Understanding User Behavior for Better SEO

Written by Nick Stamoulis

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When thinking about SEO, we often have things backwards. We think that if we do things a certain way, the results will come. It’s all about understanding the algorithm and make sure our SEO activities align with what the search engines expect, right? Actually, this thinking is backwards. Our priority should be understanding our users and their behaviors when creating a website that performs well in the search engines. Here’s a deeper look into what this means:

Search Engine Algorithms Are Most Concerned with User Behavior

Search engines want to please their customers. In this case, the customer is someone who types in a search query and expects results. The number one thing that search engines are concerned about is making sure that they return the right results to the user. If they miss the mark and the results returned aren’t great for the customer, they know the customer will get frustrated and maybe even use another method to find the information they need.

So, they prioritize the needs of their customers before anything else. This means that when you are putting together your website, you should also prioritize your customer’s needs. On a high level, this will help improve your results. If the search engines deem your website helpful and useful to the audience, they will return your website more often.

User Behavior Can Give You Insights About What Content to Write for Your Website

So, what are keywords for? Back in the older days of the internet, search engine algorithms weren’t as sophisticated. Back then, keywords needed to be present on the page in order for a website to be returned in search results. This is no longer the case, and the technologies surrounding the algorithms are a lot more sophisticated.

What hasn’t necessarily changed is people’s mindset. While keywords can be useful to pointing us in the right direction concerning what kind of content to write, the notion of a 1-1 match for a keyword is long in the past. The number one priority is to use keywords as a data point that can help you understand user behavior and what kinds of content you audience expects. There’s no way to provide the page with “exact match phrases” because the algorithms will simply reward you if the content is useful and relevant. In other words, user behavior can give you insights about what to write.

Pay Attention to Clues in the Data to Understand Your Audience

You can use your own website data to figure out what your users want or don’t want. Look at lists of keywords that users are searching that help them get paired with your website. How many times did a user click on your website after being returned a website after performing a query in the search box? This is vital information for you and it can tell you if your content is being well received.

It is so important to understand your audience. You This is the best way to know if your content will resonate with them. When it does, you will be rewarded with better organic results.


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