Is it important to help your customers?
If so, what are you doing to help them on your website?
Most business websites are typically set up to focus on sales.This is completely understandable. A businesses’ goal is to sell more products or services. However, they often overlook a key aspect of what can earn lots of visibility in search engines.
As SEO specialists we know that helping your customers can be a great way to get more of your content in top search engine results pages.
This guide explains how helping your customers using SEO can help your business to get more visibility online.
SEO ranking factors
Question: How does a search engine know if your website is worth showing in a top results page?
Answer: Search engines use a number of different quality signals to decide how good your website pages are. These quality signals, known as ‘ranking factors’ are a set of criterias that a search engine values. If a web page performs well when judged by those ranking factors, the search engine will rank it high up in its results pages.
As of 2020, there are over 200 ranking factors that the search engine, Google, uses to rank content. So what are some of the MOST IMPORTANT ranking factors?
- A secure and accessible website
- Page speed
- Mobile friendliness
- Domain age, URL, and authority
- Optimised content
- Technical SEO
- EAT – Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness
- On page user experience
- High authority links to your content
As we know, Google is designed to serve the BEST content when a query or question is submitted.
Does Google want the same things from content as our customers? Lots of people think that what search engines want is very different to what human customers value. However, this is not true.
Google (and other search engines) is designed to be used by real humans. The job of a search engine is to serve a human user the best and most relevant information that it can find. So, ranking factors are used because that’s what Google thinks we want.
If we look again at the ranking factors listed above we can broadly categorise them into two groups:
- The experience of using a web page
- The quality or ‘usefulness’ of the webpage
So, to sum up, the top ranking factors that search engines use to rank content deal with the user experience and the helpfulness to the user of the webpage! These ranking factors are all about the user!
SEO = HELPING YOUR CUSTOMERS = MORE VISIBILITY IN SERPS
Optimised content a ranking factor
SEO is the practice of designing, adapting and evolving online content so it appeals to search engine’s ranking factors. In marketing we call this ‘optimising’ content.
One of the most important ranking factors for search engines is optimised content. Creating helpful, fresh and value adding content should be a big priority if you want to harness the SERP visibility that SEO offers.
Quality content is how you engage, inform, support and delight your audiences. Creating authentic, valuable content is also critical for search engine visibility.
Valuable content SEO strategy
To help your customers you need to create valuable content. What qualifies as valuable content?
The answer partly lies in understanding your customers specific behaviours, what they search for, where they search and how they search.
Researching your customers can prove to be very powerful and useful. However, gathering this data about your customers can take a long time. If you don’t have that time to dig into user analytics sites, customer feedback and industry reports, don’t worry.
The answer = create for ranking factors
Understanding what search engines value will initially point you in the right direction. The goal is to create the BEST content, the best content is valuable content.
Here’s a simple checklist for creating valuable content that has a great chance of getting ranked. Create:
- Helpful content – How does your content help the user? This is the most important aspect of creating content. Is your content necessary? Does it answer a question that you know your customers are asking? How is it building on your customers’ knowledge?
- Value added content – chances are that someone has already created a piece of content that deals with what you want to talk about. Value added content is all about doing it better than your competitors. Go above and beyond, go one better, build on what already exists but add something else, something unique to you.
- Great user experience – Think about your customers when you design content. Is it easy to read? Are your links easy to identify? Is your page nice to look at? Are all of the different content sections easy to find? Are any buttons big enough to select?
- Multimedia experiences – Depending on what the intent of your customers search is, create content that best answers that intent. If your user wants to learn about your product they may search using terms like ‘how-to’ or ‘product review’. In this case your customer will probably expect to find a video. Creates different types of content for every stage of the user journey.
- Authoritative – Create content that can be trusted and relied upon to be accurate. How? Use stats, quotes and facts from reputable sources. Encourage trusted peers, complimentary partners and authoritative figures to link to your web pages. Backlinks are a huge signal to search engines that your content is valuable to users.
- Mobile optimised content – We know that lots of customers use mobile devices on their journey towards a purchase. That journey can have many touch points over lots of days. Depending on how expensive your product or service is, your customer may take weeks or even months trying to decide whether to buy. Part of the user journey will take place on a mobile device. If your content doesn’t work well on a mobile device it isn’t helpful to a user. Optimise for mobile!
- Shareable content – Creating shareable content is a perfect way to show a search engine that your content is valuable to customers. If your customers share your content it’s a massive green light that shows they liked it and found it useful.
AND there you have it. Using SEO to help your customers is the best way to get visibility in search engines. If you’re not actively pursuing an SEO strategy that involves creating helpful content, you better start right away!
Learn more about our SEO services now to boost the performance of your website.