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UX Best Practices for Solid SEO

Friday, October 12, 2012

Last week, Wednesday Oct. 3rd to be exact, myself and a few other Schipulites attended the Interactive Strategies Psych Conference (IS 12). Every session centered on human behavior, decision making and how to market products and campaigns in a way that has your end user in mind. I feel like one session in particular stood out to me as something the rest of you search engine marketers out there may find as interesting as I did. That session was Annette Priest’s “Keeping it Real, UX for Interactive Marketers.”

Annette had a ton of interesting points related to UX, but her website user experience discussion really had me listening. The way visitors interact with a website can make or break a PPC or SEO campaign. You can have amazing PPC ads with a great CTR, but nobody will convert if they get to the website and they’re lost. The same goes for people clicking through from organic search. Ultimately, you have to tell the visitor what to do and why. If you want them to “buy now” then say why. Then clearly tell them how.

Annette brought up a good point…visitors, especially from organic search, don’t always land on your homepage. She compared this to arriving at the front door of a beautifully landscaped home. We all know that people don’t always land on our homepage. Nope, sometimes visitors will show up in a weird and confusing back alley and then will ultimately bounce away! As search engine marketers, we need to make sure every page that a visitor could potentially land on is optimized with the end user in mind.

Beautiful Front Door to Home | Ideal Landing Page

Where we expect/hope all of our visitors will land when visiting our website

The un-optimized landing page

Where some visitors ultimately land...whomp whomp

Other interesting points from Annette:

  • People rely on user ratings and reviews from third party sources, but do realize that not all of the reviews they read are true
    (This point is something I stress all the time to my clients. It’s important to encourage reviews on social sites. Learn more about attaining user reviews and claiming local listings from a blog entry I wrote a while back: Handle Negative Online Business Reviews Like a Pro)
  • People are skeptical of marketing content from manufacturers and they expect that the manufacturer will only tell them the good things about the product. Therefore it is not an accurate reflection of reality
  • Users need a reason WHY they should buy and it needs to be written in a way that a human being would speak to them (conversational tone).
  • Better, easier product comparisons are needed. Avoid overwhelming your visitor with a ton of choices and use extra care with your layout.
  • Visuals are critical, users are driven by imagery
    (In fact, Annette brought up a funny, but true statement — humans are hard-wired to recognize cuteness. It keeps us from killing our young! So, bring on the kittens, puppies and babies.)

In case you want more awesome stats and info from Annette, check out her Speaker Deck here.

Written by Jennie Lane. For more information please contact the Search Engine Marketing Team at White Hat Ops –


13 Responses to “UX Best Practices for Solid SEO”

  1. toppie73 says:

    The end factor when it comes to search engine optimization is all about your use of text, links, your site's overall popularity and its reputation. If all of these match up in a positive way then you will have no problems with searches and your site will begin to come up often and get more and more hits the better known it becomes.

  2. Diana@mozy says:

    Thanks for these points Jennie. I think it is sometimes difficult to market with the end user in mind, sometimes it seems easier. However let's say my end user is someone who is looking for the ideal way to clean pots and pans without harming the environment. I develop a website that has products that meet their needs. However apart from the products, there are so many other things that affect the experience they have on the site. Some customers may be middle aged while other are 18-21 year olds.

    There are several factors that influence site ranking. Nowadays, social media is used to help build a site's reputation. As Toppie pointed out, reputation is key.

  3. elena says:

    I totally agree with your point that the way visitors interact with a website can make or break a PPC or SEO campaign.It is very important for a particular website to be user friendly else all your efforts are in vain.

  4. A great strategy to implement with regards to your search engine optimization is to link out to other websites. Search engines tend to favor websites that are connected to other related websites. It might be a good idea to create a resource page on your website that includes links to other sites with a lot of keywords.

  5. vandat says:

    Thank for sahring great content. I am just newbie SEOer so it is heplful with me.

  6. Jason says:

    I agree with Diana. Social media is helping with regards to a sites reputation and rankings.

  7. Sporran says:

    True that but in the same time we have to be very carefully when it comes to Social Media updates, especially from our mobile devices because there are lots of risk factors such as working time when we have to avoid at all updating our social media accounts for example.

  8. I think strong On Page and sound Off Page SEO, along with good mix of Social Media is always beneficial for the website, strong on page requires proper use of meta, title, heading tags style tags etc, keeping sitemaps on the websites, keeping the loading time always under control and also looking for providing excellent information through excellent quality of content
    while off page seo means getting backlinks pointing to the site through high PR blog commenting , Directory submission , Article Submission etc.

  9. buy gripgo says:

    By adding Meta titles to your webpage you can easily let search engines know, “I am here and relevant for the particular keyword”. Do some online search and find out some relevant keyword for your web page. Thank you for the post!

  10. I definitely agree with the visuals. Few things attract attention better than a catchy or cute image.

  11. I just heard that SEO for 2013 is changing somewhat. Apparently Google is not so focused on the importance of keywords and are more focused on content. That's why so many blogs have been slapped and fallen in their page ranks. However, this is a good thing since it will weed out sites that just use weak content that are keyword driven to get people there to buy their stuff.

  12. User experience has always been a vital part of my SEO campaign, it offers a true CTR and now the sudden 50% bounce rate most crappy articles get.

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