Google recently added another free tool designed to help website owners create the most user-friendly site possible. Now you can have a simple, four-question satisfaction survey pop up in a corner of your website at no charge. The questions are defined by Google, but if you’re willing to spend a penny per response ($5 for 500 responses), you can customize your own questions. More info from Google.
There are so many new and affordable technologies coming onto the market for user testing that there’s no excuse not to be doing it!
(Yesterday’s post somehow published with a broken permalink – please forgive the duplication.)
Web analytics data is such a beautiful thing – reams and reams of data! Everything we could ever want to know! Of course, sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. And sometimes we end up looking at one data point in a vacuum when we should be comparing it to another data point to truly shed some light and insights.
Avinash Kaushik, Google’s Digital Marketing Evangelist (and Google Analytics expert), has posted two really interesting examples of this on his blog Occam’s Razor. Briefly:
- Compare the percent of content your site has in key areas against the percent of unique pageviews you’re receiving. Are you spending time and resources creating content that no one is consuming? Are your visitors spending time in a section of the website where you have little content?
- Compare your search traffic against the potential universe of search traffic (search impression share). Even though your search traffic may be increasing, it may still represent just a fraction of what’s out there.
Avinash’s post offers really interesting reading with bar charts and screen captures to make this easy to grasp.
In case you missed it, Google launched conversational voice search last month. Just go to your Google query box, click on the microphone icon (right side of the query box), and speak your query.
Where it gets interesting is Google’s ability to learn and remember, which is much improved over the past.
One of our team members asked Google (with her voice) “Who is Barack Obama?” and then “How old is he?” Google knew who “he” was.
And in addition to recognizing your voice, Google will speak back to you. More info from TechCrunch.
Late breaking addition, thanks to our SEO Associate Dionne Walker – a video of Google’s Matt Cutts talking about how conversational search is changing query syntax.
Google has often used its power to encourage marketers to create more user-friendly websites. For example, sites that load faster tend to rank higher organically. On the AdWords (paid search) side, landing pages that are relevant to the query and the ad are awarded higher quality scores.
Now Google’s using their proverbial big stick to benefit the rapidly-growing population of searchers who use their smartphones. Google has confirmed that mobile sites that provide poor user experience – such as directing all traffic to the mobile home page instead of a more relevant, deeper mobile page – will be penalized in the organic rankings.
There have been many good reasons to create a quality mobile website before…this adds additional incentive that’ll be hard to ignore. More info.
…And I say that being one of the millions of guilty marketers that has a carousel – or automatic image slider – on my home page.
Many usability experts have tested the use of carousels, and they nearly universally don’t perform. It turns out that our reptile brains are so attracted to movement that the carousel distracts from other content on the homepage, such as offers and key messaging. Also, visitors like to be in control of their browsing experience, and not have images change on them unpredictably. For more information on why carousels don’t work, see “Ignore the Fad” by ConversionXL.
If you must, must, must use a carousel, here are some ways to minimize the damage.
Google AdWords never sleeps…in the past month or so, they’ve been beta testing two new options for ad extensions. These are additional links that display below your AdWords ad. Early adopters have been testing the following:
- Images! Advertisers can now have photos appear with their ads. More info.
- Third-party testimonials & reviews. More info.
There are so many reasons to take advantage of the different types of ad extensions (sometimes called Sitelinks) that Google offers. The more extensions you’ve got, the more room you take up on the results page, pushing your competitors “below the fold.” And the more room you take up, particularly with images and photos, the more you’ll draw the searcher’s eye to your ad instead of another listing. Finally, ad extensions often give searchers more options for what to click on, taking them deeper into your site for the exact content they’re looking for.
There’s no reason not to use them, so if you’re not already on board, jump on!
By Star Bradshaw, VP of Conversion Rate Optimization
Part 2 of 2
Is your website generating the volume of leads, contacts or sales you’re aiming for? If your site is wildly exceeding your expectations, and you’re shopping for an Italian villa for your early retirement, then go. Skip this article. (But invite me to visit before you leave.) If instead, you’re like most of us and suspect your site could be working harder for you, stick around. I’m going to explain how to find clues about what people are doing on your website which will help you make strategic improvements to user experience. And this, in turn, nearly always has a positive impact on ROI.
The first step to improving your website is to identify and fix any technical issues that may be undermining visitor interaction, which we talked about in Part 1 of this article.
Once you’ve done that, begin to hone in on visitor behavior. There are a multitude of ways and tools to assess what your visitors are doing on your site, but let’s focus on one of the top areas of interest for many site owners: (Read More…)
SEMPO Atlanta’s June event is next Wednesday, June 19, in the evening. Here are all the details:
Date: June 19
Time: 6:00 PM
Location: Atlanta Fish Market
FREE for SEMPO Members
$25 in advance for non-members
$35 at the door
Event Description: (Read More…)
By Star Bradshaw, VP of Conversion Rate Optimization
Part 1 of 2
Have you ever wondered exactly what people are up to on your site? If you have contemplated this, it was likely triggered by the desire to understand why more visitors weren’t responding to your website. In other words, you’ve probably asked, “Why isn’t my site driving more contacts, leads, subscriptions or sales?”
Businesses grapple with this question routinely. (If they’re smart, they do.) Unfortunately, when frustrated site owners ponder what people are doing on their website, the answer is all too often: They are leaving. Fortunately, there are lots of ways you can gain insights on these fleeting visitors in order to strategically improve your website, thereby increasing their engagement and response.
To begin to better understand visitor behavior, take a look at some key metrics in your analytics. Indicators of unsatisfied visitors can be found in certain engagement and conversion metrics. (Read More…)
Which is more important in Search Engine Optimization – content or keywords? Keywords are, of course, still important in terms of researching which ones to target and strategically integrating them into your website. But, honestly, the keyword part of SEO is easy…and also becoming less effective over time.
SEO as a practice is witnessing a tremendous shift, a renewed emphasis on quality over quantity. This applies to keywords, link-building, and content development. Marketers need to create thoughtful content that addresses a challenge that their audience is facing, rather than just providing a shell to house carefully researched keywords. They shouldn’t overdo it with keywords either, as context and the semantic web are lessening the need for such heavy-handed optimization as in years past. And finally, they shouldn’t view link-building as a tactic, but view it as an opportunity to nurture fewer, more meaningful relationships with other web publishers whose objectives are relevant in some way to their own.
Creating a solid content strategy is critical in ensuring that you’re providing content that is: (Read More…)