How Much Effort to Put into Web Design and SEO in order to Satisfy Searcher’s Task Accomplishment?

How Much Effort to Put into Web Design and SEO in order to Satisfy Searcher’s Task Accomplishment?

For our digital marketing newsletter this month, we’d like to discuss ‘The Theory of Search Relativity: How Much Effort to Put into Web Design and SEO in order to Satisfy Searcher’s Task Accomplishment.’

Through Einstein, we learned that your position and speed in the Universe influence what you observe. A different person, in a different place, moving at a different speed, will make a different observation. So, how does this concept apply to SEO?

In our analogy, Google is the Universe. Consider your website and its search-based rankings. Your ability to capture rankings is relative to the competition in the marketplace. For example, if your website offers a service to a community, and there are no competing websites in your community, then capturing strong keyword rankings would be very easy. You could have a terrible, website, riddled with typos and disorganized navigation, but you still could rank #1. On the other hand, that same website would perform poorly in a highly competitive marketplace. Your ability to capture meaningful search-based rankings is relative to the search environment that you must compete within. If you wish to compete in a small marketplace, you can do well with a mediocre website and mediocre SEO. However, if you’re going to survive in a competitive marketplace, your website must be very special.

Google wishes to display websites that are relevant. To do this, Google considers the user’s experience when they type a search query, or what is now referred as “searcher’s task accomplishment.” So, to remain competitive on Google, your website must satisfy the search query better than your competitor’s websites. This is accomplished through a very complex process, perhaps as complex as Einstein’s “Theory of General Relativity.”

What does “searcher’s task accomplishment” mean, and how do you accomplish it? There are hundreds of parts to this equation, for example:

  • How fast is your website?
  • Does your website look great? When there is competition, appearance means a lot. Ever walk into a dirty grocery store?
  • Does your website provide quality content, clearly explaining what you do?
  • Is your website mobile-friendly?
  • Is your website organized? Can people easily find what they are looking for?
  • What do you offer that is better than your competitor? Pricing, testimonials, results, guarantees, etc.

These and dozens of other factors combine into one simple question—whose website best accommodates “searcher’s task accomplishment?” With that in mind, you can develop an SEO strategy and capture meaningful rankings.

To begin, you need to discover your competitors. Search Google for phrases your customers would use and see which websites consistently come up at the top of Google’s search results. Then study these websites, as your website will need to be better. Have more content, look sharper, be better organized, make it easier to communicate with your company and other features that make your website better. You don’t have to have the best website in the world, SEO is relative. You only need the best website for the marketplace you serve. But you must be willing to put the time and effort into your website to stand out, which is a tall order in a highly competitive marketplace. But in time, your efforts will be rewarded by Google. 

Don’t underestimate your competitors – Achieving greatness across search engines can be extremely complex, as there are many considerations to take into account. For example, your new web design may have some elements that are not SEO-Friendly. We recommend that you review a related article, SEO Friendly Web Design Guidelines to help ensure that your efforts are not in vain.

Reach out to us today with any questions at [email protected]

 

 

 

The Google Survival Guide

The Google Survival Guide

For our April digital marketing newsletter, we’d like to introduce the Google Survival Guide.

If businesses want to survive and thrive on Google, it is important to understand what drives Google and the direction Google is headed. While Google has always strived to be the best search engine on the planet, this quickly escalated in 2011 when new competition entered the search engine market. Living with Google today doesn’t seem much different than in 2011, but for business owners, the devil is in the details.

In June 2009, Microsoft made the surprise announcement of their own search engine: Bing. Bing caught Google by surprise, sparking its determined effort to become so good and so complex that no other search engine could dethrone it as the search king.

Since 2011, Google has launched dozens of major algorithm changes that significantly impacted the quality of search results. Many algorithm changes have names and specific purposes including Panda, which penalizes websites for duplicate or low-quality content, and Penguin, which penalizes websites for low-quality inbound links. Since then, major updates are launched several times a year, helping Google display higher-quality search results and making it more difficult for those trying to cut corners to prosper.

In late 2015, Google confirmed RankBrain, a groundbreaking artificial intelligence system capable of extracting deep user behavior insights. RankBrain is a complex learning machine and a very good one. RankBrain can understand the content on your website, as well as the intention behind a user’s search query, but more importantly, it also understands how people react to the search results that Google presents.

What does this all mean? Google can understand the user experience on your website. Does the website’s content and capability satisfy visitors? Do they like your website, or do they leave quickly and find a competitor’s site? Does your website load quickly and does it look good on a cell phone? These and other human factors are now a major part of your website’s ability to perform well on Google, all thanks to RankBrain. In Google’s eyes, may the best website win.

This investment in the user experience makes sense. Would people like Google if it delivered bad search results or slow websites or websites that look like they were built in 1990? Would you shop in a grocery store that was always filthy? How about dining in a restaurant that always had bad food or service? Google shouldn’t be any different, and thousands of Google algorithm changes, including RankBrain, ensure this doesn’t happen.

So what does a business need to do to survive on Google? Simple: you need to respect your website just as you would your storefront, your business cards, your brand and reputation. The internet is a serious marketing channel; Google is serious about delivering quality results and your website is the front door to all of it. Improvements will come from a place of honesty. Are competitor’s websites better than yours? Does your website have unique, quality content? Does it load quickly and is it aesthetically pleasing? Is it secure and will it function well on a mobile device? Businesses with sites designed as a quality resource for Google will be handsomely rewarded. Whereas, businesses with a minimal digital presence will see minimal results.

If you feel your website exceeds status quo and you work on it regularly, then we encourage you to keep up the good fight. However, if your website is not the best amongst your competitors, it’s time to take your digital presence seriously before Google makes you obsolete.

We understand this is a lot of info – Please let us know if we can clarify anything at [email protected]