Marketing aims to create value for a business and drive profitable customer interactions, so they say. UX aims to improve the quality of a user’s experience with your brand’s offering. Marketers may be surprised to see how UX can impact and improve their channel marketing and as for the UX’ers, you have more skills to offer outside development and product tasks.

In today’s multiple-channels-to-market-your-business-world you’ll find that no marketing channel or skill “stands alone”. They all merge and bend into each other somehow. UX and Marketing merge a LOT more than you may have realised as a result.

Jill Quick has been found waxing lyrical at some events recently, about how she thinks UX and Marketing are a super love match.  You can check out her deck below for her seven love matches where she has used UX techniques to improve SEO, PPC, Copy and Analytics Reporting.

And if you’ve missed her talk about this, she has written up one of her favourite love matches: SEO and UX.

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User Experience & SEO

We type our thoughts, fears, dreams, and questions into Google. Just think about all the things you have typed into that little search box, and how you might feel if people could see what you were asking our favourite search engine? Maybe a little nervous? It’s quite telling isn’t it, someone’s search history, and that’s because you know that no one will see it, ever. You can just whip out your phone and find the answer.

  • If you are in a meeting and someone mentioned an acronym you don’t know, you may not admit to them that you don’t know, because you can just Google it and find out
  • Or your boss asks you to do a job and you nod, having no idea what to do, that’s OK, you can Google it
  • You fancy buying something and can’t be bothered to find out which shop near you will sell it. Google has your back – baby

Whatever it is. Google has the answer, and, we are all conditioned to use it.

What does this have to do with SEO?


Search is a high intent channel. You don’t have any other marketing channel where your prospects and customers are in the keyboard based driving seat  and actively looking for an answer to their question.

Would you not want to be found for every stage of the journey? For all queries?

Of course you would.

Now, how do you do it?

Drum roll please ??????

Consumer Cross Stitch ©

The Consumer Cross Stitch is a model developed by The Coloring in Department that can be used to identify the types of queries that your customers are typing into Google. Your job is to serve up a page, with content that matches that query intent. You have all been told to write to your customers in user centric copy, that means you are not banging your drum, it should all be about them, their issues and problems.

But, working out what the keywords people type into Google while trying to work out the intent for that query…can be a hard task to start. Until now. We think this is a quick way to layer:

  • Insight from your customers using a Customer Empathy Map
  • The Stage Of Awareness to the customer’s journey
  • Keyword Modifiers, the types of terms they use to find things online.

Let’s quickly dive into each of them and then we can walk you through an example.

Customer Empathy Maps

Most marketing folk have a persona up their sleeves, but to take your personas a notch and really embrace UX, you need to create a customer empathy map for them.

The empathy map has 6 different components:

1.  How the customer thinks and feels

What really counts? What do they aspire to do? Do they get preoccupied with something else?

2. What the customer hears

Things they would hear from their boss, friends, peers, influencers, news, podcasts etc. What channel does your customer use the most? Are they easily influenced? Do they get persuaded more by coworkers or from influencers?

3. What the customer sees

What do they see in their physical or online environments, what problems does your customer face in that environment? What is your customer exposed to everyday?

4. What the customer says and does

Ideally you should put in direct quotes from your customers. How does your customer respond to others? What does the customer say to others? What information does your customer hold back from others?

5. The customer’s pain

What are their fears, frustrations and obstacles? Dig deeper into the pain points from your existing personas and dive into what your customers fear the least / most? What obstacles do they need to overcome everyday? What frustrations could your customers have in the future?

6. The customer’s gain

This should focus on their wants and needs, how will they measure success? What kind of success has your customer had? How did they get it? What long term goals do they have? What experience goals do they want?

Stage of Awareness

What stage of awareness are your prospects at?

The Stages


Really top of the funnel here guys, this is for people who are not quite aware of a pain or problem yet.

Pain or Problem Aware

This is where you have a visitor who is aware of a problem but they have not found a solution yet.

Solution Aware

They are well aware of the pain or problem and they have discovered that solutions exist for them.

Product Aware

They know that you are one of the products in the solutions to their pain.

Most Aware

They know you are the best solution to their pain. Let’s break this down into an example.

