Use Your Words Part 3: Practical SEO Applications for UX and Content Strategy

In Part 1 of our Use Your Words series, we discussed how to think about content like an SEO. Then in Part 2, we talked about some SEO and UX tools that can help you learn more about the words your users use. In Part 3, we’ll discuss how to share your UX research with the rest of the organization for better user insights.

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Now you have a lot of words and phrases in spreadsheets, a handful of powerful anecdotes, and maybe even a list of content ideas. You’ve got enough understanding of Google to be dangerous. But what do you do with all of this?

Get Organized

Before you start digging into your data, take a step back and take stock of what you have.

  • Sort: Set your records and Excel sheets up so you can quickly sort or filter by phrase and word. This takes a little time, but will be super beneficial as you go.
  • Group: Create buckets and categories of words and phrases that relate to your existing content topics or line up with your SEO’s keyword groups.
  • Assign: List out all of your deliverables and assign words, phrases, and content groups to each deliverable. Your goal is to start creating deep understanding and variety around the topics your organization addresses.

Share Your Research

All of this information and research is great, but if you keep it to yourself, how will the organization benefit from the things you’ve learned? If you take the time to thoughtfully disseminate your research to the relevant stakeholders, in context to their own work, you’ll see deeper understanding of user needs start to develop across the organization.

Take the time to thoughtfully disseminate your research to the relevant stakeholders and you’ll gain deeper understanding of user needs across the organization.

Here are some ways to contextually share your research and learnings.

Copy

  • Give copywriters outlines that include words and phrases, questions, and recurring comments you uncovered during your research.
  • Add direct quotes from users to directions, scope docs, or brand guidelines. Make sure to indicate whether the writers can use those quotes verbatim in the copy or if they should use them as inspiration.
  • Send curated clips of phone calls, screenshots of chats, or forum discussions as pre-writing research.

Design

  • Pick out key words or phrases that are image-heavy or emotionally charged that will help guide designers.
  • Identify the common barriers users have around your services to help designers decide which parts of the process need better visualization.

Development

  • If your research changes the way you cluster topics or organize publishing schedules, include the development team in all talks around site structure and categorization of content so they have a heads up and can offer feedback or prepare for IA changes.

Product/Project Managers

  • Share your keyword research and user profiling with PMs to encourage them to prioritize user-centered tasks and user-centered QA in the sprint or build process.

Account Managers

  • Give account managers evidence to take to your clients in support of the user-centered changes you’re trying to make.

 

Channels (PPC, SEO, Email, Display, etc.)

  • Create seamless user experiences across multiple platforms by matching, pairing, and bridging word choices and tones of voice from channel to channel.
  • Show channel leads the importance of building and meeting users’ expectations based on what they search for and what you offer when they click on your content.

Research/CX Team

  • Map the customer experience (CX) from introduction to post-purchase loyalty, and cluster users’ words around each step as you’ve uncovered them in your research. Creating this visual will help the CX team surface patterns in each step of your customers’ journeys.
  • Encourage the research team to build surveys and market research around pieces of the customer experience where your organization doesn’t meet users’ needs or expectations.

Sales Center

  • Identify trends in requests, needs, and concerns and share them with sales agents on the account. Sales centers may not have someone doing the cumulative work to pull together overarching storylines that could dramatically affect their sales strategies.

Create a List of Deliverables

A sure way to show others the value of your research is to create a list of deliverables you can share with the organization.

Outline all the pieces you create and hand off, then group words, phrases, and insights around each of those. You’ll essentially be offering a menu or table of contents of all the insight you can provide without overwhelming teams with full details up front. From there, teams can more accurately request reports from you that are tailored to their current projects and concerns.

For example, my list includes the following:

  • Customer journey maps, buying process or funnel maps, and site maps (great for sales teams, account managers, project managers, and content strategists)
  • Personas, customer profiles, and personality assessments (useful for writers, designers, and content strategists, or anyone who creates user-facing content)
  • Tone and voice documentation, content strategies, scope docs, and design systems (help inform copy, design, account management, project management, and development)
  • Acropedias or glossaries for more technical industries (vital tools for writers and designers who are researching a new field in order to reach people in that field, and even sales centers who need to sound knowledgeable on the phones)
  • Testing documentation, reports, and data analysis (great resources for strategy and decision makers)

Each of these deliverables can be a valuable resource to teams, helping them build user-centric and search-friendly sites.

Don’t Forget the End Goal: Users

By organizing and sharing your user research, you can help unify the whole organization around a theme of using the right words at the right time in the right place. You can build online experiences that match users’ needs and interests seamlessly along their journeys. You can create a more empathetic organization that values how its users talk—but also hears the genuine concerns, needs, and desires of its users.

By organizing and sharing your user research, you can help unify the whole organization around a theme of using the right words at the right time in the right place.

Now, whether you have an SEO specialist on your team or not, you have the basic tools and insight you need to dig into the words your users use, show empathy and understanding along every step of a user journey, and build effective, user-centric content.

To learn more about how Clearlink creates intelligent customer experiences for our brand partners, read our partner success stories

Jess Vice

Jess Vice advocates for users in website and application UX at Clearlink as a lead user experience specialist. She consults on best practices, runs the user testing team, and writes and speaks in her spare time. On the weekends, Jess escapes to the mountains where there are no end users to worry about.

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