Date Posted: 1/12/16

When you perform a Google search, you’re looking for one thing; answers. When you analyse web results served to you by Google, you’re assessing each listing for its likelihood to provide those answers. Even more so, when you land on the website of your selection, you expect the content of that page to provide the best answer to your search. For many businesses though, website content is not designed as a means of answering audiences’ questions. Instead, brands focus on what they want their prospects to know, regardless of what the intent behind the user’s search query might be, which is a mistake.

Let’s take those in the market for new home furniture as an example. A user that searches ‘living room furniture ideas’ has completely different search intent than one Googling ‘cheapest living room furniture stores’. The first is looking for inspiration, and the second is more likely ready to buy, or at least evaluate price. If you’re a furniture retailer with a website that doesn’t provide ideas in the form of a dedicated page, or a blog, you’re not providing content for a portion of your prospective customer base. Pushing your brand messaging or monthly sales to this searcher won’t be effective, and they’ll be quick to leave when they see that you aren’t giving them the answers they need at that point in time.

How does this damage your digital performance?

You may be thinking that a prospective buyer landing on your website is a good thing, despite them looking for answers your content can’t provide. In theory you would be right, you’re still making a prospect aware of your brand. The problem is though, and between now and when they buy they’re spending hours browsing the Internet for help and furniture education. They’ll be getting their answers from somebody else, probably a competitor. So, when the time comes to buy, who’s top of mind? Not you.

On top of this, you need to consider the damage that could be caused to your SEO by users landing on your website often, but leaving quickly and continuing their Google search activity because they didn’t find what they wanted. Google analyses activity like this, and you can be sure that if it sees ‘short clicks’ i.e. those that return to the search results page quickly, it’s going to have a negative SEO impact on your site.

What’s the solution?

Quite simply, when creating, updating or refreshing your website, make it about your audience. Focus on the people you want to attract and:

  • Their purchase process
  • How they research their needs
  • The kinds of questions they seek answers to
  • Which types of content they look for throughout all stages of the research process

Then use this insight to actually create pages and content that directly caters to your audiences’ search intent. Write blog posts, create an online gallery, feature inspirational videos, use a dedicated customer reviews page, whatever your audience searches for, make sure you have the answers easily accessible on your website.

By flipping the perspective in this way, you’re much more likely to both appear in search results more frequently, and improve the performance of your website overall.

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Aimee Binstead

Written By: Aimee Binstead

Travel Writer. Obsessed with analysing numbers. Lover of all things digital.
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