Happy customers who tell others how much they like your brand.
A goal like this is something like the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. It's a wonderful idea, but getting there isn’t always easy.
Combining SEO with a CMS (acronym overload!) can give you a map to that pot of gold. They work together towards the same end goal. This introductory series is a list of steps to get there.
[Post 1] (this post) looks at some of the terms you need to know in order to work effectively with SEO and UX.
[Post 2] looks at some UX research techniques that will help you uncover what drives customer delight.
[Post 3] looks at how to take the insights from research and turn those insights into stuff on a page that helps your audience find you.
[Post 4] Goes into the more technical side of SEO, and how to use a CMS to squeeze the best performance possible out of your content.
SEO & UX - What is what?
There is no point to diving into details until we have sorted out exactly what means what.
Search Engine Optimization. It’s just a way of saying, ‘make it easy for your customers to find your content’. When the audience you want searches for solutions, you want your content to appear in their search results, so you need to optimize how you appear to a search engine (search engine - Google or Yahoo or Bing).
What are the methods to help you optimize the way you appear in a search engine? We’ve got a couple more steps to go through before we get there. Read on.
Search Engine Results Pages. These are specifically the pages that come up after you put a search term into the search bar and hit ENTER. So you could say you want to do SEO in order to improve how you appear in SERPs.
How do you improve how you appear in SERPs? By influencing ranking factors.
Google has a tough job. It needs to figure out what pages out there have the content that is most relevant to what you are looking for. It relies on ranking factors to solve this problem.
Ranking factors are the signals that Google uses to understand and rate the content on your site. Google is rumoured to use about 200 ranking factors to decide what content makes it to the top and what content remains hidden 10 pages down in the SERPs.
Good thing that only some of those factors are really important.
Ranking signals in 2018. Pic credit - SEMRUSH
There are a bunch more terms related to SEO that we could dive into but we are here to learn how to quickly combine SEO with a CMS to get happy customers. If you want a deeper dive into SEO, moz.com is a great resource to get started.
Onto the UX stuff you need to know to get those happy customers.
User eXperience. An often used and abused term that gets hotly debated by almost everyone in the industry. Think of it as ‘planning for a good user experience’ and you will likely be close to being on the same page as everyone else. It covers things from research, strategy, web development, design, interactions and more. Each part comes together to help us get to the happy customer, but the only thing we need to focus on at this step is UX research.
This is where we get into how SEO and UX work together to deliver happy customers.
UX research involves uncovering insights about your audience that you can use to create content and experiences they rave about. There are a bunch of specifics that we will dive into in the next post to really flesh this out and make it useful to you but the main takeaway is this:
Targeted content leads to happy readers.
Where does a CMS come in?
Remember when we said UX covers all sorts of things from research to strategy to web development to design, interactions and more? The right CMS has a bunch of these essential elements built in.
The CMS Workhorse Part 1
An effective CMS eases the workload when creating happy customers. They help you get to that mystical spot at the end of the rainbow by making it easy to get your content in front of your customers, regardless of the device or platform they are using.
Let's say you have content that needs to get shared across a web-page, an app, and a social media site. Each platform has its own restrictions and requirements when it comes to displaying (or not displaying) images. Maybe one has restrictions on content length. Maybe the website requires different content to be shown for Mobile users vs Desktop users.
The right CMS makes it easy to specify ahead of time what can get shipped where, and what the styling needs to be. It makes it easy for your content creators and editors to get that content into the system. It makes it easy for your UX designers and web developers to take the insights they have about what your audience needs and turn those insights into the color scheme, layout, and experiences that make your customers happy.
That’s where it all comes together. The right CMS (preferably a cloud based CMS) make it easy bring everything together to make your customers happy. More in the next post.