Language is a complex tool that can only be 100% understood by humans, but Google is trying its best. “Write for the user” is a tired mantra repeated by SEOs everywhere, however, it becomes truer by the day.
Google is constantly analyzing search queries and user journeys to understand what certain queries are looking for. In addition to any keyword research you do with keyword tools, you must make a few searches to figure out what Google things your target audience is asking to get to pages like yours. Let’s take a look at a search you might make in your initial stages of writing some user-friendly content:
As providers of website development services, ShoreSite Web Designs probably wants to write something about our services, rather than a step by step guide on how to develop a website. As demonstrated in the above screenshot, Google believes that users searching for a term as broad as “website development” are simply looking for a how-to guide. With that information in mind, it might be smarter to target “website development services” (or custom website development services, for a long-tail keyword) to ensure our content reaches the audience that we want it to. When we target website development services, it’s probably smart to just stick to our services and what we do, rather than talking about the process of developing a website, since clearly Google thinks that users would just search for “website development” if they wanted a guide.
This doesn’t only apply to the subject of your content, but the type of your content, as well. You might find that certain queries related to your business fetch a lot of video results in Google compared to blogs or articles. This isn’t a mistake–Google has determined that video is the best way to present content for that particular query, and you should adapt accordingly.
Look At Your Own Data
Your own traffic might provide some answers for you as well when searching for user intent. With a well-structured website hierarchy, users will naturally gravitate towards what they want to see on your site after they land on your page from Google. Google Analytics provides the useful Behavior Flow tool that shows you exactly how users flow through your site, and monitoring that for patterns allows you to see what else your target audience for a certain page is interested in.
As we move forward and Google gets better at understanding user intent, the content on your site needs to follow suit, or you’ll be left behind in the dust. Contact us to talk to an SEO specialist about writing on your site!