When it comes to achieving a higher ranking on the SERPs, most SEO professionals and digital marketers focus on targeting the keywords used by the searchers in their search queries.
Well, they do not do anything wrong, as keywords and metas play an essential role in search engine optimization.
But, they miss out on the importance of user behavior analysis in SEO and optimizing their content for user behavior data.
Google prioritizes user experience most, which was clearly evident by their patent in 2015: “Modifying search result ranking based on implicit user feedback and a model of presentation bias.”
Hence, in modern-day SEO scenarios, the user intent behind a keyword plays a more essential role than the keyword itself.
This article will discuss user behavior, its metrics that affect search rankings, and how you can use this understanding in favor of your SEO strategy.
What Is User Behavior?
The series of actions that searchers perform before and after reaching a web page is known as user behavior. It mainly includes the following,
- What search queries do they type?
- What do they click on?
- How do they scroll through the web page?
- How much time do they spend on the web page?
- Where do they leave the page?
User behavior analysis helps website owners understand how searchers interact with their websites, identify the pain points they face after landing, and the USP of their sites that keep users engaged.
How Google Ensures User Experience?
The process starts with crawling. The crawlers, also known as Google bots or Google spiders, crawl trillions of web pages available on the internet.
Then comes the indexing process, during which Google stores all the updated information gathered by the crawling spiders about individual web pages in its database called index.
When the users search for something specific, the following steps take place,
- The user puts a search query in the search engine and hits enter.
- That sends a request to the Google index.
- Google runs a complex algorithm that checks more than 200 ranking factors.
- Then, it returns a list of the most relevant results on the SERP.
The entire process takes less than a second.
But how does Google decide which pages are most relevant before ranking them in SERPs to provide a top-notch user experience?
Freshness of Content
Google prioritizes fresh and updated content that satisfies the searcher’s intent.
Google crawlers identify web pages offering such content by the keywords inserted within the content targeting the user’s query.
Hence, if you want your content to rank higher, you must conduct thorough keyword research using a reliable tool like the RankWatch keyword research tool.
You need to follow a few simple steps mentioned below,
- Log in to your RankWatch account and visit the dashboard.
- Go to keyword research and enter your primary keyword.
- Hit the ‘Search’ Button after selecting the location.
- The tool will show the entire list of keyword suggestions along with their search volume, competition, and CPC.
- RankWatch also suggests keyword-based questions that most users type during their searches. Using those suggestions can significantly increase your SERP rankings.
However, never stuff your content with keywords. That can do more harm than good, crawlers may consider your content spammy.
It is safe to maintain the keyword density within the permissible limit of 2%.
Google gives immense importance to the relevancy of the content while ranking pages on the SERP.
The primary relevancy signal for Google is to check if the content contains the exact keywords used by the searcher in the query term.
Beyond keywords, Google also collects interaction data to ensure the relevancy of search results to search queries.
Google ensures the web pages that rank on SERP must offer the highest quality content to satisfy users’ queries.
Hence, inserting targeted keywords in your content is not sufficient to rank higher.
You must ensure that your content is of high quality and provides valuable information to the searchers.
It will be of great help if you put yourself in searchers’ shoes while writing your content. Then, you will understand users’ intents and expectations while they perform a search.
No matter how creative your content writers are, you must check the quality of your content using a reliable tool.
Here comes the SEO IQ feature of RankWatch. The tool provides an SEO IQ score after analyzing your content.
The feature also offers improvement ideas for your content in detail.
You can get suggestions on keyword usage by clicking the content recommendations tab. It also measures the relevancy of the keywords to the context of your content.
You can find the optimization status of your web page content by clicking on the ‘Content Editor’ tab. The tool also provides you with keywords for better optimization.
Clicking on the ‘Questions’ tab of the content editor will provide you with the most popular search queries often used by searchers. Using them as FAQs or headings in your web page content will definitely enhance your SEO.
What Are The User Behaviour Metrics That Can Affect Rankings?
Google uses the following key user behavior metrics to collect user behavior data from websites.
These metrics play an essential role in your SEO and can affect your SERP rankings.
When searchers can view your web page link appearing on the SERPs, it is called an impression.
However, that does not ensure searchers will click on your web page link as well.
Click-through rate (CTR) is a user behavior metric that measures the number of impressions converted into clicks.
For example, if your web page creates 1000 impressions but only receives 1 click, then the CTR is 0.1%.
A low CTR indicates search engine bots that most searchers did not find your web page link relevant enough to click on it. That can significantly decrease your SERP rankings.
Hence, tracking your CTR using a reliable tool like RankWatch Console is essential.
The tool provides you the total number of impressions, clicks, and CTR in the blink of an eye.
The navigation path describes the entire journey of the searcher to your web page, starting from typing the search query, entering your web page, time spent on the web page, and exiting the page.
Search engines track navigation paths to collect user behavior data and perform search behavior analysis.
If the user behavior data shows that searchers enter your web page and leave it almost immediately, it not only boosts your bounce rate but also sends an impression to search engines that your web page content is not worth ranking.
On the other hand, if searchers spend a healthy amount of time navigating from one web page to another, it not only boosts the average session time but also indicates to search engines that searchers find your content relevant and valuable.
You can track your navigation summary report by using your Google Analytics account.
You can also utilize the ‘Analytics’ feature of the RankWatch tool to get more navigation details by using the ‘Add Analytics’ option.
Position on SERP
After creating valuable content, compelling metas, rich anchor texts, and engaging static URLs, one can expect an attractive amount of organic traffic and clicks.
But, user behavior is complex and often influenced by biases like the position of your web page on the SERP.
For example, suppose your top-notch and well-optimized content ranks at position 8 on the SERP, and other comparatively mediocre content ranks at position 3. In that case, the latter will get more traffic and clicks.
If you can improve your CTR, you can automatically improve your SERP rankings.
Compelling Meta Titles
Searchers first see the title of your landing page in SERPs.
Hence, writing a compelling and punchy heading with targeted keywords is your first chance to hook them.
You should include the keywords in the initial part of your title to rank your page better.
RankWatch SEO IQ provides you with the details of the usage of exact keywords in your title and also suggests if it requires any further improvements.
As Google pays immense attention and importance to user experience, creating and designing your content for human searchers and not for search bots has become more essential.
Hence, performing a user behavior analysis and optimizing content per user behavior is essential for enhancing your SEO.
You must generate fresh, updated, high-quality content targeting the right keywords that users find relevant, valuable, and satisfying.
You also need to track and improve your CTR, ensure higher user engagement, improve your SERP position, and create an enticing meta title for your web page to game the user behavior in favor of your SEO.