If shows like Black Mirror and Westworld were supposed to be a turn off for humans from the wide world of tech, they’re clearly not working. At the beginning of 2019, there were 4,100,667,287 users on the internet—and that was just the first day of the year. Mobile phones have retained their position as the most preferred channel for accessing the internet and social media—53% of all emails are virtually accessed via mobile phones. All of this and more is made possible with the help of
Social media remains the most-used channel, with 2.77 billion users around the world being reported last year. Such a hike in internet usage and such a saturation of social media websites opened a gold mine for marketers and
The jury was out then: social media was the answer to the “where” of
1. Merely “Content” Won’t Make Anyone Content
With the collective attention spans of geese and a desire to absorb as much information as possible in as little amount of time, the internet users of today are famously short on time. They still like content—just not content that:
- doesn’t add anything to their existing body of language,
- is a chore to read,
- isn’t useful,
- is written badly, or
- doesn’t answer questions.
If you pay attention to the devices the youth of today are using—Alexa and smart refrigerators, so to speak—you’ll see that most of their concerns are question-based. While they would have searched for “best trends fashion 2019 weddings rustic” on Google only some years ago, now they’d search for something along the lines of “Alexa, what are some of the best current rust wedding trends?”
SEO strategists, therefore, don’t just have to optimize content for keywords. They also have to ensure that their content is answering questions that are (a) specific to their business and (b) that the users are most likely to be asking. Optimizing content as if it were answering questions also ensures that your web page has a shot at the popular rank zero on SERPS—and studies show that more than half of Google searches yield the zero click.
2. There’s More Than One Way to Skin a Cat
While traditionally, “content” has always been linked to a block of text, content isn’t simply a monolith. A simple look through anyone’s social media feed would show you that people are more interested in finding out what kind of bread they are than reading about why the bread you produce is the best.
People love quizzes—and you can use that to your advantage since quizzes also qualify as content. Similarly, reports show that people like watching videos as opposed to reading through a content piece—but that doesn’t mean that videos aren’t content themselves either.
A whopping 90% of people report that product videos help them in their online shopping decisions. According to YouTube, video consumption jumps by 100% with each passing year. Creating interactive and interesting videos can go a long way to propel conversions from users.
Similarly, there are other kinds of content that you can incorporate into your strategy to ensure that even though your potential customers might be skipping the blogs you’re posting, they’re still interacting with you. Infographics, for instance, are another such preferred content alternative. It gives customers most of the information they need succinctly, in one place, in numbers and quantifiable data that’s easy to understand.
All of this will ensure that users are spending more time on your website—that is, their dwell-time is increasing. This gives you a chance to improve user experience, there are more chances that a product will catch their eye, you get better opportunities to flaunt your discounts and promotions, and a user might even be prompted to begin a live chat with you.
But most importantly, it works for Google. More people on your website for longer periods of time is a good message for Google because it lets the SERPs know you produce valuable content that people love.
3. Hooking Headlines
Have you ever noticed how, on YouTube, a thumbnail will show you something you can’t resist, and you absolutely must click on it? It’s called click-bait, of course, but it does the trick. You can incorporate a similar trick for your
Take other things into account here as well, such as: would it work on social media? Can it go viral (yes, many people don’t even read the whole thing before sharing an article or an exciting blog post on social media, which is why most pop-gossip sites rely on half-truths)? Additionally, you should always try and use numbers in your headlines, or go with the classic how-to variety—because many people will be searching for just that: how to do XYZ.
4. Mobile Savvy
As has been aforementioned, most people like using social media and other web-based apps for their internet-related tasks. Search Engine Land shows that most SERP searches are done on smartphones.
One of the top-most priorities of your
People use their phones to look something up because they want to do it quickly: if they have to spend time while your website loads, they’re going to give up and look for the same information on a different site—even a rival site. And you don’t want that.
Navigation, formatting, and page load speed is what you should be focusing on here.
5. Converse, Interact, Engage
This one should go without saying, but here it is: encourage engagement. Not only should you be making an effort to engage with the audience, but you should also be nudging them gently to engage with you. This can be done through strong CTAs, live chatbots, open-ended questions, asking for reviews and complains, suggestions, etc.
Google’s Gary Illyes mentioned on Twitter that “thriving communities” help you with ranking better. If Google is saying this itself, you should be listening. This is what Gary had to say further about ranking: “It feeds into [the] general quality. Say, there’s good content, 5 points, great links from great pages, 2 points, thriving community, 1 point.”
So, while it’s not as important as quality content and white-hat backlinks, it still matters. And the more your customers engage with you, the better your chances of gently propelling a conversion.