How-To: A User-First Approach for SEO Success on Google
Updated on: 15 August 2019
User-First Approach + SEO Best Practices = Google Success
A simple equation to remember, but hard to execute.
When first starting out in building SEO campaigns, always remember that the aim of both you, and Google is to satisfy and meet users’ requests and requirements. In order to drive more organic traffic, implementing SEO best practices is simply not enough – you will need to combine it with a user-first approach to create a more positive experience for your users.
When Google first introduced RankBrain in 2015, the idea of improving the User Experience (UX) was becoming more and more prevalent – metrics such as pages per session, bounce rate, dwell time and CTR (click-through rate) were all key to determining your brand’s success on the search engine.
In a nutshell, user experience is the combined perception and response of a user, resulting from the use or expected use of a product that is largely influenced by the design, functionality and features of it – such as a website.
With 79% of customers admitting to searching for another site if the one they landed on does not meet their expectations – what can you do to boost your SEO results today? Here are 4 things to do to complete the winning formula:
1. Get Your Website Design Right.
Users are just going to become even more demanding – make sure that you meet their needs with a website that is well-designed and well-maintained.
If you are looking into getting your first WordPress site up – consider signing up for our Digital Marketing Course to pick up the fundamental concepts of how to best optimise your site for users.
Other than having an eye for beautiful web design – getting your website right involves a good structure and various technical aspects. In addition to implementing what you have learnt from your SEO course, consider how your website meets the needs and expectations of users today, making sure that all the elements of your website are working hand-in-hand to meet your goals.
In fact, UX has 4 key elements:
- Usability: Is it easy to navigate the pages and find information?
- Value: Is content useful and original, such that it is able to satisfy what users’ are looking for?
- Adaptability: Is the website optimised for conversion?
- Desirability: Is the design engaging and visually pleasing?
Google’s updates have always been to focus on making the search engine more user-friendly and user-focused. Do the same, and you got yourself a win.
2. What Are Your Target Audience’s Intentions?
It’s pretty straightforward, but everyone looks to Google whenever they have a particular pain point that they want or need addressed.
If you think about it logically, simply adding keywords without knowing your target audience is equivalent to selling your products and services while blindfolded.
When designing for your website, you will first have to understand your target audience from the inside-out – fully-grasping their emotions, psychological and physiological responses, expectations and behaviours. Only then are you able to craft a website with relevant content that goes beyond just keywords and meta descriptions.
We have talked about this countless of times, but the first place to start to get to know your target audience better is through Google Analytics. Using data is the best way to make better decisions about where to go and how to improve your website. While Google can show you the figures, it is still up to you to know how to use the insights appropriately.
3. Be a Stickler for Testing.
The advantage to having so much data on hand is being able to get instant and consistent feedback, allowing you to make the necessary changes to your site as soon as possible.
When you have data, it is the perfect way to hold experiments as well – when you have identified a problem and want to make any changes, use the data available to conduct an A/B test to better inform you if you should proceed.
Being successful on Google is not an overnight thing, neither is it a one-time deal – it is a continuous learning process that requires persistence and effort in order to reap the benefits in the long run.
While the learning curve might be a little steep for those who are completely new, it actually gets much easier when you master the basics – all it takes after that is using what you have in order to come up with something truly amazing.
When it comes to SEO success, it’s all about finding a balance between satisfying both your target audience and Google. Think about it as a Venn diagram – find that happy middle ground that takes full advantage of serving both at the same time.
If you truly want to boost your SEO, consider collaborating with a Digital Marketing Agency to come up with something unique and creative. Having a team that generates quality traffic by focusing on user engagement and providing a high user experience is what it takes to complete the all-important equation!