Getting a new SEO client is an awesome and exciting time. There is usually a lot of work to be done and seeing the search results improve as you optimize is rewarding, but after you’ve gone through and applied all the best practices it becomes harder to demonstrate the continued need for your services. Unfortunately, many businesses view SEO as a short-term relationship, so how do you continue to demonstrate the value of your knowledge and insight?
The solution veers away from keyword research, backlinks and domain authority and into a tangentially related realm: User Experience (UX). Searchers are accustomed to visiting websites that are easy to navigate, visually appealing and often mobile-friendly. Having the number one spot for a keyword doesn’t guarantee that users are going to stay on your site and a bad user experience will have them hitting the back button and moving on to the next result.
The world of UX has nearly unlimited possibilities in terms of the upgrades you can make to a site, but a few key changes can drastically improve user experience, provide added value to your clients and allow you to stretch your SEO skills:
- Ensure the website is mobile-friendly. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test is an easy way to ensure that your site is mobile-ready. Google even provides insights on the best way to make websites mobile-friendly depending on the site’s CMS and your technical skills.
- Headlines should stand out to add visual contrast and clearly indicate different parts of a page. By positioning a headline closer to the information it is referencing and finding a way to make it pop through the use of color, size and/or background gives users a visual cue to reference the different important parts of a page.
- Prevent user confusion by verifying that a link and its target page have the same or very similar titles. A user who selects a link for “Roses” and gets taken to a page titled “Flowers” can feel like they have been deceived and may abandon the website altogether.
- Leave a trail of breadcrumbs, especially on complex ecommerce sites. Providing users with an easy way to tell where they are while indicating how they got there makes it easier to go back to a certain part of their search without having to start all over.
It may take a little practice to get the hang of optimizing UX for your clients, but it can be fun and rewarding to see how small, often simple changes can provide major returns in terms of client interaction and conversion.