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17 Types Of Content Marketing You Can Use

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17 Types Of Content Marketing You Can Use

For marketers, content is still king. It provides value to your targets, helps establish you as an expert in your field, drives traffic, and tells search engines why your website should be ranked highly.

But what’s the best type of content? You would likely get 12 different responses if you asked a dozen marketers.

Some will swear by blogs, while others will claim infographics are the best way to generate exposure. Ebooks can be a great way to establish your authority, while memes encourage organic shares.

Every type of content has different strengths and weaknesses. By understanding each offer’s unique benefits, you can develop a cohesive content marketing strategy unique to your needs.

In this piece, we’ll take a look at 17 types of marketing content, explain how you can use them to achieve your goals, and give you the knowledge you need to make a bigger splash with your marketing.

Why Content Marketing Is Important

The world has gone digital. As of July 2022, there were 5.03 billion people worldwide using the internet. That means 63.1% of the global population could potentially land on your website.

Thanks to smartphones, the internet has become the go-to source for entertainment, shopping, or settling arguments about Florida’s state bird (the northern mockingbird), no matter where you are.

With this in mind, it’s no surprise that a study by the Pew Research Center found 31% of American adults reported being online “almost constantly.”

The heart of any successful digital marketing campaign, content marketing offers several benefits, including:

  • Building trust with your audience.
  • Improving SEO efforts.
  • Showcasing your expertise.
  • Helping maintain your brand’s reputation.
  • Encouraging social shares.
  • Improving conversion rates.

And on top of this, it’s one of the most cost-effective ways to attract new leads, as you can often repurpose your content to get added exposure without a lot more work.

Of course, not all types of content will reap the same level of rewards. Your mix will depend on the specifics of your business and your goals, but some types are essential.

17 Essential Types Of Content

1. Blogs

Since 1994, when Justin Hall created the very first weblog, or blog, as it would come to be known, blogging has been a cornerstone of successful content marketing.

A great way to regularly add new content to your website, blogs are a versatile, low-cost, and often evergreen way to boost organic traffic.

Their long-form format lets you focus on your target keywords and the important topics to your audience.

Blogs can also play an important role in your SEO strategy.

Their length (the average blog post is 1,500 to 2,500 words) provides Google’s search bots with a lot of information about their content, which in turn helps it determine how it helps answer search queries.

To ensure your blog posts are generating as much traffic as possible and getting the results you need, make sure they are:

  • Written for humans – not search engines.
  • Use your targeted keywords.
  • Optimized for loading speed.
  • Linked to sites with high authority.
  • Use headers for effective skimming.

And don’t forget your long-tail keywords. Remember, the more detailed a blog post is, the more likely it will attract the traffic you want.

Plus, it’s a great way to show off your brand’s personality.

2. Case Studies

Your target customers have a specific problem. Your goal as a marketer is to show them why your business is the best answer to said problem.

To do this, you have to demonstrate not just that you’re an expert in the field but also that your solution actually works. And one of the best ways to do this is through case studies.

Case studies give your audience a real-life scenario in which someone like them used your offering to solve their problem. They see the buying journey from start to finish, helping them visualize how your product or service works.

They allow you to portray yourself as an expert, which helps reduce perceived risk, particularly for high-cost products and services.

And like blogs, they offer a longer format in which you can effectively add keywords without feeling like they were shoehorned in.

To maximize their impact, you should make sure your case studies:

  • Focus on an issue your target audience can relate to.
  • Feature a cohesive narrative from start to finish.
  • Include real statistics wherever possible.
  • Accurately portray how your business solved the issue.

3. Checklists

Santa Claus is not the only one making a list and checking it twice. Many people love a step-by-step guide to performing a task or solving a problem.

By dividing tasks into smaller, more manageable ones, checklists can make even the most complex jobs less daunting. And from a marketing perspective, they’re a great way to generate leads.

Audiences use them as a simple, easy, and free way to make sure all the right steps are being followed. They create ownership, establish expectations, and set deadlines, all of which contribute to productivity.

In addition to creating a useful tool for customers, checklists also let your targets know you understand what they’re facing. Good checklists will include:

  • A title establishing the purpose of the list and why it’s useful.
  • Step-by-step tasks that outline the overall process – including subtasks.
  • Timeframes for each step – this could be a hard date or a range.
  • Status indicating whether a step is completed, in progress, or not started.

