If you didn’t see this coming before, you should now: SEO is dying. The release of Google Penguin last spring just sped up the process. Keyword stuffing and paid links are rapidly becoming last year’s strategies, and if your company is still putting time and money into the same old Calgary SEO techniques, your website’s rankings will continue to decline. So, what should you be doing? Customer Experience Optimization (CEO) is about focusing your online marketing efforts on improving your customers’ experience. Why waste your time optimizing for Google, when you should be optimizing for your customer?
Customers care about content
We’ve said it before. The most successful companies use quality content to drive consumer behaviour. New content is what brings your customers to your website, engages them, and makes them want to return. Use your blog to tell the story of your brand, and remember that story is a work in progress. Focus your blog on one topic per article that emphasizes one long-tail keyword. Consider this: articles where people stay 2-3 (or more) minutes to read will be ranked higher, so while 250 words used to be the target for blog posts it’s now 600.
Your website defines your brand
Forget the tricks. The best way to optimize your website for a great customer experience is simple common sense. Your website’s design should have a clear purpose, easy navigation, and engage visitors. More than 90% of consumers use search engines first when they are looking for products and services. Now is the time to look at your company’s website with a critical eye. If you were a customer visiting your website for the first time, would you know where to go, how to get there, and want to come back? And don’t forget how people are using the Internet now. Most of us keep our phones within reach 24/7. A study done in 2011 showed 50% of local searches were done on mobile devices, so if your site loads slowly, or is hard to read or navigate from a phone or tablet, you are losing potential customers.
The E is for experience
How is your website creating a great user experience? High quality, effective Calgary SEO means doing everything you can to ensure visitors find it worth their time to come to your website. Develop your website with articles, frequent blog posts and any other content you think your customers will find valuable. Give them something interesting to read and comment on. When you give customers quality content that they care about, your website is going to be well ahead of everyone else who is still using content to fill space between keywords.
Generating inbound links
If you are creating good content, people start to notice your website, and you will start generating links and engagement. As we learned from Google’s Penguin update, the new algorithms look at the quality and relevance of sites that link to you. Under Penguin, websites are penalized in the ranking for using paid or other “unnatural” links. But when linking is authentic, it isn’t a dirty word anymore. All the links your content generates are votes from consumers validating the quality of your site.
When people engage in what you are producing on your website, they will also share it with their social networks. Typically, when we think of social media marketing, we think of all the effort we put into building a following on Facebook, Twitter, and other services. When customers begin to value your website as a source of quality information, they will start to get the word out. Imagine how much farther your Calgary SEO dollars can go when your customers do the marketing for you.
Somewhere along the way many businesses got caught up in tricks and tactics and confused the real goal. The goal should never have been about making your website great for Google. It should have been about making it great for your customers. By rethinking how you market your company through your website to effectively employ customer experience optimization (CEO) techniques, instead of the same old Calgary SEO, your customers will come to view your brand as a leader that can be trusted.