To succeed in business we need an audience, to obtain an audience we need to advertise, and to keep an audience we must offer a quality product. Both of these factors are determinant in creating empathy with our audiences, as the first leads the consumer to visit our site and the second that he continues visiting our site.
The importance of creating empathy is many times neglected. It’s all about understanding what people want or need from us, and once we realize that, we can start working on ways to deliver it in the most effective way possible.
It’s not just about reaching the users, we also have to devise ways to keep them engaged and interested, and that is only achievable with a quality site, along with lasting and appealing content.
Simple steps to understand how people use search engines
The usage of search engines has changed over the years, but a basic structure remains unchanged. 1. A user needs some information (it can be to buy a product, find a destination, a simple answer, anything), and 2. makes a query on a search engine (writes some words or a question), 3. and the search engine diligently offers results that are browsed and clicked by the user 4. looking for a solution to that original question.
The process might as well end there on step 4, but if the results are not satisfactory the user might 5. go back to the search results looking for a better page or simply to perform a new search, eventually refined.
What are users asking?
One common idea that we will be passing throughout this guide is that sites should be built for users, and not for the search engines. Having this in mind, we also need to realize that people usually make three different types of queries. They mainly ask for 1. Information (where is the restaurant, or when is the concert), 2. Activities (buying a ticket for a show, watching a video), and 3. Navigation (finding a particular web page).
Knowing, even generically, what users are asking is very important for us to prepare answers and the contents and structure of our sites. We should always put ourselves in their shoes when we are building our sites. The next question we should ask ourselves is, are users happy with the answers given by search engines?
Analyzing the numbers
To know if users are happy with the results they obtain from search engines we need to analyze their usage of search engines and to invest in online marketing or Search Engine Optimization.
These might be pretty much equivalent concepts if we think of it. It’s all about user engagement and user fidelity, and this means our business grows with the number of users we have, as they are the reason of the business existence.
So, the time and effort we invest, the resources we invest in SEO are nothing more to retrieve and use data to help us be more efficient in our relation with the users. No surprise that several studies were made to understand the way users search, and also the power SEO has.
Making these studies is nothing more than investing in SEO, and studying and analyzing them is the best way we have collect information that will help us to improve the performance of our site.
Google is leading search engine:
It’s no big surprise to anyone that Google leads the search engines market, but holding 77% of the global market is an entirely different story. All the other search engines have 23%, data from 2017, and should not be ignored, but if we think that in 2016 Google had only 67% of the share market, this just makes us wonder what will be happening next year.
Online Marketing Spending:
If we say that online budget for advertising already accounts for 26% of the overall budget, this pretty much sums up the importance SEO and online marketing have been acquiring in the past years. $77 billion spent in 2016 just reinforces this importance and shows how much we have changed from the yellow pages time.
Usage:Anyone has an idea how many searches are performed daily? So here’s the number, and the dare to spell it instantly, 6,586,012,142. Quite impressive that is between six and seven billion, 13 times more than the average 500 million tweets that are made daily, just to get an idea of the volume.
Computer vs Mobile:
Google has announced years ago that mobile searches have surpassed computers, and this is happening in more than 10 countries that include the USA and Japan. 2016 showed numbers for computers a little over 80 billion searches, while mobile almost hit 120 billion, and the tendency is for mobile to grow even further.
Paid vs Organic:
It might be annoying or not, but the fact is that most of our searches return ads on top, the so-called paid search results. Even if they have a big visibility, they just represent 5% of the traffic on computers, while data relative to mobile is not available just yet. Funny enough, people prefer organic over paid results, meaning they are more likely to click a top result that doesn’t say “Ad”.
The power of information
The conclusion comes as the introduction, online marketers see the internet and online searches as something vital to come closer to the consumers, to reach them, and in this way to build a business.
Generically speaking, everyone that uses the internet uses search engines. It has a growth rate of close to 20% per year, and it’s by far the most popular activity online. This popularity is reflected economically as well, as search engines results today have the power to make and destroy businesses.
SEO is well aware of these facts and works hard to place their sites on the top of the list in order to get more visibility because they know it will get them more traffic, and make them gain the trust from their consumers, and be perceived as more worthy.
Aren’t these reasons enough to keep on learning SEO to help us achieve our goals?