Customer experience (CX) has become more important than ever with the rise of personalization. According to Qualtrics, 89% of companies that focus on customer experience financially outperform their competitors. But that doesn’t mean that old SEO strategies are outdated – quite the opposite!
The good news is that SEO and CX are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they are closely intertwined. Google and other search engines prioritize high-quality websites that deliver excellent customer experiences. This is why it's crucial for digital marketers to understand how to revamp SEO best practices to create a personalized customer experience.
What is a personalized customer experience?
After all this talk of CX and the importance of the customer, we now have to ask: What’s a personalized customer experience? Simply put, it’s a subset of CX that focuses on providing individualized and relevant experiences, based on customer data.
A personalized customer experience uses technology like AI like chatbots to gather customer data and create a seamless and relevant journey for each customer. The goal is to enhance customer satisfaction and engagement, resulting in increased customer loyalty and advocacy for your brand.
(Image sourced from salesforce.com )
According to McKinsey, 71% of customers expect some degree of personalization, and 76% of consumers become frustrated when they don’t get it. Personalized CX is the most effective way to make your customers feel valued. And making customers feel valued is foundational to building the kind of relationships that grow your business.
Tools to create a personalized CX
If personalized customer experience is so valuable, you may be thinking, what’s the best way to create it?
This is where SEO best practices come in. Creating a personalized customer experience is a matter of combining familiar SEO practices with digital technology to gather crucial customer data.
To improve your personalized CX and SEO, it's important to gather and incorporate website feedback from your customers. This can help you identify pain points in the customer journey, make necessary changes to your website or product offerings, and ultimately provide a more tailored and satisfactory experience for your customers.
SEO best practices are simple, but highly versatile:
- Relevant content: Creating high-quality, relevant content that addresses customer needs and inquiries is a key aspect of both SEO and personalized CX. As they say, “Content is king.” Businesses can improve their website's search engine rankings and create a more positive customer experience by ensuring their content is tailored to previous customer needs and queries. It’s not enough to just list keywords in a blog post – you need helpful information about all the great things your business has to offer!
- Navigation: A well-organized and easy-to-navigate website is essential for both SEO and personalized CX. By making it easy for customers to find what they are looking for, businesses can reduce their bounce rate and improve the overall customer experience. Chatbots, good use of interlinking, and high levels of readability help make sure that customers find exactly what they’re looking for on your site. Even phone systems can be made faster to navigate, using interactive voice response systems.
- Backlinks and keywords: Building backlinks and using relevant keywords is important for SEO and can also enhance personalized CX. By making it easier for customers to find a website and understand the content, businesses can create a better customer experience that’s more tailored to the customers’ needs.
- Speed and mobile responsiveness: A fast-loading website and mobile responsiveness are critical for both SEO and personalized CX. By providing a seamless and efficient digital experience, businesses can improve customer satisfaction and engagement. And given that long loading times both hurt your SEO and are a predictor of high bounce rates, you can’t afford to let your website lag.
Obviously, many of the components of a good SEO are directly related to customer experience. Delivering relevant, easy-to-navigate, readable content quickly is exactly what customers need from a website. The fact that these are also the keys to great SEO is the icing on the cake.
So, what are the tools you can use to simultaneously improve your SEO and deliver a personalized CX?
(Image sourced from smartinsights.com)
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
AI and ML technologies can be used to analyze customer behavior and preferences, including conversational analytics software. By compiling customer feedback and analyzing it using natural language processing, AI can help businesses efficiently create targeted and personalized content, recommendations, and offers. Plus, both ML and AI can be used to predict future trends and possible keywords from past data. This has obvious applications in improving SEO and creating more tailor-made content for your audience.
2. Integrated platforms
Like omnichannel marketing, integrated platforms seamlessly integrate past customer experiences and data with future sales forecasts. Integrated platforms and sales forecasts provide a comprehensive view of customer behavior and purchase patterns, helping improve SEO _and _optimize for your target audience, leading to better search engine rankings and increased website traffic. If you’re curious, this free sales forecast template can help get you started.
