Topic: Social

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Business Operations Data Analyst 0

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Business Operations Data Analyst

Saskatoon, SK, Canada

As a data analyst at Vendasta you will ask questions and discover the answers. Data Analysts will work closely with our finance department and report directly to the individuals prioritizing their work. You will leverage the interdepartmental analyst group to review, develop and share information and analyses. You will contribute to all steps of the data analysis process including hypothesis generation, exploring and cleaning data, modeling, interpreting, communicating results and measuring the implementation. As a business operations data analyst, you will focus on reporting and modeling financial data.

Responsibilities

  • Respond to ad hoc requests from various stakeholders
  • Build, maintain & monitor internal dashboards
  • Help ensure billing is precise and delivered in a timely manner
  • Provide promptly reports on monthly, quarterly, and yearly financial information
  • Review and critique other’s analysis
  • Discover, learn, develop and teach new techniques & methodologies
  • Help prioritize tasks based on business value and urgency
  • Develop and foster a working relationship with other analysts, software developers, product managers, sales, marketing, and executive.
  • Report to fellow analysts, company leadership, and executive
  • Follow Vendasta’s analysis workflow
    • Hypothesis Generation: Work with stakeholders to refine and transform questions into hypotheses
    • Exploratory Data Analysis: Gather, clean, and explore large data sets
    • Model Building: Create a visual and/or mathematical representation of the real world
    • Interpret Results: Understand the conclusions that can be reached and know the implications
    • Communicate Results: Deliver findings to stakeholders
    • Follow-up: Ensure that the data was effectively implemented and measure results

Skills and Qualifications:

  • Familiarity with basic accounting and finance principles
  • Computer Science and/or software development experience
  • Strong statistical knowledge
  • Competent in cleaning and formatting data
  • Proven ability to analyze and model data
  • Experience with user & SaaS Analytics
  • Familiarity with databases and various querying techniques (SQL, NoSQL, API)

Why Vendasta

Vendasta’s platform empowers agencies and media companies to grow their sales of marketing solutions for small and medium-size businesses. Our system identifies hot leads who are interested in the products you offer and allows you to provide scalable tools at the right price and service model when businesses are ready-to-buy.

Learn more about Vendasta

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Source: Vendasta

How to Know If You’re at Risk When Google Switches to a Mobile-First Index (Flowchart) 0

How to Know If You’re at Risk When Google Switches to a Mobile-First Index (Flowchart) was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

I’d like to put your minds at ease. Or alert you to an upcoming risk. I guess we’ll see which camp you’re in.

Over the course of the year, Google is going to turn up the dial on its mobile-first index. What’s that? Google is moving toward analyzing and ranking the mobile version of websites and not the desktop version, as they do now.

Exactly when the switch will be 100% is a mystery. Gary Illyes suggested it could be in 2018. Yet we know that Google rolls out algorithm and infrastructure changes gradually and with plenty of testing. We are likely witnessing mobile-first SERPs today to some degree.

With the switch to a mobile-first index, you’ll either be in good shape or you’re going to feel the pain of a major loss in organic search traffic.

As an SEO services company we are busy doing risk assessments for clients, identifying exactly how ready a website is for the mobile-first index.

To help you get a sense of how prepared you are for a Google index that’s focused on the mobile website experience, we created a decision tree to assess a website as low risk or high risk. For a refresher on how to satisfy a mobile searcher, take a look at our SEO Tutorial step on Mobile SEO and UX Optimization.

What does your path to mobile-first index readiness look like? Here’s what we look for when we do a mobile-first readiness analysis of a client’s site.

Google Mobile-First Index SEO Risk Assessment Flowchart

Click image to enlarge. Click this text to view as PDF.

Assessing Your Risk in Google’s Mobile-First Index

This agency signed on to the mission of helping businesses succeed online, but when more and more factors are rapidly changing, our ability to institute timely change diminishes. So we want everyone to know what’s at stake if every action isn’t taken to be mobile-friendly.

If a client’s site does not perform well on a mobile browser, this is a problem. The mobile experience is how we serve connected consumers. If there is any issue, then it’s our job as the SEO expert to discuss this risk with our clients.

If a client has a mobile-friendly site, it’s our job to evaluate if the mobile site contains the same content as served on the desktop. If the content is different, then the client is at risk.

