SEO Basics – What Every Website Owner Needs to Know Part 2- Understand your prospect
(If you missed Part 1 of the SEO series click here)
Most searchers will use either Google or Bing/Yahoo. These search engines are most often used – and on which you should focus most of your keyword research.
Your prospect begins his or her search in the following manner:
- They need an answer or solution
- They write words to create a ‘query’ – which tells the search engine what terms to look for
- The search engine finds the most relevant and popular matches to the search and lists them in order
- The prospect looks as the results and decides which fits her needs most closely – by looking at the title and description
- The searcher clicks and is taken to a website, where they determine if the answers they’re searching for are there.
- If they don’t find what they’re looking for, they return to the search results to take another look at the list or perform a new search, using different search terms.
By understanding your audience, you can develop the most relevant answers to their questions and create SEO which will attract them to your website. Your business may have one or more ‘ideal’ audiences – spend time understanding each in terms of demographics and psychographics (buying behaviors). What makes them want to purchase from you?
Knowing your audience is the single most important step in marketing your business. If you don’t know with whom you’re communicating, how can you possibly ‘speak their language’?
Here is a link to one of our blogs about audience/ideal client.
Let’s say you have a great new product that will help mothers of young children organize their day more easily. Is your ‘ideal client’ a teenager? A senior? The keywords you choose, the content you write, the branding, packaging and website design will be dictated by the fact that your ideal client is a mother with young children. If you use words that resonate with teenagers and match the search terms a teen would typically use (their ‘language’) you have little chance to reach your prospect. Your SEO is only as good as your understanding of your prospect.
Most of your prospects will search online – and most of those will be on a mobile device.
High rankings are essential to your visibility. The fact is, most of your prospects don’t want to work very hard to find the answers to their questions. Understanding their search terms, and clearly providing the answers they want will help improve your ranking. Is it that simple? No. We’ll cover more about ranking later. But the fact is, having a working knowledge of SEO and how it works will give you an edge over your competition.
Being listed at or near the top of the search results will give you the most traffic. It also gives your prospect the feeling that your information is relevant and legitimate.
Most searches fall into one of these three categories:
- Specific Action. The user wants to purchase an item
- Your prospect is researching – looking for information such as a comparison on the types of kitchen ranges which are available in their price range, or the best Margarita in their city.
- Visit a specific page. The searcher wants to go to a specific known site, such as Twitter or Amazon.
Do you need more convincing that your online presence and SEO must be excellent?
For some facts from the latest (2015) PEW research study, click here.
- 84% of American adults use the internet
- Those with college educations use the internet more often than those with a high school diploma (a 4 year degree increases the use statistic to 97%)
- People who earn in excess of $75,000 per year use the internet far more often
- Men and women use the internet for searches equally (But you likely have to ‘speak’ to them differently with your content)
- 68% of Americans have smart phones
- 45% of Americans have tablets
Now you know who is on the internet and how a search works. The search engine is designed to deliver relevant results to the searcher. Spend some time understanding your ‘ideal client(s)’ with as much detail as possible and make sure your website gives them the information they are looking for.
What search engine algorithms can understand and what they can’t. How to make sure you’re communicating in an algorithm’s language.