3. Keyword Tracking
Keyword finding tools can help you tailor your content to the search needs of your audience, as well as give you ideas for where you can grow to meet them. Even less obvious keywords, like the hyper-specific long-tail keywords that drive up to 70% of web traffic, can give you ideas for more personalized content that both meets your customers’ specific needs and drives SEO engagement.
(Image sourced from from wordstream.com)
4. Inventory Management Systems
An inventory management system, like this inventory management system from Brightpearl, can help improve personalized customer service by providing businesses with a centralized and organized view of their inventory data. This helps improve customer experience by ensuring that customers have access to accurate and up-to-date information about product availability, pricing, and shipping times.
By having a real-time view of their inventory data, businesses can also make informed decisions about which products to promote and which to de-prioritize, helping to create a more personalized and efficient shopping experience for customers. Plus, an accurate and well-organized website reduces customer frustration and bounce rate, which is a big boost to your SEO.
5. Sales Funnels
An ecommerce sales funnel is another tool at your disposal, one that helps understand the journey that takes visitors from brand awareness to conversion. By gathering data on customer behavior, businesses can use that information to personalize the customer journey, including product recommendations and promotions. A customized experience increases the likelihood of conversion and creates a stronger connection between businesses and their customers.
Plus, a good sales funnel improves SEO by reducing bounce rates and increasing engagement. If your sales funnel is automated and optimized to each stage of the customer journey, you can be sure that consumers are efficiently finding information tailored to their profile – one of the cornerstones of SEO.
Techniques to boost SEO
We’ve now gone through the technologies that boost your personalized customer experience. But, while we’ve seen some of the theory behind SEO best practices, are there any tools specific to boosting SEO? Luckily, the answer is a resounding yes! And, given the tight relationship between CX and SEO, focusing on your SEO can help you to boost your CX too.
1. Mobile-first Design
59% of website traffic comes from mobile phones. Unfortunately, mobile phones have longer load times and can be more difficult to navigate – both factors can hurt your SEO. This makes it crucial to design for “mobile-first” and add complexity later.
Additionally, mobile users are often searching for local information, so it’s important to optimize your website for location-based keywords to improve your mobile visibility. These location-based keywords are also a great opportunity to use lower-tail keywords, which are more likely to help your website stand out in the crowd.
2. Social Proof
(Image sourced from brightlocal.com)
Social proof refers to the phenomenon where people are more likely to follow the actions of others when making a decision. In the context of SEO, social proof can come in the form of customer reviews, testimonials, and ratings, which can positively impact a website's search engine ranking. And given that a jaw-dropping 98% of consumers used the internet to find information about local businesses in 2022, up from 90% in 2019, customer reviews are a great source of social proof for your SEO.
Try to actively solicit customer feedback. In addition to online feedback, you can also consider using a hosted phone system guide from Dialpad to collect and analyze customer calls – a great source of feedback, especially for older customers!
It’s important to put the feedback where customers can see it – the landing page is a great place for this. And even if you get negative feedback, that’s just an opportunity to identify customer pain-points. Besides, gracious responses to criticism boost your engagement!
3. Frequent Audits
It’s important to constantly audit your site. Performing regular SEO audits is crucial for maintaining and improving a website's search engine ranking. Audits identify technical issues, such as broken links and slow loading times, as well as content optimization opportunities, like keyword usage and meta descriptions.
We probably don’t need to remind you of the importance of regular SEO audits. Outside of the obvious utility of checking for broken links and lags in loading time, you can also use audits as an opportunity to see any changes in your consumer base’s habits and re-evaluate your brand strategy.
What does this mean for you?
Simply put, digital marketers have the tools to create a personalized customer experience that is both effective and efficient. By understanding the principles of SEO and how to use digital technologies, you can improve your website's ranking and provide a better customer experience.
Good SEO practices – fast load times, easy navigation, and high-quality, specific content – contribute to a better, more personalized customer experience. By striking a balance between SEO and CX, businesses can not only improve their search engine rankings, but also increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. And since 52% of consumers would be willing to pay more to receive great customer service, investing in customer satisfaction is a no-brainer.
With the right tools and strategy, digital marketers have no reason to fear the mighty algorithm. The same tools designed to help us maximize our SEO have also given us brand-new ways to gain customer insights and perfect our customer experience.