The digital sphere is not excluded from this phenomena. Google is also trying to improve the online user experience. Here is how google is trying to encourage website owners to improve their website so that the user experience improves:
- Panda: Panda Content algorithms ensure that content is relevant in search results. This is how Google makes sure that the user has access to higher quality search results.
- AMP Pages in Google: This is all based on load speed for the user. AMP pages load four times faster and use ten times fewer data than the equivalent non-AMP pages. Ever tried opening an article from Facebook on a poor connection?
- Mobilegeddon & Mobile Friendly updates: Do you remember the frustration of trying to navigate an enormous website with your Blackberry phone? Zooming in and out all the time, trying to click on the right link was extremely frustrating. On April 21, 2015, Google started ranking pages and websites that are mobile friendly higher in mobile search, purely to improve the user experience.
- Rankbrain: This is an artificial intelligence Google machine learning capability. It interprets searches that people submit to find certain pages, even though the exact words weren’t searched for.
The above changes happened within the last year. These few examples prove the huge amount of focus Google places on search and website experience. The digital word is more affected by client centricity than any other platform.
So how does a South African small to medium business adapt to these changes?
Here are important ways that any business can improve their online user experience for current and prospective clients:
- Your website needs to be mobile-friendly and the most important content must be listed at the top of your website pages. Content must be short and to the point while still having enough information to be clear.
- Make it easy for the client to navigate your website – a visitor should always be 1 click away from a call-to-action.
- Make it easy for the client to contact you. A visitor should never have to click to get to a contact form or get contact details.
- Choose your platforms carefully, chances are that you do need to use all available platforms.
- Create a target market.
- Analyse their behaviour online – do your research on each platform.
- Decide what you want to achieve with each platform.
- Assign a budget and resources. It is important not to underspend or stop a campaign too early as you will base decisions on limited information.
- It is extremely important to manage all online ad campaigns actively. You need to ensure that you are not overspending on certain campaigns or target markets.
- Qualify your leads from every source to determine the value of Social Media leads and the customer lifetime value, this will help to ensure that you run a goal orientated social media campaign. Ensure you have some sort of quality Lead Management System.
- Campaigns should be well thought out. When you enter a person’s newsfeed, you’re entering their time away from, work, kids, etc. Running the wrong ad may be more costly than just the click you pay for.
- Keep ads original
- Change them regularly
- Create fresh and helpful content
- Have consumer in mind & not just your sale target
Search Advertising (AdWords)
One of the most annoying things to the online customer is to search for a certain product or service and a Google Search Ad pops up with just the word he was looking for, but then your ad takes him to a page that is not relevant to the product or service he was looking for. The impact of this is more expensive than just the R17 you paid for the click:
- The consumer actually had a bad experience – associated with brand
- You paid for traffic that you actually didn’t want.
- The chance is there that you added the “victim” to the remarketing list, wasting more of your money and worsen his or hers brand experience even further by forcing the person to see your ad wherever they go on the internet.
- Ensure that your ads are accurate and to the point – If something is time and date sensitive, add it to the ad.
- Choose your keywords carefully and pause those with a 0% conversion rate.
- Update ads and your website to ensure maximum relevancy and a great customer experience.
A customer’s online journey doesn’t necessarily start the moment they enter the website. It starts with the first time they see your ad, the relevance of the experience and the 10 seconds they had to wait for the website to load on their phone.