Part1: SEO is more than Techniques
We, through this article, are going to discuss the reasons behind the fact that creating an actual experience for users is more important and effective than creating content. In other words, we would like to find out Google’s objectives and priorities. Besides, we will discuss the “zero-click searches” as well.
In these series of video clips and posts, we will do our best to explain the SEO Strategy planning in a way for you to understand the concept to apply for your website.
First of all, we will talk about the fact that creating an actual experience is more important than creating content.
You can either watch the video created by Websima or read this article, as the first part of this season.
Strategy planning is the first and the most important step of SEO. The importance of this section is more than the others however most of the people don’t understand this concern. They start to create content and they do link building without having a strategy, but they don’t succeed. In Websima, most of the time, we even do the SEO Strategy planning before the web design so we can set the website’s features based on that.
Let’s get back to that question:
Why is creating an actual experience more important than creating contents?
First of all, let’s see what exactly Google is. Yup! It is a search engine, but does it really perform like a search engine? We believe it doesn’t!
Google is not a search engine! It is more like an “Answer Engine”. Today, for most of the searches, google shows the relevant response on the result page, so most of the users don’t even click on any links or websites to find their answers.
Let’s see some examples:
As outlined in the picture above, if you search for last week’s match between Manchester United and Leeds United, the result, goal scorers and important moments of the game will be shown on the same page of your search or the result page. So, if someone is looking for general information about this match, the required information will be provided, without a single click on any link.
Here is another example:
You can also see in the picture above that when you search for USD to EUR rate the answer will be shown to you on the same page you have done your search. On top of that, Google has provided a calculator, so you can enter the amount and have the result instantly.
This is called, “Zero Click Search”. It refers to the searches through which users get their answers directly from google without clicking on any link.
This is an alert for us, as our strategy to create contents for the purpose of attracting users through to our website will be useless. However, there are some lessons to learn here:
Lesson 1: Do not waste your time and money on content that their answers are SO obvious.
For instance, you will not get any click for the result of a match!
SEO is not the only way for you to get visitors.
You didn’t hear it from us but SEO is not the best way to get visitors on your website.
We already know that Google is pretty much an answer engine rather than search engine. On the other hand, Google prioritises the paid Ads for the keywords users are searching for. Therefore, the fastest method to have visitors on your website is Google Ads.
Now the question here is, which method suits you best? SEO or Google ads? There is no magic answer for this question as depending on the nature and size of your business, either SEO or paid Ads would be the golden option for you and in some cases, a combination of both would work best.
Let’s go through some examples:
If you search for web design in Sydney, like illustrated in the above picture, the first 3 websites on the top are paid Ads! So even if you have a good ranking on this particular keyword, you will not get a worthy share of that.
As outlined below, the same thing happens, when you search for “Buy Samsung hands free”
As a conclusion, SEO is not the only and the BEST option for your marketing strategy. Then why are we doing that?! The answer to this question will be the second lesson we must learn.
Lesson 2: SEO is still the most efficient method to advertise your website especially on a long-term marketing plan.
The Second page of Google is just useless!!
If your goal is to reach the second page of Google, forget about it, as it would be pretty much a waste of time and money. To have a better understanding, let’s go through some Google’s statistics:
Based on the pie chart above, almost 50% of searches are zero-click searches! (We have talked about zero clicks before). Almost 5% of users click on Ads only and finally 45% are the users that we are looking for. All the efforts made on SEO are for this type of users who click on organic result pages. It is also interesting to know that 35% of this type of users click on the first website shown on Google result page!
Check the chart below:
As illustrated above, there is a meaningful adverse relation between the websites’ rank and the number of clicks. As per Google’s statistics, 60% of our targeted users click on the top three websites and 18% of the total users click on the 4th website on the search result page. What does it mean to us? It means that not only the second page of google is worthless, even the 4th ranking is not that useful!
As a conclusion, investing on keywords which are less likely to be “zero-click” keywords, would be a smart idea, in order to take advantage of 50% of users who are interested in organic websites.
Lesson 3: Start the project ONLY if you are willing to get #1 ranking
Lesson 4: Invest on keywords which are less likely to be “Zero-Click search”, as your chance of getting visitors will be doubled up.
Keywords are dead
Till now we’ve used “keywords” multiple times, but let us tell you a truth; Keywords are dead now! Google algorithms are now focusing on implication of your contents instead of the keywords in your contents. Check this one out:
Once users search for something, Google tries to understand users’ intention and purpose of their searches. Therefore, if your content implication matches the purpose of the users, Google would suggest your page to the users. The point is that by focusing on implication of your content, you can cover many keywords, whilst by focusing on keywords, the best case scenario would be getting clicks for that specific keyword only.
Lesson 5: Do your best to create an implication on your contents. Forget about keywords.
Google understands the contents of the images you upload
Did you know that Google can understand the contents of the images you upload? It’s awesome.
Look at this picture:
On the right side of the picture above, you can see what sort of information google has figured out from the image. It’s not shown here in the picture, but google has also managed to find out the car’s plate number! This incredible capability of Google teaches us another lesson as below:
Lesson 6: Your images will improve your SEO significantly. Do not forget to use them and use the right photos in the right places.
Impact of User Experience on SEO
Around 10 years ago, Google used to be working with robots and artificial intelligence to figure out what the best response to users is. Years after years, google found out that the best method to uncover what users want, is to analyse users’ experience. Nowadays, Google tries to understand the user experience in order to come up with appropriate suggestions accordingly.
Let’s see what are the factors that google considers for understanding the User Experience. To do so, we break them down to two main categories as below:
- Analysing the page indexing
- User behaviour after entering the website
For the purpose of analysing the page indexing, Google considers:
- Page Experience
- Mobile Friendly
- Page Speed
- Content Quality
These elements are measured, even before a user searches for a subject which is relevant to your content.
In order to analyse the user behaviour after entering a website, Google considers other elements as mentioned below:
- Click Through Rate – This means how many clicks your website will get per impression.
- Dwell Time – This is the time that users spend on your website before returning back to the search engine.
- Engagement- It refers to the user’s activity on your website which includes commenting, watching a video or something similar.
- Bounce rate – Bounce rate is equal to the number of users leaving your website divided by the total number of users entering your website. So a lower bounce rate would be a positive point from a user experience perspective.
All of these factors will be considered by google to suggest users an appropriate website based on their search. This is done for the sake of the best experience possible being provided for users on their searches.
Google continues on such analysis until it makes sure that all users in the world can reach what they are looking for in the first three suggestions and that’s exactly why “User Experience” is extremely important for your website and its SEO.
Lesson 7: Improve your website’s user experience. It is impossible to have a good ranking without that!
Thank you for reading this article. We hope you have enjoyed this part and we are sure you will read through the next part.