4. Customer Reviews And Testimonials

You know your business is great, but let’s face it: saying it yourself doesn’t count for much. What does matter, however, is what your customers are saying.

Word of mouth for the digital age, customer reviews, and testimonials give you a level of credibility no amount of paid marketing can ever achieve.

Studies have shown 93% of consumers say online reviews impact their shopping choices, which makes them extremely valuable.

Reviews and their less-celebrated-but-no-less-important-counterpart testimonials help reduce the feeling of risk and provide a useful way to overcome potential objections. Plus, because they’re customer-generated, they cost you nothing.

There are several ways to encourage them, including:

  • Directly asking for reviews and testimonials.
  • Incentivizing customers to create them.
  • Creating automated replies that make creating reviews easy.

Google factors in positive reviews when determining Search Quality Raters Guidelines.

These do not have a direct impact on search rankings but do help ensure your pages meet the minimum quality threshold the search engine demands.

You should prominently feature testimonials and reviews wherever they logically fit, including on webpages and in emails.

5. Ebooks

One of the best ways to present yourself as an authority is to demonstrate thought leadership. And one of the best ways to do that is by creating an ebook.

These long-form texts are not advertisements, at least not in the traditional sense, but instead, they offer value to potential customers.

By deep diving into a subject particular to your field, you demonstrate your expertise while simultaneously providing value to your targets.

If your ebook covers a particularly under-covered topic or presents information in a new light, it can lead to significant interest in your company. And even better, because these long-form texts are generally hidden behind an email or contact form, they offer a great way to generate new leads.

6. Email Marketing

The bread-and-butter of marketing in the 21st century, email marketing is a fast and flexible way to reach a highly targeted audience.

Whether you’re trying to stay top of mind for existing customers, reach new ones, or build brand awareness, email marketing gives you a measurable way to engage with targets.

You should be using email to contact people regularly at each stage of your sales funnel.

Limited-time offers can help persuade that hesitant lead to finally give you a chance. Birthday messages to existing customers help keep your brand at the forefront, and abandoned cart emails can entice people back to complete purchases.

No matter what your business goals are, there’s an email strategy to help you achieve them.

Make sure you keep your strategy centered on those goals, segment your audience to speak to specific audiences, and measure your results. Then, take what you have learned from this campaign and apply it to the next one.

7. Guides And How-Tos

In-depth guides and how-tos are necessary for any company offering a complex product or service.

Another way to demonstrate how knowledgeable you are, they are a great way to expand your online presence.

For example, if you are a software company, providing how-to content in the form of printable guides or online training courses will help your clients get the most from your product.

They can also help eliminate frustration and minimize learning curves – both things customers love.

8. Infographics

Everyone knows a picture is worth a thousand words. Infographics are this adage applied to marketing.

By allowing you to present a significant amount of information in a quick and easy-to-understand format, they provide an easy way for viewers to understand information.

Great for catching the eyes of people who only scan the text on your webpage (which is almost everyone), infographics give marketers control over which information is highlighted.

Create infographics that call out statistics, events, or timelines that help pitch your business. Quick and low-cost, they often act as standalone content that can be shared on social media.

To ensure you’re getting all the credit (and backlinks) you deserve from your content, include a snippet of HTML code that allows other webmasters to embed them on their sites.

9. Interactive Content

In the old days (i.e., before the internet), marketing usually talked “at” an audience. But now, the power of technology has given marketers the ability to speak “with” people.

Interactive content is a great way to harness this functionality to gather information, boost engagement, or find new customers. Plus, they’re a great way to provide value and/or showcase your creativity.

Create quizzes to help people decide on which product is perfect for their needs, build games to distract them while increasing your brand’s exposure, or create an app that adds value to their lives.

While this type of content may require a bit more technological knowledge (or outsourcing) than some of the items on this list, it can also be one of the highest-performing.

10. Interviews/Q&As

Want to massively expand your audience with just one piece of content? All you need to do is secure an interview on Joe Rogan’s podcast. Simple, right? Well, maybe not, but don’t let that discourage you from putting the power of interviews and question-and-answer segments to work for you.

