One positive aspect of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is, instead of forcefully giving a marketing message to people who are not interested at all in what you’re saying, you can invert the process in such a way that you first learn what your target audience are looking for, and retreat to create the content it needs. You then re-emerge with just that at the exact instant they need it. It is a pull against pull scenario.
Such a strategy works like magic; Instead of looking for customers, they come to you.
Before giving you our Single Best Tip, we’ll first highlight some common SEO lies…
“Content matters most.”
This statement is entirely untrue. Content is not everything as far as SEO is concerned. A more appropriate statement should be what the user needs and likes matters most. So, instead of concentrating on content, pay attention to that what the users need, and hence answers their search query accurately.
Google, similarly, merely cares about your content as long as it answers users’ search queries. Search outcomes are not an assortment of good content; instead, they’re a detailed list of content which best satisfies that which users are searching for.
Below is a typical procedure prominent SEO’s utilize when creating content;
- Perform keyword search to establish what users are looking for about your particular niche
- Select a sequence of high-volume, low-competition expressions
- Create content around such phrases and topics
- Launch and promote the page. Create some links.
- Watch the traffic build up (or any other development)
- Proceed to the next assignment
The disadvantage of this procedure is, steps 1, 2 3 and 4 to four are mostly hit or miss. You can get them right of fail, inexplicably. The search engine’s keyword planner, possibly the best keyword tool currently available, is widely known for not showing a lot of long-tail keywords. Besides, coming up with the right content and building precise links that will enable Google to rank your site for specific pages is equally challenging.
Sadly, most people stop at this point.
At Traffic Radius, we recommend not stopping there.
The entire process depends on traditional SEO signs when ranking your content higher. Indicators such as PageRank (You heard that right, PageRank if an actual ranking factor) and keyword usage. While these factors are still significantly important, they are not up to date with what where the SEO is currently.
In our recent Ranking Factor Survey, we inquired from more than 150 prominent search marketers about the factors they think are gaining and losing importance in Google’s algorithm. Traffic Radius’ outcomes indicated that despite widespread anticipation that most SEO features would either decrease of even retain their influence, user-based features were anticipated to increase.
In addition to indicators such as mobile-friendliness, general UX, perceived quality and site speed, the factors we are going to emphasize today include;
- Page matches the user’s intent: Paraphrasing it, the page is more likely to be what the searcher is actually searching for.
- Google results, clickstream data: This factor involves evaluating the search results which searchers really click and the pogo-sticking effect.
- Task Completion: The searcher is in a position to complete the assignment they are out to perform. In other words, their queries are entirely answered.
We are going to discuss in detail how to enhance all the three factors above, particularly for underperforming pages, simultaneously, using one tried-and-tested technique.
Here is an important tip: Optimize your page according to how users are using your page (not according to how you previously optimized your page), and your traffic will improve significantly.
After you get significant traffic from the top search engines, you will get a remarkable amount of data concerning actual search visits. As soon as your page gets some traffic, Google senses what your content is all about and consequently starts sending more traffic to you. In actual sense, there is a difference between the traffic you deliberately optimized for by creating the page, and the traffic you’ll be getting.
The trick is to close bridge that difference. We undertake to ask and answer the following three pertinent questions;
Is your content matching the requirements of the visitor you’re actually getting?
Based on the intent, is your search snippet alluring searchers to click?
Does your page enable users to finish their task?
Here is how Traffic Radius is going to go about it. We present your SEO assignment.
- Determine the low-to-mid performing pages
This process is ideal for pages attracting lower or unsatisfactory traffic levels. By all means, you should leave alone your high-performing pages since, and as the adage goes, “if isn’t broke, do not fix it.”
Note, however that we aren’t implying that your high-performing pages should not be improved; all we are saying is every time you alter a page there’s a risk of damaging the strategies that work well. As such, for the time being, we’ll focus on underperformers.
The most efficient way is to utilize analytics so as to establish the pages that, in your opinion, are of high quality (and target the best keyword phrases) and expect to get less traffic than you should expect based on website averages.
