Hello Mozzers! I’m glad to be here for the first time! Well, as you all may know, SEO is conversion and conversion is money, baby! If you have a great SEO work on your website but a bad usability, you’ll have bad ROI. If you have a great SEO work plus a great usability you’ll definitively have faithful visitors and great ROI. Period. What everyone needs to understand is that SEO doesn’t end on the click. There’s always more than just that dreamed Google rank. And, in my humble opinion, the key is on the page and how users see it. So, let’s take a look to see how we can marry SEO to good usability.
SEO + UX. Let’s get it started. The best to do is to start the project thinking about usability, but if you didn’t, after doing all that great SEO stuff like on page, link building etc., and get a good rank in the SERPs, you’ll need to start thinking about users clicking on your link. How are they going to act being on your site? Are they going just to click and leave? Are you able to hold them there? Are they really going to convert? When we think about conversion, lots of things can come to our minds: link building, PPC, content, colors, etc. But, before all of these stuff, the first thing you need to figure out is what your visitors want.
- What’s the goal of your website?
- Who’s your audience?
- Is your website useful?
- Are your visitors able to find what they need?
Remember: if something is easy for you, it doesn’t mean it is easy for everyone! So, you do need to research, run surveys (be personal! sell it like if you were selling your products!), usability tests, etc.
2. Know your Analytics Data You also need to know who your visitor is, where he is from, what kind of technology he is using, etc. To define goals and funnels will definitively make your life easier!
3. Gather your data After doing your detailed research with your visitors and analytics data, it’s time to put everything together and have fun! My first tip here is to create a word cloud with the main terms you got in your research. A great tool is wordle.net.
4. Prepare your landing pages In SEO, any page on your website can be a landing page. You must be prepared for it. Scott Brinker has a really good concept about landing pages and I think it can be applied for our reality here. It’s the R.E.A.D.Y. framework:
- Yield optimal
It really summarizes how the perfect landing page is!
In times of Google Instant Preview you must have a good design!
- Pattern – use the same colors, logo etc. in all your campaigns (email marketing, offline, website, …)
- No errors – make sure there’s no code and style errors or incomplete content on your landing pages
According to the Kiss Metrics Color Psychology Study, 42% of users base their opinion about the website on overall design alone and 52% don’t return because of overall aesthetics.
4.2. Website Speed
Check the loading time of your website to make sure it’s not too slow. Users are not patient! So, make sure they can finalize their purchases or load your infographics, for example. The faster your website is, the more you sell.
And don’t forget: page loading time is a very important Google ranking factor!
Relevant content is always important. Be unique, specific, up-to-date, talk in such a way that your visitors can understand you!
Use numbers, table data, infographics etc., to justify everything rationally (but be honest!). You can also show credibility on details like images of your products, benefits, testimonies, etc.
4.4. Call to Action
Always show your final goal in every page and also use descriptions explaining why that action is good to be taken.
In case of forms, remove unnecessary fields and make it not too long. If needed, separate it in steps, showing to the user where he is.
The message on your CTA is very important too. Make it clear, unambiguous and, as the name says, a REAL call to ACTION! Not like those boring “go”, “submit” or “subscribe”.
The design of your CTA button needs some “treatment” as well! Abuse of white spaces to make it clear and noticeable. And the button color… oh, the button color… there’s always many viewpoints regarding it! Some people say green is better, some say orange… But my opinion is: use contrasting colors and you’ll get a #win! lol
Some tools to help you start
Remote Usability Tests:
- GazeHawk (with eye-tracking)
- Verifyapp.com (low cost usability tests)
- Headline Split Tester (WordPress Plugin for A/B tests)
- Google Website Optimizer
- Google Analytics
- Crazy Egg (for heatmaps)
- Heatmap WordPress Plugin
- ClickTale (mouse move heatmaps and visitors recording)
In conversion-oriented SEO, content is still the king, but the usability is the queen!
The big secret is: there’s no rule or tricks! You must test everything on your website and, when finished, start over again!
Hope you like it! =)