A great way to build relationships (and links) with other websites, these are a great way for your internal thought leaders to showcase their knowledge to external audiences.

By going “on the record,” you’re showing the world that you stand behind your offering. This implies quality customer support, helps with reputation management, and can improve overall engagement.

11. Listicles

Unfamiliar with the word “listicle?” You’re not alone. But they refer to something you’ve definitely seen before. In fact, you’re reading one right now – it’s an article structured as a list, hence the name.

While the most popular of these are often Buzzfeed-esque pieces like “15 Hedgehogs With Things That Look Like Hedgehogs,” they don’t have to be mindless entertainment but instead can be used as powerful pieces of marketing content.

People love listicles because they are easy to skim, you know what to expect, and they break information down into digestible chunks.

Marketers love them because they’re easy to plan and write.

Create your own marketing listicles following these steps:

  1. Choose a topic and angle.
  2. Select a keyword.
  3. Write the list points.
  4. Wrap up with a solid conclusion.

12. Podcasts

No longer solely the domain of true crime junkies, podcasts are a great way to build your brand with effective content marketing that people can consume on their commute, on a walk, or at any other time they find convenient.

Podcasts allow you to share your stories and experiences directly with your audience, building relationships by speaking to your targets on a personal level.

To maximize the impact of your podcasts, ensure you’re providing useful information in an entertaining format. You can also use guest hosts or interviewees as a way to expand your audience.

13. Social Media Posts

Everyone from your grandmother to the teenager next door is using social media these days.

While it’s true they might not be on the same platform, they’re all using it for the same purpose – to stay in touch. And there are literally billions of users worldwide.

Providing a way to initiate and maintain conversations with targets, social media has become an important part of every marketing mix.

Of course, how you use it will vary dramatically from one company to the next.

For example, a candy manufacturer may have good luck with recreating viral videos on TikTok, but that approach will probably fall flat for a software developer.

To ensure your social media efforts are reaping maximum rewards, you need to identify which platform or platforms your audience is using, then create content that will speak to them.

Seek to build relationships with both your audience and any influencers who can help expand the impact of your content.

And don’t forget, social media is also a great place to repurpose content you’ve already created.

Have a great infographic? That would be perfect for your Facebook. That tutorial video about your product’s hidden features should be on your YouTube page. Linking to your ebook on Twitter can help you land new leads.

Find where your content fits, then put it on your social channels.

14. User-Generated Content

Much like testimonials, content created by your users gives you an authenticity no amount of self-promotion can match. Even better, because it’s generated by a third party, it doesn’t take much investment on your part.

User-generated content, or UGC, could be anything from someone tagging your brand in a selfie to a recording of them using your product. It provides social proof while simultaneously providing word of mouth and encouraging engagement.

Encourage your fans and customers to make content by:

  • Regularly posting UGC on your social media channels.
  • Inviting user-submitted content, with or without rewards.
  • Creating and using your own branded hashtag.

15. Videos

If you’re looking for a way to engage your audience, there’s nothing quite like video.

Platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Meta’s Reels have made videos a ubiquitous part of digital marketing. And with good reason – video content works.

While this type of content generally requires more time and resources to produce than text or static content, video content has been shown to increase dwell time, improve customer understanding of your product or service, and lead to higher lead volume.

Part of the strength of video content lies in its versatility.

From short demo videos and social media clips to interviews and long-term videos that tell your story, video can help you connect with your audience in a way most other forms of content can’t.

16. Webinars

When you think of content marketing, webinars are probably not the first thing that springs to mind. However, they can be a very valuable part of your strategy.

Whether you’re using on-demand webinars to provide round-the-clock value or live sessions to create personal connections, these online education sessions are a great way to educate existing and potential customers, attract new leads, and establish your authority in your field.

To create successful webinars, first, identify an area of need. Maybe there’s a new law that impacts your industry, and there are many questions surrounding its implementation.

Maybe there’s a certain aspect of your offering that customers don’t seem to understand clearly. Or perhaps you just want to offer expert insights on a relevant topic.

Whatever it is, your webinars should provide unique content that adds value. Require an email list for registration, and they provide a great way to build new contact lists.