If a client is unable to optimize for site speed or for conversions, or if they are not working on a solution to a mobile-friendly site, then this client should acknowledge the risk of losing rankings.

How do we check if a client site is going to suffer a drop in rankings and traffic when the mobile-first index goes live?

Right at this moment we can look in Google Search Console to compare mobile and desktop rankings. You can too.

How to Compare Your Mobile Rankings and Desktop Rankings in Google Search Console

  1. Go to your site in Google Search Console.
  2. Go to Search Traffic > Search Analytics.
  3. Select “Position” and “Devices”.
  4. Select the filter to compare mobile vs. desktop.
  5. Is your average position for mobile higher or lower than for desktop?

If your average mobile rankings are worse than your average desktop rankings, you’re at risk when the mobile-first index switch occurs.

mobile and desktop ranking comparison in gsc

Click to enlarge.

Calculating the Impact on Your Business

If I could stress three things, consider this.

  1. To be mobile-friendly goes beyond having a responsive website. It’s critical to match the content on the desktop site to the mobile user experience. A mobile-friendly website doesn’t merely mimic the desktop. In fact, a responsive site can have lower conversion rates if the mobile UX isn’t optimized. What value does your mobile experience provide to help the consumer want to do business with you?
  2. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly site, get started on your update now. Some content management systems (CMSes) don’t produce mobile experiences. Do you have a solution in place? What is it? How fast can you implement? You may already be late to the party.
  3. Please understand that “mobile first” relates to the Google index being based upon the mobile displayed content. It does not mean that desktop is dead. There are many reasons that in your business that “desktop first” may apply. For whether or not this applies to you, you may want to consult with an expert mobile SEO agency.

I’m not trying to create fear, but I am hoping to convey a risk.

What else can you do to make sure your business is well positioned when Google flips the switch and turns on its mobile-first index?

People generally understand how much traffic they’re getting from Google in the desktop-focused index environment. Meanwhile, we have no idea how much traffic will be affected after the switch to a mobile-focused index. We want you in the best possible position when the change to a mobile-first index rolls out.

We are convinced that mobile readiness is vital to the future of your business. To help you, we have created a service offering insights into your mobile readiness with our Mobile-First Readiness Report. Ensure your mobile-first SEO strategy is on track with a second pair of expert eyes on your site.

A typical report may include assessment of the following:

  • Mobile friendliness
  • Page speed
  • Content matching
  • Mobile navigation
  • Mobile interstitials
  • Security issues
  • Indexing and robots directives
  • Schema markup

mobile-first readiness report
Order a mobile-first focused audit of your site for just $995 and we’ll have it back to you in about a week.

Or give us a call at 866-517-1900 during business hours Pacific time and our team will be happy to answer any questions you have about the mobile-first index shift and developing your mobile SEO strategy.


Source: Bruce Clay

Why Thin Content Still Ranks as a Top SEO Issue to Solve 0

Why Thin Content Still Ranks as a Top SEO Issue to Solve was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

It struck me the other day, while I was reviewing a client project with one of our SEO analysts, that the old problem of thin content is still an insidious revenue killer for many websites.

Or put another way, until you have content worth ranking, do not be surprised if you don’t rank well.

By way of example, the client, a B2B lead gen site for industrial parts, is receiving 150% more traffic this year compared to last and getting a record number of inquiries. We’re seeing these stellar results after many months of work that focused heavily on fixing thin content — until content was improved, the traffic suffered!

Fixing thin content improved search traffic 150% YoY

By focusing on improving content quality, our client is seeing 150% more traffic this year compared to last and getting a record number of inquiries. (click to enlarge)

Then looking at some mobile and newer sites reminded me that low-quality or “thin” content remains a serious problem for many websites, whether they know it or not. A majority of sales inquiries are sites with this problem.


“What a powerful weapon we wield as SEOs when we help a site raise its content quality.” -Bruce Clay
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SEO changes set the right course for a site, but content improvements give it long-term lift.

Why We’re Still Concerned with Thin Content Long After the 2011 Panda Update

Thin content is not a new search engine optimization issue.

It was February 2011 when Google introduced the first Panda update, which targeted low-quality sites and lowered their rankings. In addition to the algorithmic hits from Panda, countless sites have received manual actions penalizing them for having “Thin content with little or no added value.”

