The Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Customer Experience industries have been developing in parallel silos over the past decade.
The early days of SEO were all about following scripts to game the search engine system to make Google think the website was more important than it probably was. The early days of customer experience were all about creating customer service scripts and recipes to game the sales process to make customers think the service was better than it probably was.
Generally, the SEO team was located in a different part of the business than the customer experience team, and the two groups never talked.
This needs to change.
Google is unashamedly about improving the customer experience when people search on the net. They are constantly gathering big data about what people like (click on) and dislike (click away from). They then work out how they can adjust their process to help people get more of what they like and less of what they don’t like.
Google spends millions each year on testing and refining their customer experience and embedding the findings into their search engine algorithms.
Google is the biggest data gatherer in the world concerning customer experience. Isn’t it time that the customer experience teams caught up with the SEO team and tapped into their learnings?
Top 5 Customer Experiences That Google Focusses On
1. Add value to me
All the information you provide to your customers must add value to their lives. The information needs to be factually correct, informative and complete.
If your web content does not add value, your clients will click away. If your business has competitors they will move on to their websites, leaving you in their virtual dust. If you are in a monopoly situation, they will end up visiting your office or using your call centre to find the information they need, which are more costly ways to your business of delivering your services.
Google is currently looking at a system that will rank web pages based primarily on their facts. The time to check your facts is now.
2. Connect with me
People increasingly engage with each other and businesses via social media. Your active presence on social media, through sharing useful content that adds value and responding to contacts from social media, are key ways to drive traffic to your business.
Google has had a checkered history with using social media as a ranking signal. While they no longer use straight numbers of likes or followers as an indicator of where to return your website in search results, they do return your social media profile in search results for your business. By making it easier to connect with your customers wherever they are, you are increasing their positive customer experience of your brand.
3. Make it mobile
Customers are increasingly accessing information using mobile devices. One of their greatest frustrations is when information is not easily accessed or presented effectively for mobiles or tablets. From April this year, Google will be giving mobile friendly websites preference when returning search information from searches done using mobile devices.
If your website is not mobile friendly, it is time to get a new website.
4. Protect my privacy
People are becoming progressively more concerned about their private information. They look to businesses to take active steps to protect their privacy. Businesses with poor information security that is easily hacked face significant loss of brand value and loss of customer trust.
Your website needs to be as secure as you can make it, with daily checks to ensure that malicious malware has not been installed. If you don’t take action and invest in solid ongoing security and maintenance, you will be penalised by Google, resulting in less customers for your business.
5. Keep it local
While the world is brought smaller by the net, Google knows that most people when they are looking for goods and services prefer to shop locally wherever possible. When you type in “electrician” you want one that works in your area, and does not live on the other side of the planet. Provide quality local service and make it easy for local people to find you. Build your local community and add value to where you live. Look at local PR opportunities to share the message of your business in your community.
- Review all of your content. Is it factually correct, informative, and easy to read? If not, get someone to edit or rewrite it for you.
- Build your social media presence. Become active and engage with your customers on the platform they prefer.
- Have your website redesigned to make it mobile friendly.
- Invest in solid website backups, security and monitoring services.
- Enhance your local online presence.