KISS, don’t kill your target audience!
4 STEPS TO DRIVE MORE TRAFFIC TO YOUR SITE
Have you ever gone onto a website looking for something and found that you could not even understand what they were talking about? Or worse, that you could not get enough information to help you make a decision?
Sadly this happens quite often. The fault lies with content managers thinking that “complicated” is “better”. Sometimes, they do not know how to showcase their service or product in a way that helps the user make an informed decision.
Here’s a comparison of two leading mobile phone websites. By glancing at them and in less than three seconds, you will have probably decided which one makes for a better browsing experience.
Apple on its iPhone.1
And now, Samsung on its Galaxy Note 5101a
The above examples are both here to demonstrate web marketing content and design tactics used by competitors in the same sector- mobile phones. The first is a snapshot of Apple’s iPhone and the second is one of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 510. Both these screen shots are of the features page of the respective websites. Now let’s compare them.
|You may have already observed, at first glance, that in the Apple example, the copy is well laid out.||The Samsung page has more white space and looks a bit blank.|
|Apple’s page outlines its features boldly in keyword-rich prose.||The Samsung page shows you a list.|
|The product shots in Apple’s page are more contrived with importance given to the look and feel of the page.||The Samsung page is plain and we find that additional product shots are small icons which a user can browse through, if so inclined.|
Which one do you think is more persuasive? Which do you find the more engaging to you?
On the whole, when Google search identifies its top results based on user experience and the time they’ve taken to browse a website, it will make a difference to one of these two websites. And no prizes for guessing which one shows up on the top.
This is why it is really important to develop content and design, to go with it in such a way that it attracts users and engages them on a page. This content needs to be rich in keywords and be optimised for search engines, while also being appealing to end users who will be the ultimate judges.
Let’s explore SEO.
SO, WHAT IS SEO?
It’s Simpler Than You Think!Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is the simple activity of ensuring a website can be found in search engines for words and phrases relevant to what the site is offering. In many respects it’s like quality control for websites. Having said that if there was ever an industry that was little understood by people, it is SEO.
The true definition of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can also be stated as a highly compartmentalized and specialized process of building a successful web site.
But ask some SEO companies about SEO and they’ll try and blind you with science and confuse you into thinking it’s a black art. Say to some companies ‘what is SEO’ and two hours later you’ll be none the wiser.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Google (or any other search engine) displays sites it believes are authoritative and relevant. They measure relevance by analysing page content, the words you and I read, and they measure authority (mostly) based on the number and quality of other pages linking to the pages they show. Links are like votes and votes get you elected to number 1 in search results.2
Search engine optimization does not demand narrow and obscure search terms that no one can think of. It does not ask for keyword density that makes the whole page a repetitive exercise. This is because users search for information or services in very simple terms and they cannot understand the jargon.
THE KISS PRINCIPLE
The antidote to difficult SEO? You may have heard the popularly abbreviated ‘KEEP IT SIMPLE, SILLY.’ (KISS). It really does work wonders. Simple language woos your audience more than all the complicated vocabulary in the world can.
Reasons why simple language works best:
- It is estimated that 79% of users scan rather than read web content.3
- Users have shorter attention spans from scanning a lot of web content.
- They expect to find what they are looking for in simple, everyday terms.
- It also makes them trust you more readily, more willing to absorb your message and interact with you if you talk plain English ( or any other language in plain terms).
Haris Krijestorac, a successful hubspot blogger writes on SEO language: ‘Online content doesn’t need to appeal to a mass audience to be successful. If you’re trying to reach a niche audience, you don’t need to dumb down your language or your content. Cater to your audience, and focus on doing that really well.’ We may also agree that SEO keywords need not be complicated to the point of needing a dictionary to understand what it all means. The important thing is to convey a message and communicate that in the tidiest possible way. This writer also adds, ‘Is simple language still the best? Absolutely. But, as Albert Einstein said, “make things as simple as possible, but not simpler”.
4 STEPS TO MAKE SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION EASY
- Strive for short words, sentences, and paragraphs.
- Ideally, the lead keyword or key phrase should be featured in the first 25 words of page copy, which should be a minimum of 250 words.5
- Do not over- simplify by kicking out key terms that your audience is searching for. But do not create clutter around it either.
- Always build websites for users, i.e, your target audience and NOT for search engines.
NOW GO FORTH AND MULTIPLY!
Used well, SEO can seriously improve your site’s performance in search rankings, and subsequently multiply your site traffic (and sales!) to great effect, many times over. A great many websites teach us about SEO and associated tricks to achieve such traffic and you will find some of them in the links below.