From SEO to SXO: How to Enhance Your Website User Experience

The power of Search Engine Optimization cannot be disputed easily. It can help any business build credibility and take its brand to the market, attract the type of traffic that can lead to more sales, and give you an insight to the character of your customers. However, in order for a business to benefit fully from SEO, it needs to ensure that it has a website that promotes Search Experience Optimization (SXO). But wait, what is SXO?

Search Experience Optimization refers to a new trend where marketers are starting to realize the importance of a more holistic approach which recognizes that users need to be placed at the heart of the SEO process. SXO is a way of ensuring that the visitor to a website has a great experience resulting from a site that is user-friendly. There are a number of things that website designers can do to achieve this.

Provide Helpful Content

In order to move from just focussing of keywords, ensure that the content you provide is useful to the person who visits your website. You can achieve this by consciously writing for people and not machines. Write it not only to be understandable buy also in such a way that it addresses the unique needs of your target market.

Design the Site to Enhance User Experience

While it is important to ensure that your content, whether it is for social media marketing, blog series or drip email campaigns, is great, you will also need to ensure that the site on which the content is located does not disappoint visitors. The site needs to load fast, while also displaying properly across different  devices.

You will also need to ensure that the navigation is clear. What this means is that visitors are able to distinguish between different clickable buttons so that they are not subjected to the frustration of clicking the wrong ones.

The design of the site should also be simple. This doesn’t mean that you should not invest sufficient effort and costs. In actual fact, it takes more effort to ensure that the website contains no clutter that could easily leave visitors confused.

The website should employ good use of white space. This ensures that visitors do not feel that the information on the site is overwhelming them. When white space is used effectively, the website comes across as not being cluttered. It also ensures that the central message you are attempting to get to the visitors can clearly be located.

Follow Users to Mobile Devices  

According to Mike Templeman in this Forbes article, search experience optimized websites understand that most people are now using mobile devices to browse the web. This is a statistic supported by the Telegraph which indicates that by as late as 2015, the number of people browsing the web using mobile devices had already exceeded the number of people doing so using desktops. Hence, businesses should be investing more resources in ensuring that their sites are optimized for this increasing mobile traffic.  

The idea is no longer to worry about machines when creating content, but about the human beings  who will interact with it.

3 Reasons Why You Should Build Your Website With WordPress

3-reasons-why-you-should-build-your-website-with-wordpressIf you didn’t already know, WordPress powers more than a quarter of all the websites on the Internet. There’s a reason why and if you are still on the fence, here’s why you want to use WordPress.

Abundance of Help

Because of its popularity, you can find all sorts of help on WordPress. Free discussion forums, tutorials, virtual assistants, and developers. Plenty of people out there providing help or some sort of service related to WordPress.

If you are the DIY-er, that means you are rarely without guidance. If you prefer to outsource, guess what? There are plenty of people who are familiar with it and can work on it for you. This means you don’t have to train them. That is a bonus.

The last thing you want is to pay someone to learn how to use an obscure software. I’ve been there and done that. It kills your momentum and happily gobbles up your profits.

Beyond that, many popular web hosting companies today support WordPress. The more your host understands your software, the better off you are.

Highly Customizable

Apple used to have an iPhone commercial that said, “There’s an app for that”. Well, with WordPress, the same is true. Just about anything you want to do on your site, there’s a plugin for that.

What this means for you. You rarely need to hire people to create custom solutions for you. Bottom line, you spend less creating that solution and you don’t have to maintain it. That again saves you money in the long run.

Ownership

This is so important. There are many all-in-one services out there. You host with them, use their software. They may even be easier to use. But when you want to migrate after you have outgrown it? Perhaps not so easy.

These services may tell you that your content belongs to you. That may be true, but what they don’t say is, they may not provide the tools to export your content. In short, they try to lock you in. It’s more common than you think.

According to one developer, a client tried to move away from one such service. The site has years of content, both text, and pages. Turns out, the service would only allow her to export textual content, not their images.

Sure, WordPress is not perfect. No system on the planet is. However, it is the right answer for most use cases. That is close to perfect in an imperfect world.

One Simple Trick To Keep Your Social Media Profiles Hopping

One Simple Trick To Keep Your Social Media Profiles Hopping

Are you caught in the constant struggle to keep your social media profiles updated? I know the feeling.

That’s why my social media accounts have languished for years. When I have more time to devote, there are spurts of sharing and engagement. When I don’t – which is most times – well… you can imagine.

I wasn’t ready to give up though and recently started simply sharing 6 items every day. The results have been quite interesting. On Twitter, I went from these figures in March:

Twitter analytics March 2016

To this in July – the first full month I started consistent, daily sharing.

