your business is to find a client(s) who has used a product in traditional, and non-traditional, ways and write a case study about them. You could just do one unique-use case study or find a half-dozen clients in a variety of industries who are using your product with success.
If you send out an email for product reviews, include images of the products to help trigger memories associated with the purchasing process.
Like it or not, tapping into CX is the future of SEO. SEO will be the intersection of branding, technical SEO, design, and CX. By starting to shift your mindset, and incorporating these strategies into your marketing plan, you’ll be positioning yourself to outrank your competitors.
Do you have a backlinking strategy? If not, check out our guide.