User Experience

SearchLeeds 2019 UX and Marketing, a Tinder Match Made in Heaven

For another year running, Jill went “up north” back to her Northern roots and joined another amazing lineup of digital industry specialists for THE biggest search marketing event in the North of England, SearchLeeds.

Her talk “UX and Marketing: A Match Made in Tinder Heaven” was all on, why Marketing and UX merge a lot more than you think.

In today’s business world, you will find no marketing channel that stands alone, they all merge and bend into each other somehow. Especially when it comes to UX and Marketing. Whilst marketing aims to create value for a business and drive profitable customer interactions, UX aims to improve the quality of a user’s experience with your brands offering.

Below you will find some notes from the video transcript. If you want the super  The Consumer Cross Stich template she mentioned you got it!

Thanks for having The Coloring in Department again SearchLeeds!

We’re going to have a little bit of fun with the love match and the fanciness between these two disciplines. You’ll know who a UXer is because they’re really kind and they’re really sensitive and when they ask you a question they’re going to say why five times every single time they ask you a question. And they really want to get to know you and get to know what’s going on inside of your mind. And then you have your marketeer. A little bit loud, always needs money. Probably recording your conversations, listening to your conversations, hash tagging your conversations. We’re slightly needy as well. But actually these two randomly seeming people have a lot of verve that they can have together.

This talk walked through five love matches. Starting with the 1st Love Match, Personas and Customer Empathy map. Now, personas are something that we all as marketers have got, we all have a persona shoved up our sleeve, haven’t we? Possibly a tad controversial, but we think they’re a bit useless if we’re honest.

One thing that we’ve found with personas is they’re a little bit flat. They’re a little bit one dimensional and they don’t really help us with our marketing. With a persona, you’ve got something that goes a bit like this….

Here is John, he’s 42. He’s got a dog. He likes to read the Telegraph on a Sunday.etc etc

How are we supposed to write creative content and find marketing that’s going to really connect with them when it’s such a flat surface to begin with?

Now match this with an empathy map. This is a user experience tool, and the idea is that you’re trying to get in a little bit deeper into the mindset of your ideal customer. There’s quite a few sections to it, but here’s a quick summary.

The think and feel, this is all that washing machine stuff that you have in your head, all your fears and your thoughts and your dreams, all the stuff that you’re going to be talking about, but it’s all trapped inside of your head.

You’ve then got the see stage. This is your environment, your commute to work. What does it look like? Who am I seeing? Who am I talking to? When it comes to thehearing stage, who’s influencing me? Where’s my advice? Who do I go to? Who am I following on Instagram? And with one tweet I will dump your brand within a heartbeat.

And then we’ve got the say and do, and these are my actions, my final actions and do my thoughts and feelings live up to what I actually say I’m going to do? And one of the things with a customer empathy map is that we really need to start thinking about the language that your customers are using.

So, the first love match is to take your personas and go to another level. Start digging into them, like really get to know them. Ask them why five times before you find out what you want them to do.

The second love match in this talk focused on your now, deeper persona, and the customer journey.

You’ve got a typical customer journey. We’ve got the unaware stage. As an example, “I didn’t know that I wanted some sparkly trainers until I saw somebody on the tube with said sparkly trainers”. You’ve then got pain and problem aware. So this is where you’ve got a problem and an issue and you’re trying to find a solution. So it could be what user experience is your problem. You don’t know what it is. You’re going to go away and Google it. You then move on to your solution stage of awareness. So depending on your problem, what are the solutions available? You can watch a YouTube video, get a book, go on a course. Out of that bundle of solutions, there will be brands and products and services that will match them. So you move on to product aware and might decide you’re going to get a book. You are now most aware.

Now, what we find interesting is when you look at your customer journey and then you start thinking about how keywords actually work, the things that we’re actually typing into the search engines. At the beginning of the stages of awareness, they’re typically non brand focused, aren’t they? They’re questions, what is user experience like? You don’t know what you don’t know yet. And then as you move through there are different phases that you want to be optimizing for.

