Optimizing for Searcher Intent

You’ve spent a lot of time putting powerful SEO techniques into action such as:

  • Implementing links
  • Optimizing for keywords
  • Creating a great combination of internal and external links

So you may wonder, why isn’t your site ranking high on Google?

Well, a large component you may be missing in your SEO advances is optimizing for searcher intent. The truth is, Google will highly rank the site that best solves the searcher’s problems even if there are other sites that have ‘better’ SEO implementations. This is the main difference between the old school SEO ranking theory and the modern SEO ranking theory. Searcher intent has always mattered, but Google and other search engines now consider it a top priority. Understanding your audience’s goals and progression in the customer journey is more important than ever.

Google’s Big Shift to Searcher’s Journey

Recently, Google has made major algorithm changes: Instead of just providing results for search terms, they are trying to give users the answers they are actually looking for. In other words, Google is giving users results for what they “meant” to search. This takes searcher intent to the next level by making the searcher’s journey more important.

In order for Google to focus on the searcher’s journey, they must take the following into consideration:

  • The context of a word – What is the current setting, time, and event?
  • The phrase or query searched – What did they actually mean?
  • The users search history – What are they are likely to do next?

For example, let’s say a user is at a coffee shop and makes a Google search for a caramel frappuccino and then makes another search for a pumpkin spice latte. Later, the user makes yet another search for a caramel frappuccino but there’s a key difference this time, and that is, this time Google knows the intent is to choose between the two drinks.

Searcher Intent - Cappuccino or Cappuccino

Google’s knows this time that the search is not to look for a new drink/product but rather, wanting to decide between options from the first search. Knowing this, Google may display reviews for the different drinks or more information regarding the decision the user is making, this will help the user make the best decision in their search for a drink.

How will this Impact the way you Optimize for Searcher intent?

It only makes sense that if Google has shifted its focus, then we should too. We must start to change the way we think about the audience and searcher’s intent. Keeping the audience and user intent in mind has always been an important factor in SEO but from now on, we will have to keep the buyer’s journey in mind as well. This means optimizing your content to help users in their ultimate search journey.

A good start would be thinking about these questions:

  • What would perform better for certain queries?
  • How well does this solve the searchers query?
  • How quickly does this solve the searchers query?

Performing better for certain queries

It’s essential to be very specific when thinking about queries and performing for them. For example, Urban Dictionary would perform better for internet slang queries as opposed to Cambridge even though they both provide definitions. Urban dictionary also has a history of performing well for internet slang queries and it doesn’t take much scrolling on the SERP to find the answer.

Solving the Searcher’s query

Finding the answer is only one part of the equation. Users are no longer looking for any answer, they are looking for the best answer that suits them in their search journey. This means solving for queries in whatever part of the process the searcher is in.

Creating content optimized for the searcher’s journey includes:

  • The searcher looking for a brief answer
  • The searcher looking for more information
  • The searcher that is making a choice

Solving the Searcher’s Query Quickly

Answering the user’s questions right away in the first few sentences of content and meta description can make you rank above competitors even if they have better links. Some sites use a strategy of trying to draw users to click on the site and find the answer rather than answering it right away in the meta description. This will not help in your ranking or showing up on the SERP and therefore, will not draw users to your site. If you want to draw users to your site, a great strategy is providing a strong reason for users to click on your site after answering the searchers query.

SERP Frustrations and Finding the Solution

A new problem is arising as Google works hard to keep users on their site and not have them click over to other sites. Users are quickly able to get the answers they need on the SERP without having to read much deeper. It is becoming frustrating for many content creators to provide answers for users without drawing as much traffic to their own sites. Only providing quick and brief answers will more likely get you a higher ranking but may not help with drawing users to your site. This has negatively impacted clicks to sites over time and benefits Google and users. However, there are still many benefits to ranking high. One of them being, in the long run, this will make your site appear more credible and trusted. This also highlights why optimizing for searcher intent is important, along with targeting users with content that will solve their problems for every step of their process and decisions. It’s best to target searchers who you can provide an answer for but would additionally need to do deeper research rather than those just looking for a brief answer. This will guide users to go further into the funnel of your site to find the answers they are looking for.

Contact Ecreativeworks for More Information on How to Optimize your Website

Reach out to Ecreativeworks to have your website well optimized for searcher intent. Providing answers for every step of the user journey is very valuable to us here. We have a staff that is well-versed in the best practices of SEO and very skilled in bringing forth excellent and personal customer service. Get started today!

Written By: Saima Bachani, Digital Marketing Support Specialist, Ecreativeworks

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