The Example 


You got dragged to an event with your buddy and saw a chatty northern woman called Jill talk about UX and Marketing and you had no idea that you didn’t know what UX was.

Pain or Problem Aware

You now know more about it and realise that your website is a bit of a mess and hard for people to use and that, is causing you to lose customers, which, means you are losing money.

Solution Aware

To fix your knowledge gap you could watch youtube videos, read that Steve Krug book Jill mentioned, go to a workshop, do a course, hire a freelancer, hire an agency.

Product Aware

With your budget and resources in mind you settle on a solution that works for you, and, find products that fit within that solution. So you decide to look at books on UX and are looking at buying from authors like Steve Krug, Jakob Nielsen and Jeff  Gothelf.

Most Aware

Ripe for the picking, you decide from your research and review that you are going to buy Don’t Me Think by Steve Krug.

Keyword Modifiers


A modifier is a word that in combination with your core keyword creates your long tail strategy. In this use case we look at grouping them by questions. You can of course go further down the rabbit hole.

For this part you take the terms you wish to be found for and mix it up with the modifiers. The best part with this is that there are tooks on the market that are a mix of paid and free that allow you to do keyword research and select by country. Try Answer The Public, Moz, and SEMrush.

Putting it all together


If we layer all the parts together you get something that looks, to us at least, like a cross stitch. The stage of awareness fits in snuggly with the keyword modifiers, which is also linked to a section of the Customer Empathy Map we mentioned earlier.

Let me show you an example.

Let’s pretend that you’re a company that sells video equipment, something we have had to buy to film our courses.

Stage 1

Stage of Awareness: Pain or Problem Aware

We need to buy equipment and start filming. We don’t know what we don’t know yet!

Customer Empathy Map: Think and Feel

With your UX hat on, think about the key message for your content. You need to let the reader know that this is a problem for people like me, I am not alone. Optimize for featured snippets as they are ripe for picking when it comes to being found at the very start of the journey.

Keyword Modifiers: Things I typed into Google
What equipment do you need for video?
How to make professional videos?
Why do you need lights for video?
What is the microphone that looks fluffy?
How to create video content on a budget?
Example URL optimized for this: company.com/what-is-microphone-looks-fluffy


Stage 2

Stage of Awareness: Solution Aware
After looking at the blogs and content found from my pain aware stage, I am now shown examples to fix my problem. Which leads me to think a little more about what I need to buy, but, I have moved along the buyer journey.

Customer Empathy Map: See
Key message here to show me the impact in using your product or service? My life after your product? My job after your product? Can you show me your solution in action?  

Keyword Modifiers: Things I typed into Google
Best camera lights
Types of camera lights for video
Best tripods
Example URL optimized for this:  company.com/types-camera-lights-video


Stage 3

Stage of Awareness: Product Aware
After looking at the blogs and content found from my pain aware, I am now shown examples to fix my problem. Which leads me to think a little more about what I need to buy but I have moved along the buyer journey.

Customer Empathy Map: Hear
By this stage I am reading reviews, I have seens what the influencers say about you, main message here is to remind me why I am making the right decision. What do experts say about you?
What do other customers say about you?
Can you show me evidence?  

Keyword Modifiers: Things I typed into Google
Neewe CN-126 Led Video Lights
4163 Star 63 Tripod
MeFoto Tripod
Globetrotter Tripod
Example URL optimized for this: company.com/4163-star-63-tripod   

Stage 4

Stage of Awareness: Most Aware
I am ready to buy! I am telling myself, I am telling my friends, and I am just checking a few things out before I hand over my cash.    

Customer Empathy: Map Say and Do 

Key message here to not give me an out, remind me why I am saying yet to you, and if there are any lingering blockers, like how will it be delivered, or the T&C or Guarantees of the camera, I want to know this now. I may also be looking at another competitor and doing a v’s comparison. Be bold and be found for that, show the comparisons, and help me make a decision.  

Keyword Modifiers: Things I typed into Google
Mefoto tripod v globetrotter
Buy 416 Star 63 Tripod
Sale Globetrotter
Discount Code Globetrotter
Buy Globetrotter
Example URL optimized for this: company.com/mefoto-tripod-vs-globetrotter  

And there you have it. The Consumer Cross Stitch ©  🙂

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