What is Customer Experience Optimization?
Why do you have a website for your business? You have it to draw attention to your company, introduce your products or service, inform your current and potential customers about your company, right? In short, it is made for people. NOT for Search engines. Read on and learn, how customer experience optimization (CEO) will make search engines happy as well as your visitors. I will explain why it is important to write for the people, not for search engines. Well, you might ask yourself: But how can it be any good, if I have a great website, but nobody finds it? or Why is everybody talking about SEO, then?
To answer these questions, you have to understand the goals of search engines. Google, Bing and all the other search engines have created a complex algorithm to find the most suitable and relevant content for the particular search query that was typed in the search field. This algorithm includes functionality of the website (how user friendly is your website), keywords, authority of the site (through back links t), recentness (regularly updated content) and some other ingredients that the search engines do not want to share.
In short: Search engines try to read the mind of the searchers and what information is most useful to them taking relevancy, authority and recentness into account!
While in the past some so-called “black-hat” SEO experts tried to cheat the search engines, for example by adding hundreds of irrelevant keywords to sites to draw traffic to the websites (they hid them by giving the keywords the same color as the background; Result: People searching for family vacations ended up on Viagra-selling sites etc.), and other shady techniques were successful for a short period of time. But guess what, Google and the other search engines figured that out pretty quickly and punished these sites by banning them from their search results. Why? Because it did not make the searchers happy! They did not get the results they wanted. And this made the search engines unhappy.
In short: Irrelevant search results will make searchers unhappy and the customer experience is negative. Search Engines want to make searchers happy by providing useful results!
So how do you make searchers and search engines happy? The first thing you should keep in mind is that not the quantity, but the quality of your traffic is important. Unless your website only makes money from selling banner ads based on impressions, you do not have to care about the volume of your website traffic. The important thing is what your visitors do when they are on your website. If you get large amounts of visitors that are not looking for what you have to offer, all you gain is a high bounce rate (visitors that only visit one page of your site and leave instantly), but in most cases, you will not convert them. Guess what, these visitors will not have a great customer experience on your website, because you could not fulfill their expectations they had when they clicked on your result.
In short: Don’t worry about traffic volume, care about traffic quality! Focus on driving visitors to your website, that are actually interested in your company, product or service!
Customer experience optimization means that you focus on reaching people that already have an interest in your services, products or companies. Converting these visitors into customers and buyers will be much easier than somebody that was actually looking for something else and accidentally ended up on your website. Instead of trying to increase traffic, focus on increasing your conversion rates. REMEMBER: There are enough people out there that are ready to buy your product! It makes much more sense to invest in finding them, than to mass-market to everybody! Learn how to do keyword research and use it efficiently, on every single text you publish!
In short: Provide a positive customer experience to your website visitors by offering relevant content to them.Therefore, using keywords is important, but use the right ones to drive the right people to your website.
I still did not answer the questions from the top, so bare with me just a little longer, ok? As I mentioned before, search results are based on many different factors. The search engines give some limited insights on what they take into consideration, but there is no definite information on the details. They don’t want to share this information, as this would make it easier for “cheaters” to manipulate the results in their favor. So what do SEO experts do? They provide educated guesses on what works and what doesn’t. Nobody really knows, what the search engines take into account, so how can you optimize your website when you don’t know what is important? In addition to that, search engines constantly work on their algorithms and it changes all the time. Google’s most recent update, Penguin 2 is believed to put a lot more emphasis on Social Factors, such as +1s, Likes and Retweets, but will ding your rankings for what Google now considers “unnatural looking back links” that include too many keywords. (See graphic below for more details on how Google now rates Social and traditions SEO factors) This means, what your SEO expert found out the day before through an experiment, could be outdated today. Providing great customer experience to your website visitors on the other hand is the goal of search engines. Great customer experience is what Google, Bing and other search engines are striving for. When you write for people, search engines will find you. So why do you run after the search engines by doing SEO when you can lead search engines the way?
In short: Search engine optimization follows search engines, search engines follow great customer experience! Who do you think will win this race – SEO or CEO?
What are your thoughts on this? Do you focus on SEO or customer experience? Share it with us in the comments.
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