The ability to determine user intent – a semantic understanding of what we as users are looking for when we conduct a search query – has been high on Google’s agenda for a while now, allowing it to deliver more relevant, personalised search results than ever before. As Google becomes more and more sophisticated at detecting search intent and relevance, when a website is optimised for visitors, the chances of it ranking well in search engine results (otherwise known as your organic search performance) are also improved
What does this mean for marketers?
User experience and SEO are no longer mutually exclusive. In fact, it’s worth starting to think of SEO as search experience optimisation rather than search engine optimisation.
Marketers need optimise web content for user intention and experience (UX), rather than focusing simply on keywords without context. What does that user want to see when they search what they search using a particular search term? What information around that topic could help them? Do they want information? Are they looking to convert (ie, follow your call-to-action, which will be specific to your business, and include anything from signing up to your newsletter to actually making a purchase)?
This optimisation boils down to the content on the page and whether it fulfils the user’s need or is just trying to manipulate a search engine. Simplistic techniques to manipulate search engines and artificially inflate your rankings ‒ like collecting backlinks and keyword-stuffing – are no longer effective.
If you’re not providing the content – or the experience – that your visitors want, you will never convert the majority of your traffic into sales.
Search Experience Optimisation: The New SEO?
This eBook shows you how to provide your target audience with the slick experience they demand by:
- Understanding how Google determines search context and user intent
- Satisfying your target audience’s queries as closely as possible
- Developing the quality and value of your content
The right content at the right time and in the right context
We’ve seen search marketing evolve to shift away from an emphasis on keywords, towards semantic relevancy, quality content, and overall user experience as Google continues to refine its techniques for providing ever more useful results.
Google now has the ability to understand user intent and context through the search phrase, and even how different searches could have the same intentions or vice versa (where the same search can have differing intentions based on other factors such as the device or location of the search). This makes it imperative for marketers to understand and cater for their audience’s search objectives at each step of the customer journey.
The websites that are winning on the SERPs are the ones providing the right content at the right time and in the right context.
Why does Google care about the quality of your content?
Because it aims to return the most relevant and useful results to answer users’ queries and it’s clever enough to know the difference between content that’s been created for search engines and content written with humans in mind.
And, as Google gets slicker at handling very specific queries, websites that regularly update their websites with useful and detailed on-page content will see an even greater return on their investment.
If you want to rank well in search engines, your content strategy should be designed to provide users with the best experience possible. Keep the intentions of your users front-of-mind to secure the right types of visitor and convert that traffic into sales.