Consumer behavior is one of the biggest drivers of change in search marketing. Search engines, also created with users in mind, continuously update and review their algorithms to provide better value for users. Algorithms today are more equipped to understand user intent and deliver information that best fits the intent.
Given this, the successful marketer is the one who understands the importance of optimizing their various marketing strategies for the user, rather than the search engine.
The user-algorithm relationship
At the time when search engines came about to index pages enabling users to find different content according to subject, the first movers understood the importance of being visible to search engines and thus SEO was born. They analyzed and found a few criteria used by algorithms to match content with searchers, and hence the black-hat SEO techniques like keyword stuffing began.
Consumer search psychology and behavior has been changing; today’s consumer is more advanced and he can better input queries to give exactly what he needs from the internet. He is also less likely to go beyond the first page of search results, opting instead to tweak the query.
In response, search engines have become better at predicting which pages would be most useful for which user queries, and customers now expect to receive relevant and valuable material from search engines.
If you’re still hoping to be relevant today, you will be better served creating content that appeals to your modern audience instead of focusing on old criteria intended for search engines. Your primary motivation must be to create highly engaging, useful and relevant content that people can learn from and appreciate.
In the process, you will be able to not only attract and retain your ideal customer base, but you’ll passively make it higher up the search engines ranks, giving you a chance to attract even more targeted leads.
This means understanding the psychology of the modern internet user, increasing the significance of user experience experts as well as knowing what kind of content and format would best communicate with them.
As search engines become more advanced to understand intent and semantic meanings of customers, use all tools in your arsenal – navigation, site, content, landing pages etc. – to provide meaningful answers to questions consumers in your target market have about your business and industry.