Which leads us to a model called the consumer cross-stitch. What we found out early on in my career, is if you map the stages of awareness and then have a look at the customer empathy map and then the keyword modifiers, they all fit in really, really nicely. So it means that you’re building your website and your information architecture and your content in a way that fits every single stage of the journey, but you’re really doing it for the cause of the customer.

So we’ll walk you through an example. Stage of awareness, pain and problem aware. “I need a hotel, I’m going to Tokyo”. I don’t know what I want yet. When you’re thinking about the customer empathy bit, this is the thinking and feeling. So all of these are kind of questions and I’m going to be typing them into Google and the search results as a result of that are probably going to be featured snippets, probably going to be questions, and obviously you want to optimize your URLs to make that.

When we move on to the next stage of awareness. we’re like, “oh I could either get an Airbnb, I can get a hotel”. We are playing around with the different things that we could be looking for and because it’s the see stage, this is because we am focusing on looking at campaigns and messaging from brands. It is worth remember at this stage as well,  how is your competition being presented to your customer.  When you start thinking about going on holiday, you’ll start listening to more people talking about holidays, and you’ll notice other brands as a result of it. Question for you, where are you in that positioning side of things? And then search results. In this case it’s probably going to be local packs. It’s probably going to be a lot of reviews.

When we move on to our product stage. We am now starting to think about actual branded keywords. So we’m going to be putting in the Hyatt. We’re going to be putting in the Imperial Hotel. I am seeing what people are saying about you. I’m listening to influencers, I’m reading travel blogs. We’re really getting into it. We’re buying a guide and again, what are the search results? What’s the content format that you want to have to make sure that you are found.

And then when we’re most aware, when we’re ready to hand over our cash, this is us saying “hello, I’m going to go to Tokyo and I’m going to book on this day and this is what I’m going to do and I’m going to tell all my friends. I’m going to post it on Instagram and you’ll all going to hate me”. But that’s essentially marrying that whole customer empathy and the customer journey to make your information architecture and your content just a little bit nicer.

The third love match in the talk. This is about user flows and what we call campaign plumbing!

Now when it comes to user flows,we want you to start thinking about them, not just for a new website or an app that you’re building, but for all of your marketing and how that flow is going to work for the customer.

User flows are essentially made up of lots of different symbols. You’ve got a start point, you’ve got a decision symbol.

Here’s one we made earlier for a company and this was for a triggered email system. One thing that we wanted to make sure with this particular project is we were sick and tired of our customers complaining. I’m sure some of you have done this. We’ll click on an email link and we’ll go to a page that doesn’t exist anymore. It is annoying.

What we did here, is we mapped out for this client for a set of free resources. If people arrived on the page and where thinking about giving us their email address for content, what would happen? What options do they have on the page. Do I click on the link? Yes or no. If I do click on the link, what do I get? And then do I download the pdf? Yes or no?  We hadMailChimp and Salesforce and we wanted to make sure if anybody unsubscribed from one set of marketing, we had to make sure it happened at this end as well. This user flow helped identify what we needed to do to make sure we were compliant.

Anything that was marked as blue were landing pages that we didn’t have yet. So we were able to show this to the board and say, you want this triggered email sequence, then we’re going to need a Purchase Order for this many pages to be created.

When we had an idea of what that page was going to look like, we could think about our SEO. What the URL would be, what’s the content format, and because we didn’t want to miss an opportunity, we started to tag the website with Event Tracking and Google Analytics. So when people did something, but we didn’t quite finish what we wanted them to do, we built a re-targeting list for them with a message specifically to what they were doing. This was maximizing every opportunity of that customer journey, but it also meant that nobody got freaked out, nobody was in an infinite loop. To do this, you don’t need anything more than a piece of paper and some post it notes and you’ll start to see mistakes in your website, or email campaigns, and you can go and fix them. Which is a good thing, and you’ll also find opportunities for you to make more money. Always a good thing.  And that’s our job at the end of the day, isn’t it? Make more cash.

Next love match is our UX Design 101 and copywriting. We all know how a typical web page should be built right? This is how we’ve all learned to read, isn’t it? You’ve got to start thinking about how you layout your content. Start thinking about fonts, something like fonts can make a massive difference to your readers.

