User search intent: The SEO natural selection

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Image courtesy of Ping Li at Flickr.com

Something as easy as putting yourself in the user’s shoes and trying to figure out what exactly you want when doing certain actions, for example, searching for dog leashes or train tickets prices, the useful factor is not only improving the position of your website or blog in Google searches, but to improve the very experience of your users. If you already know the intention of the user visiting your website, you will do everything as possible to improve his/her experience, as well as help him/her to find out what he or she needs. When you do not know your users nor what they really what, you simply can’t offer them relevant content for what they expect to find, and this will, of course, represent an impact on the position and ranking of your website.

It all comes down to a basic principle: If you really want to improve your SEO, your traffic, your presence in the social media, etc., stop considering these goals as ends in themselves and start thinking about users. If user satisfaction is an end itself, and not a means to achieve other purposes, you will naturally do better in the long run. This makes sense since the current algorithms of Google are thought to work in accordance with the way of thinking of its users who look for information. The updates to improve semantic searches (especially when it comes to Voice Search,) are a strong evidence of this.

If you understand that the way users search is of vital importance, and you assume this principle as the basic standard to build your SEO plans from now on, the presence of your brand will be consolidated in the first places of the search results.

Now, in order to know the users, it is important that you notice how they interact with the contents they seek and those they find (including yours, of course.) Remember that a user will not remember your brand for what you wrote, but for what he or she felt thanks to it. A satisfied user is more likely to share the URL of your website or paying for your products or services than one who did not feel anything, even if your work is flawless from a classic SEO perspective.

Read also: SEO: A basic guide for newcomers, by ReputationDefender

Search engines collect and interpret the user’s intent. To do this, they use an algorithm that allows them to rank websites from all over the world, related to all sort of topics. This powerful algorithm works so that all its metrics are based essentially on the intention of users. This is the new way in which SEO has evolved, and it has not been because of Google. This trend has its origin in users’ behavior on the Internet. It is the natural selection of SEO somehow.

Now, how does it work? First off, to index a page, Google uses its spiders, which scan the entire site and process all of its content to classify it into the search engine so that users find it more easily. For this reason, the position of your website now depends more on the searches of your potential visitors than on cheap SEO tricks (including Black Hat tricks.) Variations in the search may be quite slight and still influence your positioning. Google spiders collect this data and catalog your content depending on whether it is current, relevant and of quality. If you meet all those goals, your website will have more visibility, even without regard to the order of keywords in users’ searches.

Another aspect to keep in mind is that a search engine will interpret a user’s intention related to your website depending on the regularity of your own posts. If Google spiders judge your content as meritorious to be present on the first page of certain search criteria, the user’s needs must be definitely satisfied all costs: If that user finds the information he or she was looking for and enjoys the experience on your website, certainly he or she will like your website and will share your content in the social media. Then the Google spiders will visit you again, they will notice that users like your work and they will reward you with better positions. This is how the whole thing works now.

So, if you want to improve your SEO in this regard, remember that the different intentions of users vary according to their types of searches. It is possible to classify the search types in (a) navigational (here you can include searches produced by procrastination,) (b) informative, © commercial and (d) transactional. The searches correspond to different states in which the users are. The type of searches made by a user who wants a book to read during a long plane trip, which is usually an informative search of reviews, synopsis, comments, etc., is so different than that the type of search a user makes to buy such book on Amazon.

The key here is to know how to handle analytics and metrics to get to know your customers, your real playing field.

Recommended: Keyword Intent: The Ultimate Resource List

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