Giving Customers What They Want: Part 1
A Search Behavior Analysis
ET by Mark Sprague
Improving website performance is hard work, and SEO alone will not get the job done. The following analysis of human search behavior is the first step in developing a world-class website strategy. Top performing websites have most of these traits in common:
- They understand in detail human search behavior.
- They have strategically invested in information architecture.
- They have a commitment to develop and deploy high-quality content on a scheduled basis.
- They understand the role quality visual design (UI) plays in successful user experiences.
- They believe in human factors, and conduct usability tests.
- They don’t let technology impact products and services in a negative way (gratuitous use of web 2.0 gimmicks).
- They have high engineering standards, and validate their code before shipping.
- They understand that SEO page markup has to be based upon quality content, not gimmicks.
- They understand technically how crawlers and search technologies impact content find-ability.
- They understand that a first-page search engine ranking has more to do with high-quality content, and a superior user experience.
You should keep all these factors in mind when developing your website strategy. However, here I will only focus upon item number one, which is how do you figure out what your customers are doing when they are looking for your services.
Search behavior analysis
Choosing keyword phrases randomly, based upon volume or Google’s suggestion can lead to success, but you never really know until you try the phrases out. This costs time and money. A better way to insure success is to take a step back, and look at the total search experience as it is reflected in an AdWords data set. This means manually reviewing each keyword phrase, and classifying it to one of several behavioral categories—usually less than ten.
A quick look at the keyword phrase “home improvement” shows that nearly 10 million people a month search for home improvement products, services and information. When you examine the data to see what is going on topically you can identify nine categories of distinct search behavior. They are looking for:
- Home improvement products: 1,477,100
- Home improvement by specific project: 1,039,700
- Home improvement by quality and value: 274,860
- Home improvement company by Name: 208,890
- Home improvement companies in general: 199,040
- Home improvement TV / Media: 60,420
- Home improvement advice, blogs & reviews: 88,000
- Home improvement projects in general: 46,490
- Home improvement financing: 6,900
Find Out More
To find out more go to SearchEngineLand.com where this was originally published.
If you are interested in learning more send me (Mark Sprague) an email at: Mark@MSprague.com, or call me now at: 781-862-3126
About Lexington eBusiness Consulting
Mark Sprague’s 25 years of product development experience, which includes expertise in Search Engines, Information Products, SEO platforms and Social Networking applications provide in-depth expertise to help you refine products and services, and improve your websites performance by:
- Developing a superior data-driven SEO strategy for your website.
- Understanding your customers’ search behavior and normalizing it to your content strategy.
- Understanding how search engine technology practically impacts SEO and content strategies.
- Understanding how search technology impacts content in a social networking environment.
- Developing a superior user experience based on sound information architecture, usability and coding standards.
Lexington eBusiness Consulting
Mark Sprague, CEO
580 Lowell Street
Lexington, MA 02420