The natural assumption is that SEO involves just choosing a few keywords, making a few changes and presto, your website magically appears in the top 10 results (preferably in the top 5 results).
Although the notion is admirable, the reality is, each keyword represents one piece of the semantic pie that corresponds to structuring the value of user intent.
Practical SEO works under the premise that if they type it, you will be there; and not just any page, but the page most suited to solve their query / dilemma. However, it is a timely endeavor, so traffic for traffics sake it not the objective, sales and conversion are…
The following collections of hand-picked documents are based on the notion of what happens next, or what happens after the visitor arrives; which is equally as relevant as why they searched to begin with.
- SEO is Great, But Conversion is Even Better
- SEO and Intent: Where Search Meets Results
- Impulse Surfing, Click Triggers and Keywords
- The Psychology of a Click-Through
- What is Your Click Style?
Each page is a destination, but just because you put a page in front of and end-user does not ensure success. Just as SEO takes planning to coordinate, optimizing a keyword that is a dud, is a moot point and should be avoided at all costs.
You’ll need to decipher user-intent based on the tone of keywords searchers use and collaborate your websites content and positioning to intersect relevance with demand. What happens next determines if your page is a hit or miss which can be measured by bounce rate, engagement time and conversion paths or objectives.
People are enticed easily to click on impulse and investigate offers, websites, images and links based on curiosity. Call it human nature to be curious about the outcome of opening door number 1, 2 or 3 to see what resides behind them.
Search engines provide users with the same ability to express that curiosity in a healthy fashion. They are easy to use, most of the time they do a great job in determining which websites have the most to offer based on the keywords or topics queried.
That still does not remove the website / destination from marketing their wares, so, just because you have traffic, if you are not measuring that traffic against some form of tangible conversion or evaluating the reasons behind those conversions, then how can you expect to segment traffic and provide the ultimate user experience?
SEO is great at delivering traffic, but once they arrive, there must be equal emphasis on matching their expectation with some form of continuity. Otherwise you are working for your competitors by driving more business to those who have figured out that its not about the volume of traffic as much as it is about the quality of traffic SEO produces.