Search engine optimization isn’t possible without understanding potential customers. User optimization can make or break a website. Web traffic that doesn’t have the right user intent is wasted bandwidth. All too often clients and SEOs focus on web traffic, when they need to be focusing on user intent. If you have a website that sells ” Chromebook Covers ” yet you rank for the term ” laptop cases ” you’d get a good bit of traffic. The problem would be when you looked at that traffic in analytics, you’d not see many user’s converting into goals.
This would be due to the fact, many are arriving on the website and see only Chromebook cases are sold there. While Chromebook is popular, it’s not that popular that all user searches for ” laptop cases ” will be for Chromebook cases. This is an example of why focusing on user intent is important! Now it would be easy to capitalize on ranking for the term ” laptop cases ” by selling more than just Chromebook cases, but again, that was just an example.
There are 4 types of search intent to focus on depending on the website’s motives:
- Informational ( research ) – How does SEO work?
- Transactional ( Commercial ) – Buy Socks
- Navigational ( Brand ) – Domain.com, Google
- Quick Knowledge – What is the time?, What is knowledge?
The 3 Stages Of Buying
The 3 stages of buying aren’t new, but they are very relevant, when talking about user intent. Understanding who your users are via good ole fashion user profile research, helps create a better understanding of what search behavior and content focus is more appealing to the targeted user base. So breaking down user intent based on the 3 buying stages, can help put content in a better categorical light.
What are the 3 stages of a user buying journey?
- Awareness – The 1st stage, is how the user learns about their problem & solution.
- Consideration – The 2nd stage, is when a user finds multiple companies offering the same solution.
- Decision – This 3rd stage, is when a user starts to try and narrow down their choices based on certain variables like price and features.
Not every website will need to pay attention to the buyer’s journey. However it doesn’t mean that user intent doesn’t apply to their website. Even if you don’t sell anything, understanding that you’re still making users pay with time instead of money to digest your website’s content. So putting that best foot forward, is always the tune for sales. So having a gameplan to carry out the proper user research and turn that insight into actionable content edits will make all the difference in marketing.
Poor User Focus Leads To High Bounce Rates
How many times have you been fooled by clickbait topics? Once you realized the article wasn’t about what was searched you click the back button. That doesn’t help any website, losing traffic that already made it to the website! It also hurts brand trust, users will quickly learn that despite the website name and webpage titles that the website is fake or spammy. Keyword research will help craft content around potential customer’s search terms, creating a more relevant experience.
If bad enough, users will even highlight such sites on social media or on their own website. And while some will say bad publicity is good publicity, the same doesn’t ring true for brands online trying to sell a product or service. The landscape of marketing is changing and the deceptive tactics of yesteryear are growing more annoying with more savvy users. Be smart and give your users what they searched for, by having content relevancy!
Goals Increase With User Intent Improvement
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, when you provide content that users are searching for, goal conversions are more likely to happen. Goal conversion optimization rests heavily upon understanding user intent. There is just something to be said about satisfying a user’s search. Trust is associated with websites that live true to their word and have the content they marketed via the meta title & description in SERPs. So people have higher expectations about a product or service being talked about and feel more inclined to give the website a chance.
It’s social science if a website can’t even get the information correct of what they sell, they why would someone want to test the waters further? Internet users have to dodge and duck scams and spam on a daily basis and have wised up as a result. Aligning webpage content with user search intent will only help to solidify that consistency which will build trust. When it comes time for that call to action, that trust will help convince users to convert into goals.