Google has only elevated the importance of quality content since then.

An unconfirmed update in early February and the Google Fred Update on March 7 both targeted low-quality content.

Sites that got hit by Fred included content-driven sites with heavy placement of ads, according to reporting by Barry Schwartz. These sites “saw 50% or higher drops in Google organic traffic overnight.”

Besides the algorithms, Google has an army of people reviewing sites manually for signs of quality. Periodically, Google releases its Quality Rater Guidelines, a document used to train these quality raters to spot low- vs. high-quality content. If you’ve gotten a manual action notice or warning in Google Search Console, you have a quality rater to thank. (Or not.) I unconditionally recommend that you read this entire document from Google!

The search engines clearly intend to keep ratcheting down their quality tolerance. The recent updates and penalties further stress the need for websites to fix thin content without delay.


“You cannot afford to ignore thin content on your site and expect to survive.” -Bruce Clay
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Solutions for Thin Content

Identifying thin content on a site is crucial to SEO health, yet it’s only the first step.

Once thin content is diagnosed on your site (whether by a Google manual action notice or through an SEO audit), you need a strategic plan for fixing it. And if you’re uncertain, then your content is probably low quality, too terse, or likely both.

The trick is knowing WHICH strategy is right to fix your unique situation.

The solution has to address your site’s situation uniquely, taking into consideration the scope of the problem AND the resources available to you to do the work.

Remove or Improve?

Site owners often react to the news that their sites have many thin content pages with a surgical approach: Cut it all out!

Removing or no-indexing low-value pages can fix thin content problems some of the time, enabling a site to get back on its feet and start regaining lost rankings with minimal time and effort. For instance, Marie Haynes cites one Panda-penalized site that recovered by removing a forum it had hosted, accounting for several thousand low-quality posts that were separate enough from the main site content to be easily detached.

However, removing content can have a negative SEO effect instead. Cutting off whole sections of a site at once could amputate the legs the website needs to stand on, from an SEO perspective.

Another approach is to simply elevate the quality and depth of the content. It is hard to be a “subject matter expert” in only a few words. And if your content is written poorly, then you gain no love from others — the kiss of death for content.

We prefer this latter approach (as does Google, per Gary Illyes’s tweet below), but we use both at the same time quite often.

If the pages hurting your search engine rankings (for being low quality) are also the ones supporting your keyword relevance (for having keyword-containing bulk content), then you’re stuck. You have little choice but to keep the content, improve its quality, and perhaps add more content readers will appreciate.

Finding a Way to Improve Thin Content — Affordably

For this client’s site, we took the content-improvement approach.

The types of thin content we found on their website included:

  • Product pages with minimal text (just one or two sentences with a few bullets)
  • Pages whose content had been scraped and indexed on many third-party sites
  • Image alt attributes lacking text and/or keywords
  • Autogenerated title and meta description tags that often lacked targeted keywords

Your site may have similar issues, or may contain other types of thin content. Google’s support topic on thin content lists these common forms:

  • Automatically generated content
  • Thin affiliate pages
  • Content from other sources (example: scraped content or low-quality guest blog posts)
  • Doorway pages

Fixing these content problems may involve any or all of the following:

  • Removing pages or no-indexing them
  • Reducing the number of ads
  • Adding at least a few sentences of original text (on filter-category pages, for example)
  • Inserting relevant content from a database (in small doses)
  • Revising title and meta tags to be unique and contain appropriate page keywords
  • Adding original text in image alt attributes and captions
  • Rewriting the page entirely

Our client’s site contained a manageable number of pages (less than 500), so we started chipping away.

The SEO analyst first clarified the silo structure of the site, and then prioritized pages for revision starting with the top-level pages for each silo. In batches of 10 or so at a time, pages were rewritten and reviewed, passing back and forth between the client and the BCI analyst. Important products got brand-new full-page descriptions. Information pages were rewritten with thorough explanations. In all, we fattened up about half of the site’s pages.

The strategy worked. Among the SEO services we provided to this client, by far the higher quality content is yielding the biggest wins. The search engines and site visitors are eating it up, with vastly improved rankings, traffic and leads.

Content improvements give a site lift

Why Your Thin Content Solution Must Be Your Own

If you have an enterprise site with millions of pages, or an ecommerce site with thousands of products, you might be thinking this approach would never work for you.