Twitter analytics July 2016

What I’m after are impressions, mentions and profile visits. It looks like I got what I wanted there. A nice side effect to sharing lots of other people’s content is, when you share a good one of your own, it does not look too spammy and it actually gets more attention. That’s what happened on Facebook for me.

Yeah, but how do you solve the problem of finding time to share all this content?

First “secret” I’d say is getting a Buffer account. You could use other scheduling apps of your choice. I simply like and use Buffer.

Next, instead of finding time to share, a small shift in perspective – use social media as a bookmarking tool. Here’s what I mean.

There’s so much amazing content out there, sometimes you find them while you are researching something else, and you don’t want to get sucked into reading. Other times, the content is so huge, so meaty. There’s no way you can consume and put into action the suggestions in one go.

For example, this one right here from AppSumo. This type of content I have to digest bits at a time. Instead of bookmarking and returning to it later, I chose to share it. I do this for every piece of content I find interesting and want to return to later.

Of course, you want to take into account if that would interest your followers. For me, 90% of the time, the answer is yes because of the content and sites I choose to visit.

All this is very natural. For example, if you are selling nail tools and embellishments, you’d probably be following nail blogs, watch nail art related videos etc because you are naturally attracted to this type of content.

When you think bookmarking instead of intentionally looking for content to share, you’ll fill your Buffer queue a lot faster. And, your own social media feed becomes useful to yourself as well.

[Book Review] Sell With A Story

In the past, my experience with story-selling books and courses have not been great. This could be my own mental block. In my mind, you’re either a story-teller or you’re not. And, I think it’s not that easy to teach people to become story-tellers. It’s a challenging skill to master.

As you can imagine, this made me quite skeptical when I got a review copy of Sell With A Story by Paul Smith. This is not Smith’s first book on using stories. He also authored Lead with a Story and Parenting with a Story, but I’ve read neither. This is my first introduction to his books.

Overall, I enjoyed his writing style. Simple and easy to follow. I also loved the format of the book which is more like a workbook. There is “homework” at the end of each chapter which is very helpful. I appreciated the many examples and how he lead me through the methods of identifying what’s a story and what’s not. It was clear, and it clicked for me.

Then I got to the part where we were to create a short, concise story to introduce ourselves and what we do. Oh boy! This is a challenge because I do so many things. I’ve always failed at creating an elevator speech. Plus, my feeble attempts using a story as an introduction always seem to drag on.

The example he used to teach how to create this intro story is super helpful. Using that, I believe I now have a simple, direct and short intro story. It’s still a little rough at the edges but definitely a lot easier to tell people what I do without their eyes glazing over. Because… you know, tech tends to do that.

The target audience for this book is sales professionals. Not so much digital marketers, or entrepreneurs. Still, I found it pretty helpful to craft easy to understand, engaging stories in explaining complex things. I think it can be quite helpful for writing blog posts too.

The book is scheduled to release September 2016 but you can get a copy now.

[Book Review] Social Selling: Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers

We’ve been very fortunate to receive a copy of Tim Hughes and Matt Reynolds’ book, Social Selling: Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers

Overall, I was a bit disappointed. It is likely due to my failure to fully understand who the author is talking to, and it is not for someone who operates an online business and already familiar with the ins and outs of using social media in your own business. That said, who is this book for?

Sales professionals. Particularly those who operate in offline, not-so-connected industries, and more specifically, those in B2B.

Even so, that’s a wide brush. If you are one of those sales people who are savvy and comfortable with content marketing. If you know and understand all about influencers. If you have your own following and a strong personal brand and comfortable talking (not selling) to people on social media, then this book is not for you.

I do think this is a great book for someone who is rather new to using social media and content as a sales tool. Not necessarily new to social media itself. If you have been selling the old way for a while and want to leverage social media, this is for you. If your social media posts are awkward or lack a conversational tone, this is a great book to get you and your company moving in that direction. Pick up your copy here.

Are You Living Your Calling?

It’s Monday. Are you excited to get going? Or are you dreading the grind? Are you passionate about what’s you are about to create this week? Or is work your enemy?

Watch this…

Don’t love your comfort zone too much. Security is over-rated. Don’t settle. Do not be that person who regrets not going after their passion on their death bed.

Now is the time. Decide to do it now. Whatever it is. If you’re ready to start a business, do it today! Here’s one to get you started. “Launch A Profitable Podcast“.

Rise Again, Every Time

A little reminder and encouragement. Business building is hard work. You probably have more failures than you care to admit. Just remember to rise again. Every. Single. Time.

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