17. Whitepapers

Not to be confused with ebooks, whitepapers are lengthy papers filled with data, statistics, and information – sort of like business research papers.

The information they include can be the results of your own studies or a compilation of information compiled from other sources. Either way, they should offer key takeaways and provide credible insights.

Keep your design clean and visually appealing for easy scanning, and allow others to link to it to help generate backlinks.

Takeaway: Why Use Different Types Of Content

Though they may have common features, every prospect, lead, and customer you’re targeting differs.

Some people are visual learners and like videos and infographics. Others prefer to be taught new information and retain information from webinars best. And yet, others prefer downloadable texts they can peruse on their own time.

If you’re only creating one type of content, you’re not reaching as many targets as possible with a more varied approach.

It’s often tempting for busy marketers to take the easiest approach, but this isn’t the best recipe for long-term success.

Instead, determine what your goals are and how you will define success. Then, use this to create a multi-channel content plan that will help you reach it.

Regardless of which content mix you opt for, there are certain things every element, regardless of format, must do:

  • It should provide value.
  • It should promote your brand and product/service.
  • It should be targeted to your specific desired audience.
  • It should actively move customers along the purchasing journey.
  • It should be shareable.

Don’t be afraid to experiment and take risks. Not every type of content works for every brand, but if you put in the work, you’re sure to see rewards.

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AI Content In Search Results

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AI Content In Search Results

Google has released a statement regarding its approach to AI-generated content in search results.

The company has a long-standing policy of rewarding high-quality content, regardless of whether humans or machines produce it.

Above all, Google’s ranking systems aim to identify content that demonstrates expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-E-A-T).

Google advises creators looking to succeed in search results to produce original, high-quality, people-first content that demonstrates E-E-A-T.

The company has updated its “Creating helpful, reliable, people-first content” help page with guidance on evaluating content in terms of “Who, How, and Why.”

Here’s how AI-generated content fits into Google’s approach to ranking high-quality content in search results.

Quality Over Production Method

Focusing on the quality of content rather than the production method has been a cornerstone of Google’s approach to ranking search results for many years.

A decade ago, there were concerns about the rise in mass-produced human-generated content.

Rather than banning all human-generated content, Google improved its systems to reward quality content.

Google’s focus on rewarding quality content, regardless of production method, continues to this day through its ranking systems and helpful content system introduced last year.

Automation & AI-Generated Content

Using automation, including AI, to generate content with the primary purpose of manipulating ranking in search results violates Google’s spam policies.

Google’s spam-fighting efforts, including its SpamBrain system, will continue to combat such practices.

However, Google realizes not all use of automation and AI-generated content is spam.

For example, publishers automate helpful content such as sports scores, weather forecasts, and transcripts.

Google says it will continue to take a responsible approach toward AI-generated content while maintaining a high bar for information quality and helpfulness in search results.

Google’s Advice For Publishers

For creators considering AI-generated content, here’s what Google advises.

Google’s concept of E-E-A-T is outlined in the “Creating helpful, reliable, people-first content” help page, which has been updated with additional guidance.

The updated help page asks publishers to think about “Who, How, and Why” concerning how content is produced.

“Who” refers to the person who created the content, and it’s important to make this clear by providing a byline or background information about the author.

“How” relates to the method used to create the content, and it’s helpful to readers to know if automation or AI was involved. If AI was involved in the content production process, Google wants you to be transparent and explain why it was used.

“Why” refers to the purpose of creating content, which should be to help people rather than to manipulate search rankings.

Evaluating your content in this way, regardless of whether AI-generated or not, will help you stay in line with what Google’s systems reward.


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Seven tips to optimize page speed in 2023

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30-second summary:

  • There has been a gradual increase in Google’s impact of page load time on website rankings
  • Google has introduced the three Core Web Vitals metrics as ranking factors to measure user experience
  • The following steps can help you get a better idea of the performance of your website through multiple tests

A fast website not only delivers a better experience but can also increase conversion rates and improve your search engine rankings. Google has introduced the three Core Web Vitals metrics to measure user experience and is using them as a ranking factor.

Let’s take a look at what you can do to test and optimize the performance of your website.

Start in Google Search Console

Want to know if optimizing Core Web Vitals is something you should be thinking about? Use the page experience report in Google Search Console to check if any of the pages on your website are loading too slowly.