For our data, we used Google Search Console, even though other platforms that include Bing Webmaster (or features in Moz Pro) could still work just fine.
- Identify mismatches between your content and searcher intent
Next, we set out to determine the keyword expressions that show our URL in our search results. Below is how to go about it in Search Console.
Once you complete number 3 above after identifying the URL you intend to analyze, a page of results separating that URL shows up, but without keywords. Hit the tab labeled “Queries” to filter keywords screened for this particular URL
For our case, we obtained interesting results. The expression “Twitter search,” produced millions of search phrases, but just 724 clicks. Apparently, Google thinks we should rank for this query, yet evidently, the page doesn’t provide what users are searching for. Or does it?
Our Bio Search pages, nonetheless, provide better Twitter bio search, in addition to very many advanced options, you would otherwise not find by searching the phrase. It is understandable why lots of people searching for the expressions would get huge value in the Bio Search pages. Perhaps the appropriate questions should be, why the difference?
Here’s the answer; Minimal descriptive text makes it hard to grasp what the page is all about swiftly. Although it is a fantastic page, it failed in one crucial aspect for its biggest volume search query. It fails to satisfy its user’s intent (at least intuitively).
So what does Traffic Radius recommend to solve this anomaly? The answer is in the next steps.
- Optimize for searcher intent
After understanding how users are finding your page, the next thing is to ensure that your page is, precisely, what they’re searching for so as to solve their problems conclusively. You can attain your objective by focusing on the following five primary areas;
Headers and Page title
Call to action (CTA)
Rewrite the title tags as well as descriptions of your underperforming pages and include the search queries users perform so as to find your URL, and your visits and clicks will increase tremendously.
Additionally, after getting these clicks and visits, there is an increasing body of evidence showing that increased click-through rates result in higher rankings. In the long run, it matters little really. Most importantly, you receive more traffic, either way.
It is importance to use the data to improve your search snippet so as to attract better traffic. Getting the clicks is just a fraction of the whole battle. After getting visitors on your website, the next task is to convince them (the earlier, the better) that you actually have the solution to the problems that brought them to your site; which leads us to the next step. Read on.
- Enhancing task completion
Figure out this: A client searches for “Best retail stores in London”. You want your shop to rank in position one for the query, but your page satisfy the user?
Chances are it won’t. Why? The users are possibly searching for a list of retail stores, complete with reviews, hours of operations, site map, and prices of products. If you can provide all (just like Yelp, and others does), then you are in a position to help the searcher complete their task.
To accomplish the task satisfactorily, you should solve the searcher’s problem not only clearly but also instantly. On our Traffic Radius page, we accomplish this role by informing clearly the users that they can perform advanced search free of charge, along with an indication of what the results might look like, eventually.
A benchmark for task completion lies in answering the questions: After a user visits our page, will he or she find entirely everything they’re looking for, or they will have to return to Google for further assistance?
If your site satisfies the query, rest assured that you’ve attained task completion, and consequently, probably you deserve to rank favorably for your target search query.
- Submit for purposes of re-indexing
The motivating part of this stage is you see results pretty fast. The simplest way to go about it is to present your page to Google for reindexing, which make your alterations appear in search engine results much more rapidly.
By submitting to Google, you may see your changes appearing in search results a few minutes/hours later. It will take no more than two days before your changes surface in search results.
Measure results, jerk, and repeat
Now that your results are displayed, you should measure your current performance in comparison to the past. After a couple of days/weeks (any time you have sufficient data to make significant decisions, statistically) make an effort to look at;
- Rankings or the general impression
- Clicks as well as click-through rates
- Engagement metrics, like bounce rate, conversions and time on site.
Caution: At first, you may get it wrong, which if fine since it gives you an opportunity to iterate and better (provided you don’t ruin your page during the learning cycle). As a matter of fact, that’s the key point.
If you duly follow this procedure, you will realize an increase in traffic and improved traffic will come to your site, the traffic that better aligns your product or services with what your visitors are looking for.
Search engines always endeavor to deliver the best content matching the user intent to its users. So, make sure that (content matching user intent) is what you are always broadcasting to search engines. The outcome will be worth your efforts.