Crawling, Fetching, GoogleBots, Sitemaps, Alt Tags, etc, etc! SEO seems to be a game of making search engines find you, getting them to display your website on top so you get more business. SEO is perceived as an online marketing tool that is way too technical because it addresses issues relating to the website’s structure. For all we know, SEO is all about creating and linking to unique, high-quality content for search engines with all the right keywords!
How far is it possible to take a website using SEO? Above the surface, this depends on what strategies you capable of implementing and the techniques you use to “defeat” your competitors on your way to Google’s top but beneath it all, pull back the curtains and you will see, human psychology is behind all the show.
Yes, SEO is psychology. Why do we optimize sites for good content? Why should we use great images on the website? Why do we need a faster page loading speed? All because you want the user to feel inspired and click on to your website and buy your product. Your website is your sales person- the marketer and you (an SEO professional) are behind the show, analyzing the visitor’s mentality- what he needs, why he was turned off from your site and how you can sell him what the company’s got to offer.
Understanding the User Mentality
SEO has a technical side which anyone can learn easily in no time. But the best SEOs look beyond the technicalities of a website. They not only look at the website that’s in front of them, but they also look at them from a visitor’s point of view. They don’t just think about HTML tags and techie stuff relating to the site, they look at the UX (user experience) on the site. They are always figuring about what the customer wants out of the site and they are working on achieving that.
The best SEOs treat a website like a living entity that people want to befriend to, which is why taking a psychological approach is necessary for making the website run smoothly like clockwork.
Besides, how well are you able to probe into the minds of users? Especially if you had to enter a market you never knew? Well, any sort of marketing depends on this approach.
Search engines have their algorithms and rules as they want to serve the purpose of helping users find the best of the right information. We SEOs follow these search engine optimization techniques because we want the traffic to come to our website or blog. The biggest mistake that’s happening to all of us is forgetting what our audience have in their minds. Don’t just make your site or blog blindly according to the Google algorithms and updates without caring about what a user thinks when he/she visits your site. Even Google has emphasized the importance of considering the visitors when building your site. So, SEO needs a psychological approach to it if you think of your target audience in the process.
The parts of SEO that’s influenced by psychological thinking
1.Content Creation & Curation
We all know content marketing has been the most talked about hashtag on twitter these days. Content marketing involves the creation of high-quality content, getting quality links and promoting it on social media.
Users like content that is answering all the questions they have in their minds all in one spot. It’s one way to make the user come back again to your site. Say, you have a page that talks about a product with just brief information like product features in bullet points. Or you have a web page that has got a product information with features, user reviews, and testimonials. Which page is the one you as a visitor would like? Of course, the second page that has got a detailed information with features, other users’ reviews and so on. This is also what people are looking for.
Providing information in a simple and convincing manner works as a boon to forming the right content marketing strategy. As users get convinced by what’s there on your site, it magically reduces bounce rates. They keep returning back to your site as you have made it easy for them to figure out what they want. This tells Google that your page is something that users want and hence, they bring your site rankings up.
2. Communication with your visitors
We all dislike people who appear to have selfish interests and behavior. Psychologically, we close doors at people who try to make us accept their opinions in a feisty and pushy manner. But we love people who are willing to share something great with us. We can never get enough of people who give us something in benefit and motivate us. It’s just the same for your website.
Rather than trying to aggressively sell your product on your site, invite them to buy your offerings by giving them some sort of valuable tip, a buying advice or presenting some great opportunities that a user doesn’t even know about or hasn’t heard of.
3. Engaging Colors and Graphics on your website
As Neil Patel, the world’s most famous content marketer states, “Color is 85% of the reason you purchased a product”. What’s the color scheme you have chosen for your site? Are your color scheme and the site design turning off visitors from your site?
It’s a proven fact that colors send various signals to the brain and trigger various emotions inside you. Choosing colors for your site can be tricky. But it should be appealing and engaging to your traffic. Women are more inclined towards softer and brighter colors like red, green or purple. Men, on the other hand, tend to go for basic colors like black and blue. If you are selling cosmetics and beauty products on your site, you need to use colors that women are likely to go for. It would be a huge mistake to use black and blue for that website!
4. Keywords must be generated based on what your target audience is using
These days, we use the Google Keyword Planner Tool, UberSuggest and the like to do a keyword search and find out the long tail keywords we must be using on our sites. Using such internet marketing tools is commendable as you need to know which are the keywords that could get you a higher ranking in search results.
But are those the keywords that your target audience is typing into a search to find you? Find out more about keywords that potential customers are using rather than relying solely on the above-mentioned tools.
5. Headlines Optimization: Is it catchy and amazing?
The use of power words like weird, incredible, secret, surprising, mysterious, bizarre, essential, strange, outrageous and so on, can make a huge difference to how people perceive your website among search results. The best headline is the one which uses this formula:
Adjective+ Keyword+ Promise = Killer Headline
For example, instead of a headline that says, “How to Start a Website”, consider a great headline like, “5 Quick Ways to Start a Website Easily”. In the second one, the headline not only appears catchy but you are also providing value and benefits in 5 ways. This is how you influence your visitors to click on to your site from the search.
Do you agree with the fact that SEO needs a psychological approach?
As you see above SEO is not just about creating good quality content, building links and getting it found online. That can result in leads but if you want conversions, that depends on studying your visitor’s mind and applying it to almost every element on the website. Do you believe in the fact that SEO is now influenced by psychology? Share it in the comments below.