Search Console shows data that Google collects from real users in Chrome, and this is also the data that’s used as a ranking signal. You can see exactly what page URLs need to be optimized.

Optimize-to-Start-in-Google-Search-Console

Run a website speed test

Google’s real user data will tell you how fast your website is, but it won’t provide an analysis that explains why your website is slow.

Run a free website speed test to find out. Simply enter the URL of the page you want to test. You’ll get a detailed performance report for your website, including recommendations on how to optimize it.

Run-a-website-speed-test-for-optimization

Use priority hints to optimize the Largest Contentful Paint

Priority Hints are a new browser feature that came out in 2022. It allows website owners to indicate how important an image or other resource is on the page.

This is especially important when optimizing the Largest Contentful Paint, one of the three Core Web Vitals metrics. It measures how long it takes for the main page content to appear after opening the page.

By default, browsers assume that all images are low priority until the page starts rendering and the browser knows which images are visible to the user. That way bandwidth isn’t wasted on low-priority images near the bottom of the page or in the footer. But it also slows down important images at the top of the page.

Adding a fetchpriority=”high” attribute to the img element that’s responsible for the Largest Contentful Paint ensures that it’s downloaded quickly.

Use native image lazy loading for optimization

Image lazy loading means only loading images when they become visible to the user. It’s a great way to help the browser focus on the most important content first.

However, image lazy loading can also slow cause images to take longer to load, especially when using a JavaScript lazy loading library. In that case, the browser first needs to load the JavaScript library before starting to load images. This long request chain means that it takes a while for the browser to load the image.

Use-native-image-lazy-loading-for-optimization

Today browsers support native lazy loading with the loading=”lazy” attribute for images. That way you can get the benefits of lazy loading without incurring the cost of having to download a JavaScript library first.

Remove and optimize render-blocking resources

Render-blocking resources are network requests that the browser needs to make before it can show any page content to the user. They include the HTML document, CSS stylesheets, as well as some JavaScript files.

Since these resources have such a big impact on page load time you should check each one to see if it’s truly necessary. The async keyword on the HTML script tag lets you load JavaScript code without blocking rendering.

If a resource has to block rendering check if you can optimize the request to load the resource more quickly, for example by improving compression or loading the file from your main web server instead of from a third party.

Remove-and-optimize-render-blocking-resources

Optimize with the new interaction to Next Paint metric

Google has announced a new metric called Interaction to Next Paint. This metric measures how quickly your site responds to user input and is likely to become one of the Core Web Vitals in the future.

You can already see how your website is doing on this metric using tools like PageSpeed Insights.

Optimize-with-new-Interaction-to-Next-Paint-metric

Continuously monitor your site performance

One-off site speed tests can identify performance issues on your website, but they don’t make it easy to keep track of your test results and confirm that your optimizations are working.

DebugBear continuously monitors your website to check and alerts you when there’s a problem. The tool also makes it easy to show off the impact of your work to clients and share test results with your team.

Try DebugBear with a free 14-day trial.

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What Is User Experience? How Design Matters To SEO

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What Is User Experience? How Design Matters To SEO

User experience is the foundation of a site’s usability, and it’s an aspect of on-page SEO that many people overlook.

If your site lacks the positive user experience and ease of use that end users require to navigate your site, you’ll push visitors to your competitors.

In this guide, you’ll learn what user experience (UX) entails, the types of experiences, the difference between UI and UX, and why it matters to SEO.

What Is User Experience (UX)?

UX is how people interact with your website.

You’ll also find this term used for products, but we’re focusing strictly on websites at the moment.

If you have a, intuitive user interface design, users will have an easier time navigating your site and finding the information they want.

If you do have a digital product, such as a SaaS solution, this interaction will also occur on your digital product.

User experience elicits a couple of things:

In short, user experience can provide a positive experience with your website – or it can lead to frustration among users.

Note: Usability is not UX design. It’s a component of UX that works with design to create the experience your users desire.

What Are The Types Of User Experience?

User experience evaluation must look at the three types of UX design to best understand the needs of the end user.

