New For ’22: User Behavior + Search Intent
As of 2022, this will be the year when you will put a higher emphasis on the user’s search intent and behavior over anything else.
As people’s search intents and behavior change, so do their search habits. It is not uncommon for people to use Google or other search engines to obtain answers to their questions or to learn more about a topic in general.
When businesses take the time to understand what their consumers are looking for and provide them with content that answers those questions, then they, as well as their customers, will benefit from it.
Cory Long, SEO expert from Yroc Consulting LLC, believes traditional SEO practices will no longer hold much value in the future with the age of algorithms that are constantly becoming more sophisticated.
Instead, they should focus more on search intent. Companies can create content that the online audience wants to consume by paying close attention to search queries.
In order to ace SEO in 2022, you’ll have to provide excellent information to users, says Marie Haynes, CEO of Marie Haynes Consulting Inc.
Users will be able to identify when Google is providing expert advice by ranking content that follows the E.A.T guidelines above other content. If SEO experts truly understand what users are searching for, they will be able to dominate search in 2022.
The brand must focus on audience needs more than promoting its brand or its products and services. By this, we mean that you shouldn’t force your users to sign up on your site, show them unnecessary pop-ups, or redirect them to registration forms.
According to Steve van Vessum, VP of Community at ContentKing, it is important to not only understand what users are looking for, but also to pay attention to the preferred content type (videos, podcasts, articles, etc.) and deliver that content accordingly.
A few more words from INFUSEmedia CEO Alexander Kesler about search intent. The on-site journey and search data of organic leads should be analyzed by businesses, he says. In addition to helping them understand the search term they used to locate your content, this will also assist them in understanding the on-site search terms for all of the pages they visited. Data aggregation will help brands map their content journey to data.
Google & Search Intent
An individual’s search intent is defined as the reason why they do an online search.
That’s how simple it is!
In other words, the search term is what the user types into the search bar. Maybe you have checked the keyword rankings of your website and maybe you have also checked the keyword rankings of your competitors.
With Google Search Console or SEO tools, you can see the keywords that drive people to your site. Definitely helpful.
You need to find out why the person is doing that search, the intent behind the words. Creating great content that serves the searcher’s intent will delight both the searcher and the search engines.
As a business, your goal is to provide a product or service that is satisfying to customers. Search engines are just like any other business at their core. Search engines strive to deliver results that are highly likely to satisfy a searcher’s needs.
In the past, many studies have been conducted into understanding what is going on behind a query, and this can be seen by the type of results that Google displays.
In 2016, Paul Haahr gave a great presentation looking at how Google returns results from the perspective of a ranking engineer.
The Google Search Quality Rating Guidelines use the same “highly meets” scale.
In the presentation, Haahr explains how, if a user searches for a specific store (e.g., Walmart), they are likely to be looking for a store close to them, not the brand’s headquarters in Arkansas.
Why is search intent important?
A search engine’s intent directly influences the types of results it displays-and how each page, post, and video is ranked.
Content that is optimized around intent rather than just juicy keywords with high search volume can have massive payoffs:
- Enhanced engagement: if your content perfectly answers the person’s search, they will spend more time on your site and take desirable (and profitable) actions.
- Rank higher: positive interactions tell search engines that your content satisfies a search, so you’ll rank higher
- Featured results: if you are searching for certain types of informational content, you can land in the ‘answer box’ above all the other results
- Increased reach: Search engines rank content for all kinds of similar queries, not just the one you targeted, so getting it right may lead to high rankings for several queries
If, however, the wrong intent is optimized, it could lead to a low ranking and unfavorable engagement signals, such as a high bounce rate with ‘pogo-sticking’ (returning to the search results), high exit rates, and poor conversion rates.
You don’t need to worry, there’s good news! Getting the most out of search intent optimization isn’t as difficult as you might think, and avoiding the pitfalls isn’t too complicated either.
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