And you’d be right!

It’s often simply impossible to rewrite each individual page manually on a large website. Yet quality content is a non-negotiable for SEO. Even large sites have to find a way to fatten up or remove their thin content.

Maintaining quality content requires an ongoing investment to maintain rankings — but each site’s specific strategy has to be practical and affordable to implement.

A Prioritized Approach

First, we look for what’s causing the thin content. A template might be producing non-unique meta tags, for instance. The business may be duplicating pages on other domains. A CMS might be building empty or duplicate pages. Whatever the issues are, we try to identify them early and stop the bleeding.

Next, we prioritize which pages to tackle first. It’s worth the effort to hand-edit content on the most important pages of even the largest sites. This priority list should include the home page, the top-level landing page(s) per silo, as well as the most trafficked and highest-ROI product pages. Putting creative energy into making these pages unique and high quality will pay huge SEO dividends.

It’s also crucial to look at competitors’ sites. Even if your content is technically clean and unique, is it as high quality as theirs? Remember that “thin content” can be a relative term, since Google is going to choose the highest quality results to present to a searcher.

More and more often, we include some sort of content development along with our SEO services. As we found with the industrial parts site, fixing thin content can make a long-term difference.

A parting comment: If nobody would share your content, then it is not good enough.

If your site has thin content or other SEO issues, contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-517-1900.

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Source: Bruce Clay

Content Strategist 0

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Content Strategist

Saskatoon, SK, Canada

The content team at Vendasta is looking for a content rockstar. This person will be busy and heavily relied on as an essential part of Vendasta’s aggressive content strategy. You should be good (and fast) at writing and doing effective research—you thrive on deadlines and under pressure, you’re cooler than the other side of the pillow. Creativity and resourcefulness are essential traits, as well as the ability to work in an ever-changing work environment. Journalists and news writers make great content strategists, so if you have a background in journalism, bonus points!

Having design skills, video editing or audio podcasting skills are huge assets. So if you’ve got chops in any of these areas, speak up!

Essential traits and responsibilities:

  • Write high-quality content for Vendasta—blog, website, e-books, case studies, video scripts and other collateral
  • Develop thought-leadership pieces that drive knowledge both outside of Vendasta and within the company
  • Work with the content team to generate new ideas and execute on data-driven content
  • Develop relationships within the industry to help promote Vendasta’s content
  • Produce multiple articles for the blog each week as well as create larger pieces for downloadable content
  • Be able to produce high quality work, quickly
  • Create and rework blog structure to optimize for search engines—SEO knowledge prefered
  • Design skills are an asset
  • Basic video editing skills are an asset

Why Vendasta

Vendasta’s platform empowers agencies and media companies to grow their sales of marketing solutions for small and medium-size businesses. Our system identifies hot leads who are interested in the products you offer and allows you to provide scalable tools at the right price and service model when businesses are ready-to-buy.

Learn more about Vendasta

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Source: Vendasta

A Guide to User Experience Optimization: How to Keep & Convert Your Traffic 0

UX Optimization Guide by imFORZA

What’s more important, getting more people to your website or keeping / converting them once they get there?

The correct answer is both. And fortunately you can tackle both challenges at the same time by focusing your efforts on one primary objective…user experience optimization.

In this article, I will explain what user experience really means, why it has become one of the top success metrics and how you can optimize your website’s user experience to bring and convert more visitors.

UX Optimization Guide by imFORZA

What Does User Experience (UX) Actually Mean?

User experience (UX) is the way your visitors and customers navigate through your website (or mobile app). Companies that fail to provide a positive experience will have frustrated customers who are reluctant to come back; however, few businesses devote the time and energy they should to making the website better for new and returning customers. This can have monumental ripple effects on your SEO and sales that you’re not even seeing.

How much is your business planning to spend to improve website usability this year?

The team at Usertesting.com surveyed 7,725 professionals about their UX goals and found that…

Most companies spent between $1,001 to $5,500 in 2015. This is a significant increase from 2014 when the largest segment was $1 to $500. This survey is conducted annually and proves that companies are moving toward a larger UX budget in order to make the customer experience better.

