Every day I come across the same basic tactics that search engine marketers and bloggers continually rehash, suggesting that these will improve a site’s search rankings. We’ve all read them a million times before.
- link building
- content marketing
- social media
The primary concern with many of these tactics is that they have limited scope when not done as part of a greater plan. Link building needs to be done safely and can be beneficial, but it alone will not generate a long-lasting increase in search rankings. More concerning, though, is the recent push that “quality content” will drive Google rankings. For any strategy to work well, you will need to incorporate other proven marketing practices to drive relevant website traffic, the key to long lasting success.
Content Marketing Alone is Not Enough
Content marketing is a vital marketing strategy, yet it is still limited. It must be strengthened by incorporating other marketing practices such as conversion optimization, social sharing, and user engagement into your marketing mix for it to be successful.
The most vital aspect of marketing is user experience. User experience is the foundation upon which everything else in the marketing universe is built. It is is the force that drives every other marketing practice.
Essentially, “user experience” is centered around your website visitor and all the aspects of their behavior. User experience metrics are concerned with the customer feelings, reactions, and interaction with your company’s digital presence.
The posts on your blog and the content (images, videos, text) that you share to social media CANNOT always be geared towards a “sale.” It is a turn-off to consumers to be constantly bombarded with brand messaging.
There are two important aspects to user experience: The first thing you must remember is to get to know your customer. You need to understand your customer to connect with them. Second, you must know which mode of digital communication (blog, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat) best meets your client’s habits and preferences.
User experience is all encompassing, and that is where it gets its power.
Once you get a grasp for the customer’s need for well-presented information on a certain topic, you can present that in the form of a professional, visually stunning and streamlined blog article. You should utilize social media, industry insider’s promotions and other websites to boost your site rankings in search results.
Of course, your site design should be user-friendly and straightforward. The visual layout of the site should take things like graphics and a pleasing color scheme into consideration. You should also provide the customer with the means to sign up to your website to get updates and information.
The Key to Ranking is Traffic
These strategies are grounded in the idea that you must focus on user experience primarily to drive traffic to your website.
User experience must be strategic; this approach requires specific tactics such as content marketing to drive visitors to your website. Come up with a gameplan. Don’t focus on selling. The primary goal you should frame your strategy around is how to best target and address the interests of your ideal visitor. Set your state of mind towards serving the user before you come up with tactics that will sell them your goods or services.
To build a strategy framed around user experience, you must start with research. You need to gather research to find information on a few things:
- who your end user is
- what you are providing them
- what they want to learn from your website
Only after implementing this strategy, you can begin to narrow your marketing aims with popular internet marketing tactics such as conversion optimization and heat mapping.
The result of a better user experience, when coupled with other optimization strategies, is better search results for your business. This is because the user experience is important to Google, too. Google has developed an algorithm for its search results focused on the user. Google uses metrics that measure user experience on the web which takes things into account such as how quickly users click to a site from search results if a user clicks to other pages on a site, and the length of time a user stays on a site. All of this is calculated into a usability score which results in improved rankings. This all boils down to traffic. If your users are not engaged by your content – Google knows it. Traffic decreases which in turn means that rankings will fall.
The foundation of your strategy to boost your search results should be grounded in user experience and traffic. With these in mind, you are certain to be successful: focus your digital marketing practices towards providing users with the best experience possible.
“Sounds Great but Where Do I Start?”
This infographic offers some ideas on how to focus your content marketing on driving traffic to your website. The information is aimed at bloggers, but can actually work for any business trying to increase their reach on search engines.