The Rolling Stone’s lyrics ‘I can’t get no satisfaction’ inspired me to write this blog. If you are not satisfied, you are not happy. It’s the same for a user’s online web experience.
If you search for but don’t find, what you are looking for, you are unsatisfied; and in the SEO world that is a big hurdle to overcome. Sure, SEO is about the boring stuff like optimizing title tags, meta descriptions, gaining quality links from relevant sources, offering useful content, and engaging socially, but the end goal should always be a user’s online satisfaction. Satisfy user requests and you will rank, your brand will build its reputation, and your site will receive quality visitors who actually engage with you and want to know more about your product and services. Focus on user behavior, not on trying to game Google, and your site will develop authority.
Why Is Online Satisfaction Important?
Why is online satisfaction important and why is it worth understanding? Is it really an SEO issue to deal with? According to Google, this is an SEO responsibility and they use online satisfaction as a ranking factor! We encourage local businesses to look at SEO not just as a means to rank, but also as a means to satisfy their target audience as quickly as possible, with useful content that answers their search queries.
How Is Online Satisfaction Measured?
Measuring online satisfaction is hard especially when we don’t know the search engine algorithm. We do know, however, that search engines reward websites substantially that offer online satisfaction for their audience. Here is what we do know. According to Search Quality Rating Guidelines:
“Useful pages should be high quality and a good “fit” for the query. In addition, they often have some or all of the following characteristics: highly satisfying, authoritative, entertaining, and/or recent (such as breaking news on a topic). Useful pages are usually well organized and pages you trust. They are from information sources that seem reliable. Useful information pages are not “spammy.”
Therefore as search marketers, we need to:
- Design and develop websites that comply with Google’s Panda algorithm.
- Craft an enjoyable experience for the users – We want users to stay on the page, not bounce off, and search for something else more relevant to their search query.
- Encourage return visitors that keep coming back to our site because it functions and operates in a way that is satisfying.
- Remove all forms of barriers – Your website needs to be accessible to both humans and search engines. Pop-ups and other forms of distractions are annoying and not helpful to the user, so don’t use them.
- Reduce the bounce rate – Are users going back to re-type or look for better results? This will hurt your overall SEO rankings.
- Increase the time spent on site – If a visitor experiences online satisfaction they search through your site, exploring, clicking, and ultimately spending longer amounts of time on your site, something that Google considers quite important.
- Increase return visits – How many of your visitors are coming back to your site? Was your site helpful, easy to navigate, and did it satisfy their search queries? If so, more visitors will be returning to your site again and again. Which is great for business and for rankings.
- Ensure that your website loads quickly – This is a major online satisfaction indicator. Slower sites are less likely to perform. Users want information as quickly as possible and with as little hindrance as possible.
- Offer interest and responsiveness to the user – I repeat, it is not about pleasing search engines. It is about the user. Do whatever you can to please the user. Let them see that there is a person who actually cares about their online experience.
Moving Forward – Creating a Better Web Experience
We know SEO is not easy, but hopefully, you can understand why it is important. Now that you know it is imperative for your website to offer a fantastic online experience that satisfies the right user, the rewards will be great and are well worth the time investment.