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UX Best Practices for Solid SEO
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.
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.