Fortunately, this investment tends to pay off, and it’s directly correlated to increases in metrics such as traffic, conversion rate, and sales. By ensuring you have the right budget for improving user experience, you’re setting yourself up for financial success this year. Here’s what you need to know about increasing your website’s usability to capitalize on each and every visitor.

The Business Impact on Good UX

Most business owners are cautious about investing in something that doesn’t provide direct revenue. Fortunately, it’s possible to calculate the exact business impact on improving your user experience — or continuing to neglect it.

Load Speed Affects Site Traffic

Every second counts when it comes to load time on your website.

According to KISSmetrics,

47 percent of customers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less, and 40 percent abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load. Furthermore, a one-second delay decreases customer satisfaction by 16 percent, increasing the likelihood that they won’t return and will tell their friends about the bad experience.

Can you afford to lose 40 percent of traffic to your website?

If not, then website optimization needs to continuously be a primary concern to ensure your site speed is as quick as possible. If your brand falls behind the competition, customers will notice and move on to a brand that provides a positive experience.

Good UX Boosts Conversion Rates and Revenue

Loading times don’t just have an effect on site traffic; they also directly relate to conversion rates.

According to Compass,

Conversions fall by 12 percent for every extra second it takes your page to load. Furthermore, increasing your page loading speed by two to four seconds can increase your revenue by 3.2 percent — a statistic that has particularly paid off for eCommerce sites with average carts below $50.

Good UX means your customers are going to spend more time looking at items on your site and less time waiting for information to load, making them more likely to add or inquire about additional items.

A Streamlined Checkout Process Reduces Cart Abandonment

Regardless of your business or industry, the first step of the checkout process typically has the largest drop-off rate.

In fact..

Some companies lose more than 60 percent of their customers in just this first step.

This is why eCommerce giants such as Amazon and Groupon are constantly trying to streamline the process. If you can keep just 5 percent more people in this step, the rest of your conversion funnel will benefit.

Improving UX is all about giving your customer fewer options to say no when they’re buying. If your site is slow and poorly made, the customer will take the time to reconsider their purchase. This means investing in a modern process is your best bet for increasing revenue by retaining traffic and reducing abandonment rates.

UX Factors That Affect SEO

Of course, your user experience doesn’t just affect your customers when they reach your website; it also affects how often they find you. User experience is closely tied to SEO, which means you could see an overall dip in people reaching your website in the first place if you let your website become slow, clunky, and difficult to use.

Moz calls the concept of UX SEO the “no one likes to link to a crummy site” phenomenon.

Essentially, search engines are able to look at certain metrics to determine usability factors and overall satisfaction with the website. When these factors are considerably worse than the competition, your site is going to struggle to rank well. This means all of your content, keyword, and linking efforts will go to waste since Google won’t want to highlight a poor website — and customers won’t want to stick around there either.

Organic Sharing and Distribution

The best SEO is free SEO that your customers do for you. Rand Fishkin explains that UX determines the likelihood that customers will share your content and boost your exposure.

By increasing your engagement from one share per 1,000 views to one share per 200 views, your content sharing will increase five-fold.

The sheer increase in traffic (to say nothing of the revenue it generates) will have a long-term positive impact on organic search.

More Sharing Leads to More Linking

As you increase the exposure of your brand, the odds that people link to your website as a positive reference, cool brand, or reputable source also increases. This is the SEO language that most people are familiar with.

Linking also follows the “no one likes to link to a crummy site” phenomenon as mentioned above, since brands are staking their reputation by linking to your pages. In the modern world of “fake news,” media sites and brands that are trying to maintain their integrity are skittish when it comes to linking to an unknown brand. If you want them to trust your website, you need to make sure it looks reputable.

Google Continuously Emphasizes Problem Solving

When you look at the trends in organic search, there’s a common thread between some of the hottest tactics for optimization:

  • Local search lets customers know where they can go for products or services.
  • Google’s Quick Answers Box provides answers immediately and directs customers to the best site for an explanation.
  • Digital assistants and voice search, such as Google Home and Alexa, are becoming more popular and a significant traffic driver for companies.

All three of these trends focus on the search engine quickly reading your site and highlighting actionable steps the customer can take to buy that day or get the information they need that second. Without an optimized website, Google and Alexa will find other websites they can get information from. Meanwhile, your local rankings will flounder.

