SEO brings visitors to the site. Navigation and content lead them through the site. If the latter isn’t well managed, SEO makes no sense. In that case, you will get more visitors, but you will frustrate them and eventually send them away. And gone is your SEO spending. Manage the customer’s task, then attract visitors.
Getting the website ready for happy visitors follows a couple of lines:
- Relevant content
- Clear links
- Simple navigation
If the website isn’t well managed, SEO makes no sense. It will only bring new visitors who will get irritated. Relevant content, clear links and simple navigation: a customer-centric approach before you start spending budget on SEO.
The internet is a about text, not about images, as I have stated before. Words bring us to our goal. Words help us complete the task we came to website for. Relevant content can consist of images, for sure: pictures, video, illustrations, graphic elements. They undoubtly help to clarify content. I don’t want to downgrade the value of the image. However, we need words for the website. Written content.
Visitors come to the website to do something, to complete a task. A good website is a website that brings us efficiently to the goal that we came for, that respects our time, that doesn’t baffle us with empty marketing attention getting talk.
In order to know what people want, we have to observe the tasks they come to the site for. Every website has a handful of top tasks that most customers come for. Typically, organisations are not strong in recognising the customers’ top tasks – they often are too busy in their departments, their silos of production, marketing, sales, IT, etc. Which too often is mirrored in the website. Gerry McGovern developed the Top Task Management to prioritize the task list based on facts, as described in The Stranger’s Long Neck.
All tasks should be easy to complete. For the top tasks it is essential that customers can complete them in the most efficient way. Constant testing and tweaking is the way to make the top tasks more and more efficient.
Words guide the customer along the task path:
- Clear links: the choice of words in buttons, titles and links are the most important content of every website. Yes, partly because search engines need them, however, in the first place because they are the signposts that bring visitors to their goal.
- Useful content. It’s not the volume of content that makes the website rich and useful. Less is more: direct, concise, exact information. Customers want facts, tips and tricks, product characteristics, installation guides, that kind of stuff. Directly useful, helpful in the task they have set at that moment.
If the customer’s task is being managed correctly, then SEO may make sense. At least, the acquired visitors will not be frustrated and the organisation’s goals will be well served. At least, then the budget spent will not have conflicted with the user experience.
Task management without SEO makes sense.
SEO without task management makes no sense.