The Ultimate Goal of SEO is Getting Customers to Buy
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for web text is centered around making pages and blogs discoverable to search engines like Google. In other words, the text is optimized for search engine discoverability. But, the ultimate goal for optimizing text is to get customers to interact (engage) and buy a service or product offered by the business (entity).
Search engines aren’t looking for your content, people are. That concept is the basis behind how search engine optimization has shifted and will continue to change with the increased use of mobile and voice searches performed by individuals. Not everyone is sitting at their desk in front of a computer.
Recently a public relations client produced a set of narrowly focused keywords for their cryptocurrency exchange client and promised to use those keywords in all content - text, video descriptions, media correspondence, etc. By making that promise and using the narrow focus keywords two results would happen:
- The keywords will not adequately reflect the overall purpose and function of the entity.
- Search engines like Google will notice the disconnect between the keywords and the content and lower the ranking of the content.
In this case, the limited keywords are the tail and the content is the dog. The tail is wagging the dog.
Create Topic-Centric Content
...an incomplete or ambiguous query that contains some words could use those words to predict missing words that may be related. Those predicted words could then be used to return search results that the original words might have difficulties returning.
Keywords and long-tailed keywords can help label these topics in three specific and important places related to text:
- Header 1 <1> topic concept primary header for articles
- Meta description
To help search engines differentiate the topic, center each article around one separate topic. So, a distinct keyword search is applicable for each separate article capturing the label for the topic of that individual article. Yes, each article will use a distinct set of topically related words.
Keyword sets can encompass a base set of keywords and long-tail keywords for a business entity as well as a set for each article. A helpful tool to generate comprehensive keyword lists for a business entity is Answer The Public. The results are based on questions real people ask centered around the topic.
For example, Answer The Public returned 323 separate listing based on preposition, alphabetical, and related around cryptocurrency exchanges. These broad-based topic results are directly related to the business entity. Because they are related, they can easily be used consistently across a broad spectrum of single-topic articles. Combined with specific keyword sets for each article
Header tags (<h1>-<h6>) delineate topics within an article. They serve several purposes:
- Assist search engines in understanding the topics within the article
- Emphasize importance according to tag - <h1> the main theme, <h2> the subsets within the topic, <h3> the subset within the subset, etc.
- Assist site visitors in understanding the overall scope of the article
- Create white space to enhance readability of the entire article
- Keep readers scrolling down
Meta descriptions are used by search to understand the topic and to show up in search results. They are brief descriptions, up to 160 characters, of the article. If an article does not have a meta description, the search engine will chose the 160 characters, usually the first sentence or two of the article but not always. See the Bing example in the image. Note that the keyword used in the meta description is in bold, emphasizing keyword use in meta descriptions.
Image Source: Kissmetrics Meta-description Magic
Growing Importance of User Experience (UX) in Search
User experience (UX) is an increasing factor in search optimization. Creating optimized content is only part of the overall SEO strategy. Search engines want to know that the content is easy to find for the site visitor.
RankWatch introduces the growing importance of user experience.
Customer experience isn’t a new concept for business. However, organisations sometimes underestimate just how important it is. Ever been to a website and not found what you’re looking for quickly enough? Maybe the menus are really confusing or you have to click through too many pages to get to where you want. Everything from first interaction through to conversion has to be made as enjoyable and easy as possible for the best performance. Otherwise consumers may get frustrated. This is an important part of providing good user experience, which in turn affects how search engines favour a website.
For instance, Google wants to deliver the best information to its users based on how it thinks people behave and what they want out of a website. This is why user experience is so important to meet SEO best practice. It ensures a website is intuitive, accessible and easy to use. Google is constantly working on recognising this, and with the incorporation of machine learning into its ranking signals, its progression to do so is about to rapidly accelerate. This is why no one can ignore UX any longer as part of an SEO campaign.
A good user experience not only makes the content accessible but increases the opportunity for customer engagement and action, especially in mobile and voice search.
Client education is a core skill to enable text that is both optimized for current search algorithms and directed toward customer relationships, engagement, and action.
Clients often approach text creation with misguided or downright inappropriate knowledge of what they want in an article, such as asking for these three keywords even when the keywords do not match the topic. They may have heard about the importance of search engine optimization, but lack a comprehensive view of how current algorithms “see” and rate content.
Client education enhances understanding of how search engine optimization can increase visibility, get searchers to the right place by offering a solution, and making a business product or service easy to buy.
Zara writes semantic web content and ghostwrites books and guides business owners in writing content for customer action.