Essentially, good UX doesn’t just mean your customers enjoy their experience; it means search engines can get the information they need and make reputable suggestions for users. When both your customers and Google approve of your site’s experience, your traffic will increase along with your conversion rates.


Important UX Metrics and How to Read Them

Analytics tools can either seem like an overwhelming fountain of information for those who use them or a confusing and rather useless way to determine how the business is doing.

It makes sense to track site traffic and revenue, but do you really need to look at how many pages customers are visiting?

Actually, yes. There are a few metrics in Google Analytics that business owners should look at if they want to determine usability flaws.

Completion Rate

MeasuringU calls completion rates the “fundamental usability metric” or “the gateway metric,” as it answers the question:

Did the customer complete the expected task?

This yes or no metric is essentially a conversion rate, but it assumes the customer wanted to complete the task and couldn’t because of the website.

Errors

After completion, business owners should look at the recorded errors to see what went wrong. Errors record any potential mistake a user might encounter when they’re trying to fill out a task. The perfect example of this is password creation. Too often, customers will create a password with lowercase letters and numbers (birthday1234) only to be told by the site that they need a capitalized letter and special character as well (Birthday123#).

While this seems like a small task, this can frustrate customers who need to create accounts to make a purchase — and remember, the majority of customers bounce on the first step. Recording errors can help you make small fixes that will increase customer satisfaction and conversion.

Bounce Rate

The bounce rate tracks the percent of visitors who abandon your website after only viewing one page. They had no desire to further learn about your brand or view more products.

It’s frustrating to see all of your traffic-driving efforts result in a 60 percent bounce rate, since it means over half of marketing your efforts are going to waste. By lowering this number, you’re increasing the quality of traffic to your page and stretching your marketing dollars.

Time on Site and Pages Viewed

These two metrics highlight the desirability of your website to customers who land there. This tracks the behavior of customers who chose not to bounce to see how they react to your website before converting. Most companies — especially lead generation websites and blogs — want a high number of pages viewed and a high time on site. Even eCommerce websites want a high number of pages viewed, as it often means customers are looking at product pages before buying.

When looking at this data, filter site visitors by those who converted and those who didn’t. The converting customers will give you an idea of what your ideal time on site and page views should look like so you can see what kind of drop off in the sales funnel occurs in between customers who bounce and customers who convert. (These statistics highlight the middle-ground customers who leave.)

Once you have the metrics to track, you’ll want to set up comparisons to accurately measure them. Some companies compare data year over year, while others look at three- and six-month trends to see if any of their metrics are taking unexpected plunges.


How to Optimize UX for Visitors

User Experience Optimization

When your metrics show that your website needs improvement, either through a low conversion rate or a high number of errors, the next step is to try to improve your website’s usability. This article has touched on some high-level ways to make your website better, but the following steps can be used as a guide to evaluate what needs to be changed and how changes should be prioritized.

Increase Load Speed

There’s no excuse for having a slow loading website.

KeyCDN has created a list of 16 tools just so you can evaluate your website’s speed and look for problems within it.

How do you boost website speed?

Depending on your brand, you have a few options.

  • Clear out bulky plugins, cookies, apps, and widgets that are slowing the load time. If these add-ons trigger first, they could be preventing your audience from viewing your content. Try to conduct a “code purge” every six months to remove obsolete additions.
  • Tease content for faster loading times. Look at websites such as Mashable that load the first few paragraphs and ask the customer to click to continue reading the rest. Not only does this help the website load faster, but it also allows them to track what percent of visitors clicked to read more and which ones bounced.
  • Optimize your images, code, and video use to make sure it’s not slowing your pages down. While your images might make your page look amazing, no one is going to see them if they take forever to load. Make sure you reduce the bulk for a better load time.

Set Up Clear Calls to Action

Regardless of your business model, from eCommerce to lead generation to brick and mortar, you need to highlight strong calls to action to move customers closer to your end goals.

  • For eCommerce sites, this involves making it easier to select, add, and view items in the cart.
  • For lead generation pages, this means driving customers to complete interest forms by placing them strategically on the page.
  • For brick and mortar businesses, this means showcasing your address and phone number (that Google can also quickly pull for local results) along with other calls to action such as making an appointment or ordering online.