The three types of UX include:

  • Information: One aspect of a content strategy that goes overlooked is information architecture. Time must be spent on how information on a site is organized and presented. User flows and navigation must be considered for all forms of information you present.
  • Interaction: Your site has an interaction design pattern – or a certain way that users interact with the site. Components of a site that fall under the interaction UX type include buttons, interfaces, and menus.
  • Visual design: Look and feel matter for the end user. You want your website to have cohesion between its color, typography, and images. User interface (UI) will fall under this type of UX, but it’s important to note that UI is not interchangeable with UX.

What Is The Difference Between UI & UX?

Speaking of UX and UI, it’s important to have a firm understanding of the difference between the two to better understand user experience.

User Interface

UI design is your site’s visual elements, including:

Visual elements on your site are part of the user interface.

UI definitely overlaps with UX to an extent, but they’re not the same.

Steve Krug also has a great book on usability, titled “Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability.” It was first published in 2000, and the book is a #1 bestseller today.

Steve’s insight from over 20 years ago (although we’re now on the 3rd edition of the book) provides guidelines on usability that include:

  • Desktop.
  • Mobile.
  • Ease of use.
  • Layouts.
  • Everything UX.

If there’s one thing this book will teach you about usability, it’s to focus on intuitive navigation. Frustrating website users is the exact opposite of a good user experience.

User Experience

UX works on UI and how the user will:

  • Interact with your site.
  • Feel during the interaction.

Think of Google for a moment.

A simple landing page that is visually appealing, but Spartan in nature, is the face of the Internet. In terms of UX, Google is one of the best sites in the world, although it lacks a spectacular UI.

In fact, the UI needs to be functional and appealing, but the UX is what will stand out the most.

Imagine if you tried performing a search on Google and it displayed the wrong results or took one minute for a query to run. In this case, even the nicest UI would not compensate for the poor UX.

Peter Morville’s user experience honeycomb is one of the prime examples of how to move beyond simple usability and focus on UX in new, exciting ways.

The honeycomb includes multiple points that are all combined to maximize the user experience. These facets are:

  • Accessible.
  • Credible.
  • Desirable.
  • Findable.
  • Usable.
  • Useful.
  • Valuable.

When you focus on all of these elements, you’ll improve the user experience dramatically.

Why User Experience Matters To SEO

By this point, you understand that UX is very important to your site’s visitors and audience.

A lot of time, analysis, and refinement must go into UX design. However, there’s another reason to redirect your attention to user experience: SEO.

Google Page Experience Update

When Google’s Page Experience Update was fully rolled out, it had an impact on websites that offered a poor user experience.

The page experience update is now slowly rolling out for desktop. It will be complete by the end of March 2022. Learn more about the update: https://t.co/FQvMx3Ymaf

— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) February 22, 2022

Multiple aspects of UX are part of the ranking factors of the update, including:

  • Intrusive adverts.
  • Core Web Vitals.
  • HTTPS Security.

You can run a Core Web Vitals report here and make corrections to meet these requirements. Additionally, you should know whether your site has intrusive ads that irritate users, and if your site lacks HTTPS.

Page performance works to improve your SEO. Google’s research shows that focusing on UX can:

  • Reduce site abandonment by as much as 24%.
  • Improve web conversions.
  • Increase the average page views per session by as much as 15%.
  • Boost advertising revenue by 18% or more.

When you spend time improving your site’s UX, you benefit from higher rankings, lower page abandonment, improved conversions, and even more revenue.

Plus, many of the practices to improve UX are also crucial components of a site’s on-page SEO, such as:

  • Proper header usage.
  • Adding lists to your content.
  • Making use of images.
  • Optimizing images for faster loading times.
  • Filling content gaps with useful information.
  • Reducing “content fluff.”
  • Using graphs.
  • Testing usability across devices.

When you improve UX, you create a positive experience for users, while also improving many of the on-page SEO foundations of your website.

Final Comments

Customer experience must go beyond simple responsive web design.

Hick’s law dictates that when you present more choices to users, it takes longer to reach a decision. You’ve likely seen this yourself when shopping online and finding hundreds of options.

When people land on your site, they’re looking for answers or knowledge – not confusion.

User research, usability testing, and revisiting user experience design often will help you inch closer to satisfying the SEO requirements of design while keeping your visitors (or customers) happier.

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