The next thing to remember with our copywriting is that if you need to understand and use more user centric copy. Lucky for us all, we leave a digital footprint of sorts with everything that we do.

When I’m writing content, when I’m thinking about my websites, when I’m thinking about doing anything fancy, I do a bit of review mining. There is free information on everything!

Start by putting my product name into things like Amazon. We did this for a charity that was renting out wheelchairs. Go to Amazon then and go through the 343 customer reviews where people have got common themes of pain points and issues and things that they really wish was in that product that you could build in your product and just beat your competition. Yay!

These questions, this user-centric copy, can all be used to build blog posts and start to pick out different themes and there’s information now with tools like Answer The Public, Moz, SemRush.

When you have an idea about your themes, map it into Google trends to see when people are searching for these answers, and you have an editorial calendar that matches your users timing.

The next thing with this is to think about, less about the FAB model. If anybody’s like a classic marketeer – features, advantages, benefits. Customers don’t really like to read features, advantages, benefits, but PAS – problem, agitate, solution works really well, especially if you’ve done review mining and you’re thinking about your customer. Think about how you can structure your content and think about using this as a framework when you’re writing your copy.

Last love match for this talk, wireframes and reporting.  You can use a lot of time doing your dashboards, can’t you?  Start to think about the people that you are reporting too with reporting personas.  Who is getting the report?  What do they are about? Everybody that you’re reporting to has a different need. They have different information points that you should be giving them.

Just like you can wireframe a webpage or an email campaign, I will sit down and think about my reporting persona and I’ll be thinking, what’s the point in this report? For example, Here is the CEO and they want to know what we’re doing with our marketing budget. Ask yourself “How can I make it really easy, thinking about my user experience hat here, to design this report so that they can look at it and not ask me any questions?” That it’s really easy for them to digest that information, and then we start to wireframe it and only then will I go and build it.

We have a free resource on what to report on in Google Analytics that you can check out.

Google Analytics

Reporting Tutorial

The aim of the Google Analytics, game, of course, is to see insights and make changes and recommendations to your website and marketing.

Those recommendations need to be both justified, reported on, and most importantly, correct.

I think we can all agree that reporting on your work is incredibly important for your future success. But sometimes, the reports we try and build, well, suck.

We know they can suck, because we have spent years training, teaching and troubleshooting Google Analytics, and are happy to share some of the things we have learned along that journey.

In our first webinar (*throws confetti*)  we covered a few key themes – which you can rewatch here, if you love a good webinar.

Give it a watch to find out how you can get to grips with reporting so that you can create and present a story with your data. In the webinar, we talked about how to plan your reports so you display data in a more straightforward, and more meaningful way.

We also explained why some numbers make your head hurt, and how Google defines certain metrics, so you can make sense of the data too.

And who doesn’t want to be an analytics badass?

We finished our webinar with some sweet advanced tips and techniques to build reports awesome reports in Google Data Studio.

As you are here, you should check out the free ‘Report like a boss’ explainer that you can download for free. Or this cool guide around the difference between a session and a user-based segment, and if you want a handy explainer on segments, we’ve got your back with a little guide on how to use segments in Google Analytics’.

If you liked the section in the webinar about where we talk about linking multichannel funnels assisted conversion data into Data Studio, yeah we wrote some stuff on that as well.

Not forgetting that if you like this sort of stuff, and want to get better at it, we have whole modules in our Online Google Analytics Course on your Admin Setup, Goals, Assisted Conversions, Building Reports. In fact, the course is 10 hours of content, across 17 modules, with a whole bunch of word and excel templates, all for $199.

Even still though, you can lose a lot of time trying to build your dashboards, can’t you? I’ve spent months, maybe even years, ok maybe not years. But, I’ve wasted time over my career building dashboards and worst-case scenarios, and nobody ever reads them. If you listen quietly you can hear the sound of tiny violins.

Aiden has a fun story about this actually, he went to a meeting with a large global agency group, by all accounts a fabulous building, but it had broken air conditioning. Sat in a stuffy room someone said ‘oh just prop the window open with this book.” 

Aiden asked what it was – because he’s nosy. The guy said our client analytics reports. We just print it off every month and send it to them because it’s something tangible that they can look at, but nobody ever reads. It’s fine, prop away!