If you’re worried your calls to action aren’t prominent enough, look to your metrics. If people jump from one page to the next in an effort to find what they’re looking for, you might not be guiding them correctly into the funnel. You can also try A/B testing software to see how customers respond to changes in your web design.

Streamline the Checkout or Conversion Process

When your site visitors decide to fill out an interest form or buy a product, they’ve already conceded that they want the product or service.

Cart abandonment rates tend to hover around 65 percent for most companies.

What happens between the customer deciding they want the product and the customer buying it depends on user experience.

  • Limit required fields to the absolute minimum (no one wants to tell a lead generation form what their salary is).
  • Utilize auto-fill tools. If the customer can fill out the entire form in just a few clicks, they’re more likely to move onto the next page.
  • Test one-page checkout processes. Instead of loading a new page for the shipping address and credit card information, test serving all of those fields at once. This way, they won’t have to bounce through multiple pages when they buy.

Keep Your Content Scannable

Unless you run a hyper-niche website where your audience is interested in unbroken long-form content, try to design your pages in a way that engages the reader.

  • Break up content with subheads, images, and block quotes so they can get the gist and skip unnecessary parts.
  • A/B test your content across multiple pages or create one long page that loads as the audience scrolls. You’re looking to see who completes the article and fills out interest forms after reading.
  • Include sharing icons where visitors can highlight parts or products and share them with friends on social media.
  • Place the most important information at the front, so the audience knows right away what the purpose of the content is and what they’ll learn from it.

Improving the user experience for customers isn’t a difficult task. You should always look for ways to make your website better (look to Amazon and Mashable for best practices) and then back your theories about what makes a website good through A/B testing and metric tracking. If you’re always trying to improve, you’ll never fall behind.

Understanding Your Mobile Optimization Options

So far, this article has focused on user experience primarily on desktop pages. While most of the advice can be applied to both platforms — customers get equally as frustrated by slow mobile websites as desktop pages — there are some best practices when you’re working with your mobile website. When optimizing for mobile, you don’t have to be experienced in design or development; you just have to know what to look for to make customers (and search engines) happy.

The Era of Pinch and Zoom Is Over

When smartphones first came out, customers might have accepted websites that required them to continuously pinch to read the content, but now, they expect better. You can’t simply take your current website and expect it to load naturally on a mobile website. To prevent this, you typically have two options:

  1. Mobile-Dedicated websites (or m.sites) follow a separate URL than desktop websites. These sites are great options for brands that want to get a mobile site live immediately and want to limit the content available to achieve faster loading times. However, be careful what you cut, as customers could get frustrated by their limited options.
  2. Responsive websites have become the norm with WordPress themes, as they automatically create mobile-friendly content for the user. This is an ideal option for brands that don’t want to manage two websites and want the same content both on desktop and mobile websites. However, there may be an overhaul to change the site from its previous layout to this one.

Considering a Mobile-First Approach

Look at your sources of web traffic.

What percent of visitors come from mobile versus desktop websites?

What is the difference in conversion rates between the two?

Some websites find that their customers prefer to browse on mobile and buy on desktop sites, making the two important until customers adapt to mobile purchases. However, other websites are already living in the mobile revolution where more customers visit, browse, and buy online. If this is the case, consider retooling your website with a mobile-first approach.

Mobile-first approaches counter the previous best practices of designing for desktop and then adjusting for mobile. Instead, designers approach the website with the mobile user in mind, knowing that the demographic of mobile consumers is only going to increase over the next decade. If you’re going through a website remodel, consider this design method to bring UX to the forefront of the design conversation.


UX Is an Ongoing Process

A business owner is never done when it comes to improving the user experience of a website, and your 10 percent of the budget needs to carry over year after year. This is because website best practices are constantly changing, especially as some become obsolete. What was modern and exciting just four years ago is outdated with the rise of smartphones and social media platforms. (Remember when everyone thought tablets were going to revolutionize search? Now they’re equated to mobile in many reports.)

Customers continue to change how they search, which means Google sets the standards for how websites should function. Even if you consider your website “fully optimized” this year, it could be clunky and outdated 12 months from now. A usability expert’s work is never done; you can only hope to keep improving and making your website visitors happy.

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This post, A Guide to User Experience Optimization: How to Keep & Convert Your Traffic, is from the Internet Marketing Blog by imFORZA. Enjoy!


Source: IMforza