Search intent

In SEO, you need to figure out the search intent. Best place to do this is to study the SERPs, auto-suggest, and related searches.

Notes to keep in mind:

  • Don’t target content without first understanding the searcher.
  • Look at Google SERPs, search suggest, related searches to determine search intent.
  • Look for gaps.

Recommended article: “The Guide To Strategic Writing”

I read this article on writing:
The Guide To Strategic Writing.

The main idea, as proposed in the article, is to research and find a proven idea. Then, write an article that improves on this idea.

Make sure the problem is real and your readers can relate to it

The article provides a good overview what content marketers will suggest and recommend in 2015.

The challenge that I see is trying to implement this in a small or medium sized business. You’ll need access to subject matter experts and time for research. Both are scarce.

Good times to be a writer.

Content first

Last Saturday I attended UX camp Switzerland. A very good event to learn about user experience, human-centered design, usability testing, MVP and prototyping tools.

Talks I listened to:

Stefanie Klekamp presented lots of background info on the Think Aloud usability testing method. Which I found useful. She explained the theories behind the method and also pointed to the research and shortcomings of the test. Shortcomings such as confirmation bias and evaluator effect. She briefly touched on Hawthorne effect, Rosenthal effect, primacy recency effect, hindsight bias. Practical tips for your next Think Aloud user test:

  1. Carry out a SWOT analysis of the website or app that you are testing beforehand.
  2. Take simple notes immediately.

Overall conclusion: Think Aloud user tests are a good practical method to test websites and apps early and often.

Next, I attended a talk by Tobias Günter called “Texter sind die besseren Designer” (in English: “Copywriters are the better designers”). His message was: We spend lots of time and resources on design and programming our web apps, but the content itself is often an afterthought. It’s reflected in the words we use: “Texte abfüllen”. Often there’s no content plan to begin with. Concept work is often based on “Lorem ipsum” dummy texts. If you consider the slogan “mobile first”, it should really be “content first”. Content is the reason people visit a website, or install an app in the first place. Often, content is not developed for mobile devices. Some copywriting guidelines to consider:

  • Keep it simple – only 1 thought per sentence
  • Add sub-headings
  • Add structure
  • Add some redundancy and repetitions
  • Add a focal point for images

Some further tools mentioned to improve content development:

  1. Develop your content page as if there is no start page and no website hierarchy
  2. Develop your content as if there is no navigation, header, footer, sidebar
  3. Think of URLs as verbs
  4. Test your texts
  5. Develop your texts iteratively; continuously improve your content

A good discussion followed. Every content page should be considered as being a landing page on its own. New developments include dynamic navigation entries depending on the content page I arrive at as a reader

Some web agencies now carry out a content audit of existing and new content. I found a related presentation on Slideshare after the talk:

 

Next, Samuel Frischknecht talked about minimum viable product (MVP) and presented some real-life client examples. He referred to a book called Lean UX by Jeff Gothelf. The lean process is

  1. Declare an assumption
  2. Create a MVP
  3. Run an experiment
  4. Collect feedback and carry out research

The book looks interesting and maybe it will answer some of my open questions on Scrum and design.

 

I attended more talks in the afternoon, but my ability to take notes decreased rapidly. I was tired.

Conclusion:
UXcamp was good. Many thanks to the organisers and sponsors. A good way to catch up on new developments and learn about a topic in one day.

Disclaimer:
All mistakes are my own. Please let me know if I got something really wrong. I’m here to learn. These notes help me to reflect and learn.

Scott Adams on Goals vs. Systems http://bit.ly/1gfOojJ

Recommended: Scott Adams Blog: Goals vs. Systems

“Before long your body will be trained, like Pavlov’s dogs, to crave the psychological lift you get from being active every day.”

Lots of food for thought in this article.

I particularly like the notes on writing and using blogging as a system to find new opportunities. Also what Scott is talking about here, evolved over several years and took many writing hours. Not some instant magic that some people try to sell us.

Because writing helps

Sometimes I wish I had developed Chiperoni.ch into a confessional blog. You know the kind where you write about your worries and sorrow and challenges.

Why? Because writing helps.

I noticed yesterday that writing helped me to sort through a difficult web navigational problem that I am encountering. It helps me to reflect.

The benefits of writing daily. Which i don’t manage to do. Yet. Weekly would be a first, reachable goal.

My head is buzzing with lots of questions and ideas. This is where I can list them and then return at leisure. Still in line with my blog definition of 2004.

riding a bicycle

Some articles on web and social media content that I’d like to mention here:

The first is not new for bloggers. We noticed this long ago. In addition to quality content, frequency matters.

Here’s an interesting entry on link building and local SEO. In a nutshell: Focus on developing good content and engaging with your community on social media rather than spending $$$ on dubious SEO providers that add links from low-quality sites.

Writing tip via Seth Godin: Say the opposite. This also works for ideas. Try and think of your worst idea ever. So
stupid and dumb, nobody would ever use it. Often this helps you to find original ideas.

I am hearing a lot about Kaizen and I have questions:

  1. Aren’t Kaizen and Scrum related? What are the differences?
  2. And a dumb question – If Kaizen is a way to improve continuously, and Kaizen originated in Japan, why is the Japanese economy stagnating for so many years? Is it not used as much in Japanese business?

I found a great website that rates the Terms of Service of various web and mobile apps.

IMG_7580

This morning I remembered some ancient poetry that we used to sing at school assembly in Blantyre.

Enjoy the warm weather.