Search engine optimisation has been the holy grail for website traffic since the beginning of Google. Just when you think you’ve got it down, even with the changing algorithms and updated results page layout, something new comes along.
Search behaviour is the Next Big Thing that will help website attract visitors and keep them around. It’s this last point that’s most important. Getting visitors to your website is certainly step one.
This can be achieved by choosing an appropriate blogging platform for your needs, creating rich content and making sure that you use social media and other methods to broadcast your site to the search engines.
Conventional wisdom says that being in the top three results is the golden ticket. But not all users behave the same way when they get to the SERPs, and that’s where search behaviour comes into play.
Search behaviour goes a little deeper than keyword phrases. It looks at things like your potential customer’s age and gender. For example, older searchers and men are more likely to go to the second page of search results than younger searchers and women.
Some searchers are looking for a quick answer, such as the score of the game or a store’s hours of operation. Others may be researching something more complex, like the best car to teach teens to drive, or how to get out a stubborn stain. Knowing which type of searcher you’re catering for will help you to determine your mix of paid and organic search and which keywords to focus on.
In fact, the paid vs. organic debate figures closely into the concept of search behaviour. Some people who are actually looking to buy will avoid ads, while others jump on them. And it seems that there is still confusion about organic results and ads on the part of the consumer.
Consumer search behaviour models
You can go as far as creating a Consumer Search Behaviour Model or CSBM. According to Mark Sprague, consumer search behaviour expert, a CSBM helps you ‘define your information architecture, focus your content strategy, and identify landing page opportunities.’ In short, they help you to understand what to do after the prospect arrives at the SERP to improve the chances they’ll get to your landing page and then convert.
The CSBM will indicate what keywords can tell you about your prospect’s search behaviour. They can also tell whether local SEO makes sense for your business, whether you need to consider compound queries and the best sub-categories for you to focus on.
Search engine optimisation is still the basis for getting visitors to your website. To keep them there, consider an investment in search behaviour as well.
By Jenny Holt