There are many reasons to address the user experience on your site, including conversion optimization and customer retention. As we have seen in the sections “User Engagement as a Measure of Search Quality” on page 584 and “Document Analysis” on page 588, SEO may also be impacted by the perceived user experience with a site.
Measuring your site performance on these types of metrics can be a great start to improving the SEO performance of your website. However, it is important to consider a broader question: What do your visitors want If you are selling left-handed golf clubs, and you create a web page to rank on the search phrase lefty ping putters, what do you offer the visitors who come to that page from search ReviewsImagesVideos Putting tips The e-commerce catalog front and center.
Step 1: Build a Survey
Finally, you can ask him to actually do a search on the target query (you don’t want him to do it until the end, because what he finds might bias his responses) and report any results he liked, as these can provide additional insight.
Step 2: Send It to Your Customers/Potential Customers
You can find customers or potential customers virtually anywhere—among your friends, neighbors, coworkers, or social network connections, through existing SEO traffic or PPC campaigns, and so on. Anyone who fits your customer demographic or is creative enough to imagine herself as part of that demographic will work.
A link in the bottom of your email newsletter or a share on Facebook/LinkedIn/Twitter can often do the job, too. You might even try posting a link in a relevant industry forum or discussion group (so long as you’re sure it won’t be perceived as spammy).
Step 3: Record Responses and Leverage Them to Build What the People Want
Once you have your results, analyze them to see what you have. If you need things clarified, repeat the survey. It is better to do this than to act prematurely on incomplete or ambiguous data. Once you have built the site based on users’ feedback, measure the results you get. Don’t be afraid to go back and make more refinements, or even conduct another survey, to continue to educate yourself about what your visitors want.
Additional Social Media Resources
In this chapter, we have focused primarily on the interactions between social media and SEO. However, social media is itself a significant source of traffic. It deserves its own investigation and study. Here are some of the top resources available online to help guide you further into the world of social media.
As of April 2014, LinkedIn had more than 300 million members worldwide,7 making it a powerful social network. You can use it to build a strong network of connections, and paid versions of the service allow you to use its InMail functionality to send unsolicited emails (in very limited volume) to members, which, if done judiciously, can help you initiate new relationships with influencers of interest.
YouTube can be thought of as a search engine, but it is also a social network. People love to share videos and do so in volume. YouTube also has a very large audience, with 159.1 million unique viewers per month as of December 2013.