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How SEO can elevate your business customer experience

  • Jenna Bunnell
  • 6 min read
How SEO can elevate your business customer experience

Intro

In an increasingly online world, every business needs an online presence. But how can you make your company stand out? No matter your industry, there’s one way you can ensure your digital marketing strategy succeeds: SEO.

53% of online traffic comes from SEO, so there’s no denying it is integral to your business.

At its core, SEO is about ensuring your site appears in search engine results. There are many tips for maximizing your online presence but ultimately, great SEO comes down to knowing how search engine algorithms work, customer experience and using carefully chosen keywords.

Of course, getting a user to high-quality, relevant resources quickly is part of a great customer journey but have you ever considered the many other ways that SEO can elevate your customer experience?

A man working in front of a computer (Free to use image sourced from Unsplash)

Customer experience covers all the interactions a consumer has with your business throughout their journey. It includes everything from visiting your business in person, to interacting with social media posts and talking to your customer service team.

The difference between customer service and customer experience is that customer service is how you help customers when they encounter a problem. On the other hand, customer experience is every interaction a customer has with your brand, regardless of whether they are having issues.

Customer experience and SEO are closely connected. If your website takes too long to load, has pop ups or doesn’t look visually appealing, this will negatively affect your customer experience and increase your bounce rate. In turn, the search engine will learn that your website is not a good source for that search query, pushing you further down the results page.

Therefore, customer experience can impact your SEO. But do not fear, you can check if your SEO is having a positive or negative effect with this SERP checker. Even if you’re happy with your SERP results, there’s no harm in looking into other great ways of improving your SEO and by extension, your customer experience.

Create great content

A computer with a notebook in front of it (Free to use image sourced from Unsplash)

One of the best ways you can use SEO for customer experience is by creating quality, engaging content. Content is important because it not only pushes your website up the search rankings, but can help potential customers make a purchase decision. It also helps customer experience as users can find you and the information they need in a flash.

Firstly, consider your keywords. SEO is a numbers game and the winner takes all. So make sure you have identified a great, niche keyword to capture your customer search query. An effective keyword strategy will use a unique, long-title keyword in H1 and H2 headings in order to best reflect customer searches.

To identify the perfect long-tail keyword for your site there are a few considerations to make. Can you use a keyword specific to your local area? Is there some useful industry slang? Using a niche keyword will not only lead to better search rankings but generate trust with your audience as you will be seen as a source from within their community.

Moreover, having a product which can be used in many different contexts, like a toll-free business number, can be perfect for SEO, as it provides a specific keyword which can be reused.

At the end of the day, SEO is about giving a user the answer to their question as quickly as possible. So, include keywords but also make sure a user can quickly and easily identify what your page is about.

Research has shown that websites have 0.05 seconds to capture a user’s attention. So, here are some tips to make sure users get a quick snapshot of what your page is about:

  • Use clear headings which describe the content accurately
  • Insert lists for easy reading
  • Include pictures to give context
  • Write short paragraphs to ensure your work is skimmable
  • Include a table of contents so reader’s can easily see the content

Another great way of increasing your SEO is to tailor your posts to specific points in the customer journey. For instance, are you aware of a particular pain point which users regularly contact customer services about? Why not create a blog post addressing that issue?

Consider buyers at the ‘discovery’ stage and create content exploring the USP of your product, the different features and any user case studies. Then at the ‘consideration’ stage, you might use whitepapers or research to show your position in the industry and compare your product to competitors.

Finally, the ‘decision’ stage. This is when users have a high intent to buy and might include content on pricing, promotions, reviews and case studies. At this stage, invite users to sales calls or give them promotions.

Once a sale has been made, create complimentary content such as guides and FAQs to further boost your SEO and customer experience. For instance, if your company sells internal phone systems, create a ‘how-to’ guide on using a phone number for business. This will keep them on your site and provide internal links, boosting your SEO.

Speed is everything

A clock (Free to use image sourced from Unsplash)

According to Google Search Advocate John Mueller, websites should load within 2-3 seconds to avoid high bounce rates. In an oversaturated market, users will get bored quickly, so make sure your site is sleek and responsive to retain users and optimize your search rankings.

You can check your page load time using Google’s PageSpeed tool. But in the meantime, here are some tips to crunch it down:

  • Don’t use popups
  • Don’t overload the page with high quality images and videos
  • Don’t use lots of filler text (I’m looking at you, recipe blogs)
  • Check for any bugs or issues on your site using manual testing via Global App Testing

Having a great response time isn’t only beneficial in terms of bounce rate, but the longer a user is on your site, the more they will increase the number of internal links clicked and boost engagement. All in all, having a fast loading website will decrease bounce rates, helping your SEO and creating a great customer experience.

The mobile experience

a row of people using phones (Free to use image sourced from Unsplash)

It’s no use having a site that looks perfect and loads quickly on a computer if the majority of your users are on mobile. For most companies, users will visit both so it’s important to make sure your SEO and customer experience are crafted for web and mobile.

If a user sees your ad on Instagram or is searching during their commute, it’s unlikely they’re a serious B2B user. Therefore, you may need to make considerations to alter your mobile landing page to suit all customers.

Make sure to include clear and actionable CTA buttons and to consider mobile loading time. For instance, you can compress images on mobile to decrease load time, which you might not be able to do on the web due to quality issues.

Review your site architecture

a laptop showing Google (Free to use image sourced from Unsplash)

Site architecture includes considerations like internal links and user-friendly site navigation. Google’s web crawlers check sites for this so be aware when designing your website and content.

It needs to be easy for users to find what they need from your site and to find out more if they need to. This will increase the amount of time users spend on your site and help search engines imagine the ‘map’ of your content, improving your SEO and customer experience.

For instance, if you include relevant internal links this will tell a search engine you are a trusted source for this query. It will also strategically link your funnel content, so you can create customer journeys that lead to conversions.

Try using a style guide which ensures your writers will use internal links. This is a good way to ensure you take advantage of internal links search optimization.

It’s also useful to monitor backlinks to your website, so you know who is referring to your website as this can also affect your SEO rankings.

Customers trust customers

a customer making a purchase in a shop (Free to use image sourced from Unsplash)

Placing reviews prominently on your website can indicate to search engines that you are a trusted source. Check your rankings with this rank tracker and consider whether you should be asking for more reviews.

If you use a five-star review system or feature customer testimonials on your website, they might appear below your site in Google’s featured snippet or Google Shopping. This could lead to greater conversions.

Other ways of improving your Google featured snippet (the body of text below your page title) include using relevant headings and content.

Customer experience and SEO: the mutual benefit

Ultimately, great SEO means customers will find your page quickly and stay there. Create a ready made eco-system of relevant content so they can continue their customer journey and boost your SEO. After all, SEO not only optimizes your content for search engines but also for the user, leading to a positive customer experience. So next time you’re creating an SEO strategy, make sure you put yourselves in your customer’s shoes as well as Google’s.

Jenna Bunnell

Jenna Bunnell

is the Senior Manager for Content Marketing at Dialpad, an AI-incorporated cloud-hosted unified communications system that provides valuable call details for business owners and sales representatives.

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