Brands need to get a grip on user experience, and fast.

One of the key standouts from the UK’s leading search marketing conferences last week was how organisations are still failing to address the basics of user experience. As Google increasingly tries to imitate the user to develop its algorithm further, businesses need to get a grip on user experience once and for all.

BrightonSEO is the UK’s top search marketing event, attended by 3,500 people. One of the key issues to emerge was user experience (UX) throughout the funnel in a multiplatform world.

As producers of websites and internet content that aims to inform, persuade and – ultimately – convert visitors into customers and advocates, we need to remember that we have two audiences: humans and machines.

Let’s look at humans first. Marcus Tober from SEO software firm Searchmetrics highlighted a major UK supermarket whose site was transaction-based rather than helping the user with their query.

This is a reminder to business that in order to achieve their goals, they need to stop thinking in terms of financial exchange and think about the value exchange to build the trust that will ultimately lead to customer satisfaction. We’re playing the long-game here.

And this is significant not just because we need to serve site visitors’ needs at every stage of the funnel in order to drive conversions, but also due to changes in search technology and trends.

Search is in constant evolution, and the machines are getting smarter. Google aims to replicate the experience of the user as much as possible and anticipate the context in which they are searching.

This means that organisations need to be more in-tune with their existing and potential customers than ever.

It all starts with keyword research. At Paragon PR, we use a combination of online tools that inform us as to what our clients’ audiences are searching for. This gives us not only an indication of search user intent, but also a wide range of topic ideas for content based on data that shows us what people are really interested in.

The Mobile sessions at BrightonSEO served as a reminder that the user experience – for search, at least – is more likely to be via a mobile device. This means that not only do we need to know the issues that customers face (via keyword research and other studies), but we also need to make sure that the content we serve them is mobile-friendly.

If you would like an audit of your online presence, please contact us.

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