The user journey is one of the most important things to consider on the web.
It’s an issue I constantly raise at Webpresence, and I was delighted to come across a blog by Twitter the other week that highlights similar points.
You can read the blog here. It’s a brilliant summary of what the designers and developers went through when they were updating Twitter profiles and the challenges the team faced so brands and private users could fully express themselves.
They talk about the entire development process: research, understanding user behaviour, content expression, testing, responsive design, and much more besides.
Some of the tweaks they’ve made over time sound obvious and simple. People being able to take relevant actions when they land on a profile such as Follow and Message, for instance, and getting access to high-quality information and content.
But when you consider the changing face of mobile technology and the advances in people’s search behaviour the task facing developers is a consistently tough one just to stay with the times.
What thought goes into the user journeys you provide and how do you implement them? How have they affected trade? Let me know in the comment section below.
It shows how essential it is to get the user journey right to be successful.
Then along comes Google and it looks like things may be turned on their head. According to its head of AdWords, Jerry Dischler, the idea of a linear customer journey is long dead in the water, and that the new trend is to focus on ‘Micro Moments’.
Well, that’s not entirely fair. He doesn’t call it a trend or focus on it; rather Jerry has shared data to explain that AdWords’ new updates for mobile had delivered some interesting user data; namely that users are jumping onto their phone in short bursts to discover information.
But you can bet your bottom dollar that this’ll be the next big thing in the world of design. Google has even launched a Micro Moments website which is a home for the mobile data and insights that it’s collected over time.
Dischler will talk further about this and what it means for marketers on Wednesday, but now that the term micro moments has been coined, it boils down to giving people the information they want, when they need it, as efficiently as possible.
It only takes a moment
And, of course, the moment philosophy melds right into Google’s Hummingbird algorithm and the way search is heading, with people looking for answers to questions and inquisitive behaviour.
People are out and about and get something in their head, they use voice search to ask a question, and are instantly answered by either Google’s Feedback or the most relevant website. That’s probably the most current way to describe a Google Micro Moment.
So what does this mean for brands that want to be part of those micro moments, and be the one that helped to solve people’s problems?
That’s where not just web design and development comes into the equation, but also the question of content, how it’s constructed, and how it fits into your overall strategy.
You may have a fantastic website that’s responsive and looks incredible on mobile, but lacks serious content. Or your content could be amazing but your site leaves a lot to be desired. Or, alternatively, both are brilliant but you’ve ignored your search presence.
Search is constantly changing and evolving, a lot of it because of user habits, the evolution of language, and the way people want to discover things online. It’s up to you to keep up.
Is Google right? Are micro moments for users the way forward when it comes to nurturing leads? Let me know below!
A moment like this
A moment could mean anything, of course, but let’s just assume that it’s a positive one Google is talking about, a moment of wonder and clarity that people experience when they learn something new.
So how do you become part of that moment? Here are three tips to help you get started:
#1 Be responsive and ready
Google’s talking about mobile devices and information, here. So make sure your site is ready for people on the move; make it responsive for tablets and smartphones, and make the user journey as easy as possible for people when they visit your site.
# 2 Create relevant content
Again, when Hummingbird came in it’s been largely accepted that content with a conversational tone that helps answers questions will be of great benefit. Get inside your customers’ heads and think of the questions they’d like answering.
#3 Think of a local angle
A lot of your local customers will likely have questions about the area and what your local shop can provide. Create FAQs or related content that can be shared that pre-empts those common questions and makes you an online source of consumer knowledge.
These are broad answers covering what I feel are the basics of search; to be as helpful as possible online and give people reasons to visit your website.
The good thing about Google is that it likes to keep people in the loop, giving advice and tips, and releasing information to best help people get the most from its search engine. It makes a lot of money by delivering the most relevant results, you know…
So, as the moment movement grows and matures, expect more and more emotions to become defined for marketers to optimise for the benefit of their customers.
However you decide to use moments as part of your campaigns – if at all – then the most important thing you have to remember is how they fit into your overall strategy.
Without a solid overall strategy for your website and your online marketing efforts, you won’t be having many positive moments at all.