Why User Experience is So Important for Ranking Among the Top Google Search Results
This is worth repeating: One of the major factors in search engine optimization (SEO) marketing is user experience. Google rewards businesses and websites that continuously put users first. User experience starts with search and ends with conversion, so optimizing your marketing strategy for each step of the experience will be extremely beneficial to both you and your users. If you gain an understanding of your users including their wants, needs, and motivations, this knowledge can be used to help you rank for top Google search results. Also, an understanding of why users will click on some search listings and not others will help you develop a better SEO marketing strategy, rank better, have more clicks, and ultimately boost conversion and sales.
Basic Human Motivation
User behaviour can be narrowed down to two basic human motivations—pain and pleasure. We strive to avoid pain and experience pleasure. These two motivations drive our decisions on a daily basis, from what we wear (based on the weather forecast) to what we search for online (based on our wants and needs for specific products or services). SEO marketing involves using this pain/pleasure understanding of human behaviour—AKA psychology—to improve marketing strategies. Marketers who understand the user can better connect with them via webpages, products, services, and search strategy.
What better way to understand your customers and improve user experience than by creating customer personas? Personas are like avatars of your target audience, pieced together with various characteristics that suit a specific demographic. And since we’re all different, it’s useful to develop multiple customer personas to gain a deeper understanding of your users. To create and understand these personas, start with analyzing their demographics. Next, try some empathy mapping—put yourself in the shoes of the customer personas. Forget about the technical side of SEO marketing for a moment and imagine what the needs and wants of your customers are based on their varying perspectives. Then ask yourself these questions to determine the perceived value of your products or services to users:
- What are you selling, delivering, and promoting?
- What solution do you provide to users? Are you solving a pain or offering a pleasure?
- Why should users visit your site?
- What will users expect from your site?
- What actions do you want the user to take?
Once you understand how different personas will view your products and services, you can improve your SEO marketing strategy to appeal directly to your users.
Google rewards websites when they appeal to the user experience. This reward is higher rankings among Google search results. Websites that meet the needs of its users will earn trust and authority from both users and Google. Users are more likely to click on the top-ranked results since they trust Google to provide the most relevant links first. And since users trust Google’s ranking of websites, you can get more clicks as you move to the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). At the end of the day, it’s all about the user. So understand what they want and need, and put yourself in their shoes to get an idea of who it is you’re trying to reach. When you put the user first in your marketing strategies, you will earn Google’s respect, and more importantly, the trust of your users.