CHAPTER 6

How Search Engine Ranking Is Influenced By Usability, Content & User Experience

It is important to bear in mind that search engines go all out to ensure they keep satisfying their users and improving their services. This is why they often provide only the best services to users first. How do they pick the best? These traits are usually considered;

  1. The clarity, ease of use and navigation.
  2. The relevance and precision with search requests.
  3. Ease of access to the modern browsers used by users today.
  4. Quality, authenticity and credibility of content.

You also need to remember that search engines cannot understand texts, images and videos as well as humans can. So you have to code your data into meta information (you don’t have to use meta tags) which search engines rely on to get insight into nature and quality of pages.

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The Impact of Usability and User Experience

On search engine rankings

As earlier mentioned, there are certain factors usually considered by search engines in order to gather information. Remember they are keywords, links and site structure. However, search engines can make assumptions about a site considering the user engagement metrics, user experience, machine learning, and linking patterns. These factors can influence how a search engine perceives a site. If they have positive and growing reports, the search engine could interpret this as a symbol of quality. This style is called “no one likes to link to a crummy site” phenomenon.

As a result of this, you must ensure you create a breath taking user experience, you must make sure your users have the best experience that could compel them to check for more. Not just your content, bookmarking, return visits, inbound links and even simple tricks that compel users to share must guarantee enjoyable user experience.

Signals of Quality Content

1. Engagement Metrics

This tip explains how search engines determine the rate of user’s satisfaction each page is providing. If users click the link to your page which appears the third on SE results lists and hit the back button almost immediately to try the other links, then they are not satisfied with the results they found there. If they stayed long and checked other pages on the site without returning to the next page or took long before they returned to the next page, then they really must be enjoying the page. Search engines can judge the quality and user experience from the total reports and click-through times and rate of each page.

2. Machine Learning

Google changed the method it judged website quality by introducing Panda update to its ranking algorithm. First it introduced humans to evaluate and judge thousands of sites. Many were rated low quality, and Google gradually began to introduce machines which imitate the humans style of evaluation. Over time, these machines began to evaluate using the same criteria humans would use accurately, and they were finally introduced to millions of sites all over the page. The result was a seismic shift that rearranged over 20% of all of Google’s search results.

3. Linking Patterns

The engines also began to use the link structure of the web as a proxy for votes and popularity. Better qualitied sites are considered first than less qualitied ones. Link analysis  algorithm has considerably increased today.

2212All these positive factors are processed into a machine-parseable and algorithmically-valuable collection of links. The source, anchor text, number of links among others are all factored into relevant queries.

Now imagine that site wasn’t so great—let’s say it’s just an ordinary site without anything unique or impressive.

Crafting Content

For search engine success

The truest and most recognized piece of suggestion in the SEO industry is to develop a great and very useful content. It is also advisable to understand the objective of each search engine and conform with it. Some search engines are designed to find, learn, solve, buy, fix, treat, or understand certain search reports. So, you have to craft your content well enough to earn you ranks, suit the searcher’s requests and meet user’s needs.

Keyword Difficulty

What are my chances of success?

In order to know which keywords to target, it’s essential to not only understand the demand for a given term or phrase, but also the work required to achieve high rankings. If big brands take the top 10 results and you’re just starting out on the web, the uphill battle for rankings can take years of effort. This is why it’s essential to understand keyword difficulty.

Search Intent Flavors

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Transactional Searches

This involves meeting and transacting with a local business online or rounding off some tasks.

You don’t usually require a credit card or wire transfer for transactional searches, many activities which have no need of your credit card are taken up in transactional search. This include creating a Gmail account, signing up for a free trial account at Cook’s illustrated, searching for the most luxurious hotels, or best local Mexican Cuisine are all instances.

Navigational Searches

Visiting a pre-determined destination or sourcing a specific URL.

A user Navigates when they hope to surf directly to a specific website most times going through search engines. They sometimes do not know the precise URL of their desired pages, so they often input searches that could likely give the URLs, this is called Navigation Search.

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Informational Searches

Researching non-transactional information, getting quick answers, or ego-searching.

Information search is the most common of searches by users. It includes searches on simple issues like map, direction, local weather to finding out the distance to Mars. They are not usually transactional, instead, such searches are undertaken to gather information on certain issues. Reading and clicking is all that’s needed.

Meeting the demands of any search section (navigation, information, et al) you engage in is up to you, and it is highly recommended that you include images, multimedia et al in creating an ENJOYABLE search experience that satisfied users can attest to in the comments box or by sharing.

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