You hear that…that was the sound of my jaw-dropping.

What’s the point of doing that? What a waste.

So, let’s dive into a process to avoid the data vomit and take a moment to plan how you’re going to show your work in a way that will identify insights and answers to questions you have about your marketing and website performance. So, people might actually look at your hard work, and celebrate you accordingly.

We want to help you get to grips with a process that we use so that you can create and present stories with your data.

We start with a set of questions.

What’s the point of the report?

Your goal here is to make decisions based on the report. Not report for the sake of reporting.  Tempting as it may be to throw everything together in a dashboard form. Try to remember, what is the whole point of the report? Of course, a big no-no is to pull data together, to make your work feel tangible, and to show that “stuff happened.”

So, what is it that you are trying to say?

What questions are you trying to find an answer to in your business, or for your client?

Is the point of the report to show how well your marketing budget is being spent? How well your campaigns are doing? How much money did the site make this month, and, are we improving from previous months? Etc.

Who’s getting the report?

Just like the idea of having personas. Old skool.

Think about the idea of having reporting personas.

Who’s getting the report? What is it that they want? This will give you an idea of how much information to give those people – and allow you to highlight the metrics that matter to them.

For example, the CFO of a SaaS business may want very high-level metrics; that focus more on the finance side of things. Cost per visitor, cost per acquisition, ROI, churn rate – that kind of thing.

Whereas your VP of Marketing many want to know how many free trials were registered on the website, how many people are upgrading to premium products, that kind of thing – because those metrics are more aligned with their projects and workstreams.

What are the key messages? 

You want the reader to look at the report and walk away with your key message. Whilst, of course, making sure that they have the right message too, which is significantly easier when you know who you are reporting to and what the point of the report is in the first place.

How can you make it easy for them to get that message?

User Experience 101. Don’t confuse people, plan how you’re going to show your work, your data, in a way that is as smooth as silk and as easy to read as your A,B, Cs. As a result, those insights and answers will be easier to see and action. It is, after all, part of your job to communicate your findings.

The person looking at the report should very quickly get to their destination, their ‘aha’ moment. To get them there, think about how you can visualize the data in a very simple way, don’t make them think and ask questions, or be unclear about what they are looking at.

Select the right visual style for your message and make each data point clear – by giving each metric or section a heading in plain language.

Never assume that the person knows what they are looking at! Hint: they don’t.

Wireframe the Report 

The next step, once you have answered these questions, is not to dive right in and create a dashboard. I’m sure many of you have spent hours, days, weeks, and for some of you, months, creating reporting dashboards. Only to find that they weren’t correct, or someone wanted different information. Or worst crime of all, people didn’t even bother to look at them! That my friends, used to really upset me!

Creating reports can take time, and let’s face it, it’s not exactly the most exciting job in the world – sitting building dashboards.

So, save yourself time and future amends on your wondrous creation by creating a wireframe of your reports, get sign off, then build it. You may have used wireframes to sketch out landing pages, websites, or emails, but imagine how you can use this technique to build out a dashboard.

You can use good old pen and paper, or if you feel like it, use a tool like Figma to create a wireframe of your report.

Let’s walk through our process and see what we come up with for our wireframe.

Q: What’s the point of the report?

A: You want to isolate organic traffic from the website to see how your SEO strategy is working for you.

Q: Who is getting the report?

A: The CEO who has signed off on the budget.

Q: What are the key messages? 

A: Which Search Engines are we getting traction with? E.g. Google, Bing, Yahoo. How many users are coming from organic search, which pages they visited, and if they converted or not.

Q: How can we make this easy? 

Assuming you are going to build this report in Google Data Studio. Provide headers above each metric and data item. Display the search engines in a pie chart format, for any goals, provide the data as a % point AND the real number of conversions, use a bar chart to show the pages users visit, or heat maps. Add a calendar icon so the reader can change the dates, and an option to switch between reporting views.

Once your wireframe is signed off, then you build it! You are done.

Found this interesting? Enjoyed the webinar? You should totally check out what is in our GA course! Head this way, my analytics friend!