Everyone wants to stay ahead of the competition and get in front of their customers. SEO is a vital marketing tool to make that happen. While there are lots of tactics that need to be applied on an ongoing basis, there is one specific component that Google is doubling down on – user experience. Today, we’re going to highlight why this is such an important SEO factor and what you can do to help feed that UX algorithm and improve your website ranking.
Welcome to Marketing and a Mic. We’re here to give you a variety of digital marketing tips, trends, and useful guides to help your business get results. SEO is a massive marketing strategy that helps improve your website’s visibility in organic search results. There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to SEO, but today we’re going to focus on what user experience means and how to make sure that your site’s content is applying the right approach to improve your visibility.
Make Content that Matches Search Intent
SEO experienced some significant changes in 2022, and all of them centered around maximizing user experience (UX). Have you noticed how much more tailored and interactive your search feeds are getting? It’s almost as if search engines and social media are reading our minds. Well, they are – sort of. Search engines have been studying how we interact online and are applying this knowledge (aka algorithms) to more personalized and interactive experiences. Those websites that utilize these UX algorithms will rank higher in the search engines. So, the question is, “what should you pay attention to make sure your website is applying important UX factors that Google is looking for?
Well, for starters, make great content. As Google has become more sophisticated through UX, it’s now able to determine what a user wants when searching for certain terms or topics. If you want to appear on the search engine results page, content that speaks to that intent should be your focal point. If your content is about general topics and doesn’t really help the end user, your website will suffer. Google is looking for high-quality content that answers the questions your potential customers might have. You can improve this by researching your audience and competitors and creating relevant content that answers exactly what they are looking for. Here are some ways to do that.
Think Search Intent vs. Keywords
Keywords are still the foundation of a good SEO plan, but how you incorporate keywords has become more sophisticated. Every time you search for something, you want something. That’s the thought behind search intent. Google can now determine what a user wants when searching a certain term, which means they can understand what the user’s intention is behind that search. It’s not enough anymore to just have a list of keywords. You need to understand the user’s intent if you want to rank well. A simple way to determine search intent for your relevant keywords is to Google them.
Let’s say I’m a plumbing company, and one of my keywords is “water leak repair.” Go on Google and search that key phrase and see what comes up in the search results. Take note of the headline titles, as well as the “people also ask” section and the “related searches” section. Based on these results, you can get a good indication of the type of content that users want to see and what they are searching for. If the content of your website doesn’t reflect these types of search results, it’s a good indication you’ll need to consider other terms or go back to the drawing board on the type of content that should be on your website.
Write Powerful Headlines
Users see articles that appeal to their specific tastes and searches, and it all starts with a good headline. Quality content is important, and having a great headline is your gateway to that. Does your website content have a powerful headline? Make sure your titles are “click-worthy” that entices users to want to click through for more. Titles are imperative to ranking on SERPs, and a poorly written headline can directly impact your website content from being seen.
Include More Focused Topics
The more focused your topics, the easier it is to make your site relevant to specific subjects a user has an interest in. Start taking a deeper dive into your specific niche and write more long-form content about those narrowed-down topics. If you stay too generalized, your content will get lost in the massive abyss of other relevant articles out there.
Look at our “water leak repair” example again. Then use the drop-down to see what else is being searched. Expand on that topic and search “how to fix a leaky faucet.” Then look at the drop-down of all the other related types of searches, such as “how to fix a leaky faucet pipe” or how to fix a leaky faucet single handle.” This can all help you get a better understanding of how your user searches for solutions online. You can then start to fine-tune your content to better align when what users need, which will ultimately lead them directly to your business for the answer.
Include FAQs on your website
Another simple way to improve user experience with your website is to include a FAQ section on your website. The goals of a FAQ page are synonymous with the meaning of SEO – provide the best answers to the questions your target audience is asking. The more your website incorporates search terms that match users’ inquiries, the better your site performs, and FAQS can help provide that.
- Compile a list of the most common questions users have
- Provide complete, concise answers to those questions
- Format your FAQ page/section for the user experience (UX)
- Optimize the title tag and meta descriptions for your FAQ section
- Markup your page with FAQ schema
Deliver E-A-T Worthy Content
Google is looking for sites that have as many individual pages as possible that demonstrate expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, E-A-T is a crucial factor for determining how much Google can trust a piece of content or its writers. In some industries, the author must have the skills and background to provide information people depend on. E-A-T is an increasingly important factor for Google to weed out misleading and, sometimes, dangerous content from their indexing. It’s important that you write about topics that you’re an expert on or have trustworthy knowledge about. Your content should also be delivered in an easy-to-understand format that is accurate and informative to even the most inexperienced novice. Again, Google is all about UX, so your content should be written as an expert but in a manner that readers can digest.
While this certainly isn’t a complete SEO recipe, nor all the factors that matter when it comes to user experience, it’s a great start. Look at your existing website and see if it reflects any of these five factors we discussed today. That’s it for us today. We hope we’ve given you some great tools today to get started. If you feel like your online presence is struggling and could use some help getting your business in front of more customers, we’ve would love to talk to you and see how we can help. Don’t forget that our podcast also goes live on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and you can catch the replay on Instagram. You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more resources to help your digital marketing plan.