WordPress.com SEO Wizard
Historically, the WordPress.com application has done a poor job in providing our users assistance once they are ready to take their site to the next level – and by “next level”, that means beyond the site-building aspect.
Once they get the basics together, they’re faced with the challenge of bringing in qualified traffic and leads. In 1:1 sessions with customers, these remain to be the top goals of users each month:
Build an audience or brand / generate traffic
Sell physical goods
Awareness of physical business
- Design lead
- Product and UX design
- UI design
Number one concern
In a recent user deep dive survey, “bringing in traffic” was the #1 concern, making up 25% of the total respondents.
In previous research, we have learned that traffic directly impacted a site’s survival rate – a user will less likely churn if they see traffic coming in to their site within 60-90 days of account creation.
Reaching out to Support
In previous customer interviews, we have learned that many of our users have been bootstrapping their businesses; learning the promotional aspects of it on their own.
We have provided recommendations, but only after they have explicitly reached out to Support. Users shouldn’t have to reach out to Support to obtain information that they should just be able to organically find.
The current state
Typically, when a user reaches out to Support with “generating traffic” or “SEO” as a concern, we direct them to the “Traffic” settings page.
This page is not helpful, especially to a non-technical user. Oftentimes, they still end up reaching out to Support for assistance.
Our goal for this project’s first version was to build an SEO Wizard, a setup assistant that introduced and guided users on SEO in small, digestible, and easy to understand sets of information.
The eventual goal was to build a more robust tool, but as a first step, we wanted to lay the groundwork for the user first by allowing them to complete the fundamentals before introducing them to more advanced SEO strategies.
We had gone through several brainstorming sessions and iterations with the team to carefully decide what steps to include in the wizard. In addition, with the nature of platform, there were many other things to consider such as the user’s subscription plan, the plugins they have installed, etc. – all of which added complexity to the flow.
After team discussions and low-fidelity iterations, we have distilled it down to 6 steps.
We had initially considered using the Checklist, an already existing component within the company’s developing design system, but since this wizard contained tasks that had to be completed in a more sequential manner, it made more sense to approach it differently.
In the final design, we wanted something that novice users would find helpful, but at the same time, be also useful to those who are a bit technically adept. Instead of just taking users to an overwhelming page with all of their SEO settings, our goal was to provide a bit more guidance and assistance in bit-sized chunks. Ultimately, the user would need to produce more content consistently in order to remain competitive, hence, we provide continued assistance by giving them educational materials once the wizard has been successfully completed.