Not Just for Search Engines – Optimizing Better for Users

The work of an SEO agency mostly revolves on getting results that will make clients happy. Keyword research, website optimization, link building, and content development – all these go into an SEO strategy to help a client’s website get to coveted positions on search results.

It doesn’t stop there, though.

Reliable white label SEO services such as those offered by SEOreseller.com don’t only look at the technical aspects of optimizing a website. They make sound SEO strategies that serve the needs of the website’s audience. Users should be able to immediately find the information they’re looking for on the site. Otherwise, the website doesn’t serve its purpose well.

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When optimizing a website for a business, you’re not just chasing rankings and getting search engines to put that site on the first page—you’re also focusing on search users that your clients want to target.

First Things First – Think of the Conversion Funnel

Start with picturing where your client’s audience is in the conversion funnel. If you know how users respond to your marketing efforts, it becomes easier to guide them through their customer journey and drive them down the conversion funnel.

How do you apply this in SEO? Simple – through keywords.

The keywords you use shape the conversion funnel. Some marketers tend to choose keywords relevant to the brand they’re promoting. This gives them a list of keywords that search engines can recognize and associate with a brand. While this helps in establishing a brand’s presence, the keyword list leaves out potential terms that target customers at a specific stage in the conversion funnel.

The four stages of the conversion funnel are awareness, interest, desire, and action. Each stage corresponds to search terms. The more specific the keyword or search term, the further down it is in the funnel.

User Intent is Part of the Equation

Now that you know which point the user is in the conversion funnel, you can determine the intent behind their actions and re-align your SEO strategy. This makes it easier to assign keywords, create content, and optimize landing pages that speak better to your client’s audience.

User intent can be classified into four – navigational, informational, commercial, and transactional. Let’s map this according to the stage in the conversion funnel and the nature of the keywords:

  • Navigational (Awareness stage) – Brand-based queries. Example: Disneyland and Disney.
  • Informational (Interest stage) – Question-based queries. Example: Disneyland family vacation.
  • Commercial (Desire stage) – Question-based queries with the intention of buying later. Example: tickets for Disneyland family vacation.
  • Transactional (Action stage) – Purchase-based queries. Example: book Disneyland tours.

Notice the length of the keywords. The longer the keyword tail, the closer they are in the action stage of the conversion funnel.

When optimizing for user intent, the key is to allocate the right keywords and use the appropriate tone for the content on the right landing page. For example, you can’t use transactional keywords on the homepage—navigational keywords are more appropriate for this page.

It’s All about Value

The first question that will pop into the minds of search users is, “Why do I need to buy from you?”

If you fail to show value from the very beginning, you need to go back to the drawing board. Identifying the value proposition of a brand is one thing, but making sure search users understand at a glance is an entirely different matter.

So, how do you offer value? I’ve rounded up some of the best practices:

  • Provide basic information about the brand – Users are more likely to trust a website if they have some background information about the business.
  • Show why the product is relevant – This should address their questions, “How will I benefit from the product?” or “How will the product solve my problem?”
  • Prove expertise – Provide marketing collateral or materials that allow you to leverage authority bias. If you’re working with a white label SEO company, they can provide you with brandable materials that you can send to clients.
  • Appeal to their personal needs – Most experts refer to this as “selling the invisible”. How will the product make them feel? The website shouldn’t only address their physical benefits, but also the emotional benefits of search users.

By defining value, it’s easier to position a brand as the best among the rest and entice users to be brand advocates later on.

Be Authentic

You can’t sell if you’re not being genuine, and this is why you need to build brand authenticity.

When a brand develops authenticity, it provides search users a reason to connect with the business. As you build authenticity, it helps the brand develop loyalty and revenue.

To build brand authenticity for clients, you need:

  • Impressive content – Engage the audience with quality content that speaks about what they need. Content doesn’t have to be long-form articles or blogs; you can use images and videos to communicate with your client’s audience.
  • Main differentiators – What makes your client different from the others? Use value proposition as a guide in identifying how the brand compares to the competition and how search users will perceive the brand in return.

Final Thoughts

Always remember Google Rule #3 – Build for the user.

At the end of the day, it won’t be search engines driving revenue to your clients and making them happy. It’s the users who will be navigating your client’s website.

If your SEO strategy doesn’t give room for users, you better start rethinking how you do your SEO.