How User Behaviour Affects Your SEO | SEOblog.com

How User Behaviour Affects Your SEO

Charlot Fernandez

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Since the inception of the internet, websites have continuously adapted mechanisms to stay on the top of the search engine. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become a necessity today for businesses wishing to get found online. Almost 90% of internet experiences start with a search engine. Every other website is interested in improving its visibility on the internet today. Search engine optimization is deployed to maximize organic traffic from search engines to a certain website. Gone are the days when adding a bunch of keywords in the content could do the job for you. As we speak, popular search engines such as Google, Bing are continuously undergoing advanced algorithm training to shell out top relevant results amid a pool of billions of websites. Good SEO is more important than ever.

On average, there are over 2 billion people online searching for products and services. Your business has a fair share of opportunities to grow and become scalable. For years, people limit the definition of search engine optimization to designing, writing and programming. With the advent of spider-based search engines, the behaviour of searchers has emerged as the fourth building block of SEO. Today, if we talk about organic search rankings, it’s evident to mention that these are heavily dominated by the conduct of a user. In simpler terms, if your business wants to maintain a great & noticeable online presence, you have to get a deep understanding of your users. Understanding user behaviour metrics can do wonders in terms of SEO for any page or website.

User behaviour & SEO results:

Since Google announced that it has included new user feedback signals in their ranking criteria, the SEO domain experienced a dynamic shift. Now, website ranking on a search engine like Google depends on user behaviour more than ever. One of the best ways to stay at the top of your game is by optimizing the website content. It is the only probable approach through which you can collect user data, analyse it and understand them better to further improve your search engine rankings. Often, content marketers ignore integrating user data and behavioral economics with ongoing content campaigns. Most of their focus lies in keyword research and stuffing of content with the same. With an array of changes in search engine algorithms, the focus has now shifted to the user. Also, it doesn’t mean that keywords are not important. Meta descriptions and keywords are equally valid even today. However, the intention behind a certain keyword values more since it relates to the search engine algorithm.

After reading an exciting piece of content, average users relate more to it. He might feel like knowing the subject matter upside down. User behaviour is directly proportional to their knowledge. As their knowledge grows, they become better at searching things and hence, their behaviour changes drastically. Since search engines have started considering user data for search results, you can leverage on this. The easiest way is to update your website regularly with engaging and fresh content. Search engines reward a website with better ranks if it publishes good content. This affects other websites in that particular niche, it raises the bar for them too. Basically, search engines expect you to provide actual value with your content so that good search experience can be ensured to the users.

Let’s move ahead and quickly understand the metrics that make the real difference:

Click-through rate:

Click through rate is a metric which is calculated by simply dividing the number of people who have clicked on an element by the total visitors a page received. In simpler terms, CTR refers to the proportion of people who have clicked the element they were exposed to. The metric is highly effective and is used to measure the success of SEO efforts. Your CTR is 20% if 20% of search engine users click on your link on the result page. Higher click-through rate simply points at the fact that users are spending more time on your page. This, in turn, makes Google think that information provided by your page is relevant and this becomes a part of your page’s effective SEO strategy. It is then the ranking of a page is pushed to the top, hence more attention and visibility can be achieved.

Compelling content:

It goes without saying that one will rank higher in a search engine result if more people are clicking on the content. Updating content regularly is one of the most important user-behaviour influencers. Click-worthy headings, descriptions, headlines etc. attracts users and pulls them in the website. This indirectly helps you maintain a stronghold in Google search index. Crafting engaging content is the key to success. Once the user clicks through the link and is on your website, you don’t want the user to bounce back immediately. Since search engines list results on how valuable your page is, having engaging content can do wonders for you. Basically, Google loves fresh content. Moreover, you can even update the old content instead of just publishing the new content.

Page speed & usability:

No website visitor likes a webpage giving usability issues. If your webpage is feeding distracting pop-ups or poor page speed to the arriving user traffic, this can cause a severe user to bounce back. Whenever someone clicks on any search engine result link, search engines monitor for how long a user visits the page. If a user is irritated by the page content or distracted by unnecessary ads, chances are high that he/she will hit the back button immediately. This is called ‘return-to-SERP’. Now if a considerable number of people are bouncing back to the result page, the search engine makes the assumption that the content published on the page is not valuable. Hence, having a quick website load speed, smooth slide template interface and amazing content can attract users like never before.

Search engines continuously hone their algorithms and rewards websites with attractive and useful content with higher rankings. At the end of the day, Google or any other search engine is about improving the user experience. To characterize which page is relevant and which not, a user’s behaviour playing an imperative role.

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