When it comes to SEO, there is so much focus on Google’s Robots. What can we do to improve our rankings in the eyes of the robots? Are the robots crawling the right pages? What keyword should we add to the title so the robot knows what the post is about? We pay so much attention to the technical aspects of SEO that we tend to forget there are real humans behind the searches we optimize for.

Clients and customers after all are people and your website, social media and overall marketing strategy should be organized as such. Yes keywords and title tags play an important part in driving traffic to your site however they do not get people talking or create a buzz. They probably aren’t shared with your family and friends or reposted.

Below are a few tips to help you remember the human behind the computer and provide them with meaningful and useful information:

Get to Know Your Customers

Get them on the phone and interview them. Heck, even take them out to dinner or to a ball game if you have to. Once you have their attention, it’s time to ask a lot of questions and learn as much as you can.

For instance ask them where they shop, where they eat, what social media accounts they use, who they follow on social media, how they found you, where they work, what position they hold, what keywords did they use to find you, why they chose you over the competition, etc.

Look for repeating patterns in their answers, and turn those into opportunities to attract new customers. For instance, if you learn from several customers that they found you on the sidebar of their favorite blog, try guest posting or having a larger presence on that blog. You already know that your customers are looking there, you might just need a little more retail space to seal the deal with more visitors.

You can also take the information you receive from these interviews to tailor the content on your website and blog. Tailoring your content is a great way to present information your customers care about and increase organic traffic. A small amount of effort could lead to multiple additional customers.

Keep your Site Neat and Simple

If visitors have difficulty getting around your site there is a very good likelihood they will become frustrated and leave. If your goal is to have visitors fill out a form or download an ebook, place the form or link directly where they can see it. Don’t make visitors search for something. If it’s not directly in eye sight, there is a good chance it will not be seen, clicked on, or filled out.

Include Pictures

From my experience this is commonly overlooked. Pictures give people a visual sense of your product or service, providing them with a positive mental image. You want the image to be visually appealing. Showing happy people using your product in a productive way is much more compelling than a stock photo of the product. If you are trying to marketing a service, create a short video that will showcase your expertise and capture the viewers attention.

Make Sure Your Site is Mobile Friendly

Today more and more people are using their phones to search and make purchases.  It is imperative that you have a mobile friendly version of your website, or a responsive website so your customer has the same experience on a tablet that they do on their computer. When building a mobile friendly site, make sure it includes one click call or purchasing capabilities, making the conversion process as simple and direct as possible. Google has noticed this trend and is now rewarding sites that provide a better mobile experience with a rankings boost. Don’t lose out on business because your site is not mobile friendly.

Focusing your website on the human elements of SEO will not only provide your visitors with a positive user experience but also increase sales.

With Google updating its search algorithm in April 2015 to rank sites based on their appearance and usability on mobile devices, there is no excuse not to make your site(s) mobile friendly, as you could be hurting yourself and your business by not doing so.

Creating a responsive site that will adapt itself to the device, screen resolution, and orientation will save you the headaches of creating multiple mobile only versions of your website that target specific devices. It will also save you time and money, as you don’t need to make sure all website changes are duplicated on your mobile site. With a responsive site you have only one site to rule all experiences from large desktop screens to the smallest smart phones and everything in-between.

Depending on your site, migrating to a responsive design might not be an easy undertaking. In a lot of cases, a complete redesign (maybe you have been putting that off and now is the time to accomplish both) is necessary to ensure that it is done right. Although this option will take longer than you would like it too, there are small things that can be done in the interim to allow you to transition to a fully responsive site.

The key to any successful responsive site to build it so it loads quickly, is easy to navigate on smaller screens, and presents the key information in a prominent way. The site also needs to remove distractions and less important information, often removing more content as the devices get smaller. For example, a news site when displayed on a tablet may want to continue to display a sidebar of related articles but on a phone display the list below the main content and only load the list when a user requests it.

Some of the things that you can do to an existing site to help transition to a responsive design are:

Enlisting the expertise of experienced web developers can help you redesign your existing website into a fully responsive one whilst not neglecting your current site and make the transition easier. They can also help guide you through small changes that have a positive impact before a full transition is implemented. Feel free to contact us to discuss your needs and how we can help you achieve a responsive website and continue to rank highly in Google’s Search results.

In the wake of the great Mobilegeddon, in which Google‘s algorithm started to favor mobile friendly sites, they have finally confirmed all of our suspicions and announced that mobile searches have overtaken desktop searches. Ever shrouded in secrecy, Google declared that the uprising of the mobile device has occurred in 10 countries, but would only name two, the US and Japan. Regardless of who the other 8 are, the US and Japan are big enough players to remind you that optimizing for mobile is critical to future success. If your company falls within a certain vertical you will have new tools to play with in order to achieve that optimization as Google has announced new mobile ad options for automotive companies, hotels and mortgages companies.

New Automotive Mobile Ads

In the automotive vertical there are two new types of ads. The first one provides a slider of pictures from both the interior and exterior of the car. This slider is user friendly and allows you to swipe through at your leisure. You can tap on any of the images and it will bring you to a more informative page about that vehicle. The other option is hitting the “Dealers” button in the SERP which will take you to a page that lists the ads of 3 dealerships near you.

car dealership website on a mobile device

New Hotel Mobile Ads

The new ad option in the hotel vertical isn’t really new at all. Google already updated the format of hotel ads back in November of 2014. They replaced the sliding carousel ads with the so called “Book a Room” ads that look like this on your desktop:

hotel mobile ad example

Google is now rolling this ad format out globally for mobile devices and will look like this.

hotel mobile ad example 3

New Mortgage Mobile Ads

The new mobile ad option for mortgages is also just an adaptation of the compare auto insurance ads that Google introduced earlier this year. The new compare mortgage ads will be the last of the mobile ad updates to occur. In typical Google fashion they have not shared what these ads will look like.

Conclusion

Mobile search is here to stay. It has already taken over desktop search in 10 different countries and will continue to gain power. Google has accepted this fact and is starting to roll out new and exciting ways to help marketers capitalize on the increasing mobile traffic. If you haven’t already it is definitely time to optimize your business for mobile, especially if your business lies in the automotive, hotel or mortgage verticals. Don’t know where to start? Wakefly can help! Contact us today.