Exploring Beyond Keywords Into Behavioral Research Written by John Alexander
If you have ever studied search engine optimization, then you'll know that most educators place tremendous importance on performing good keyword research. After all, it's true that we need to optimize our pages for best phrases, or we will never realize our true traffic potential. It's all about trying to attract ideal audience of searchers to our Web site, right? Is that not what most of people do? They build a Web site offering their business services, then they say to themselves "How do I get traffic to my site?" For many Web site owners, their source of traffic is an after-thought.
It's much wiser, to first try and discover what keyword phrases people are searching for on major search engines and then optimize Web content for those specific phrases. However, there are still further regions to explore that go beyond keyword research. Let's call it researching "behavior" of your target audience.
The difference between keyword research and behavioral research is that keyword research keeps us in a rather technical mode and focused on finding out what words people are entering while searching. Behavioral research has added advantage of enlightenment and understanding that not only reveals what keyword phrases are being used, but why those keywords are being used.
Give this some careful thought. What could possibly be more important than getting inside head of your target audience and discovering what they really want? Actually nothing! Once we understand exactly what someone is looking for, we can give them exactly what they want. Think "behavior." Every day, people around world use Internet as a tool for a vast array of purposes. A study of behaviors can carry you much deeper into understanding desires of your target audience and ultimately, an understanding of what kind of useful content to provide for them.
While most people are thinking about what keywords to use, try to expand your scope to focus and discover fullest possible picture of what your customer REALLY wants, what they really are doing, by simply studying their searching behavior on major search engines.
Why make all this fuss about behavior trends anyway? What creates behavioral trends? Think about it this way. If you can discover how a certain target audience is using Internet, then chances are rest of your target audience may be doing exactly same thing. This is not only helpful with respect to ideal keyword phrase selection but also may be helpful to your writing style. How you communicate to a grandmother will have a completely different spin than how you communicate with a sports enthusiast looking for sports scores or a photographer searching for a place to review several different lenses.
Targeted Traffic is More Important than Ever! Written by John Alexander
In early days of web development, business owners had learned very expensive lesson that a Web site with no visitors is of little value. Once business owner learned that methods could be utilized to increase their visibility through search engine optimization, it then became apparent that traffic that really benefited them, was "targeted traffic." It only made sense that if you were selling a solution, person who will buy solution are ones experiencing a problem or challenge. It also became obvious that best products and services to sell online were niche or specialized markets. Large volumes of "general visitors" (general volume traffic) may have looked nice on a statistics report but only truly "targeted visitors" (target traffic) were usually visitors making purchases or doing business at Web site.
While some search engine marketers were simply offering placement for keywords chosen by their client, other SEO's realized value of researching keyword phrases and built strategies that were focused on attracting a specific target market. This is why you would sometimes hear conflicting stories about effectiveness of search engine marketing. People often had their sites optimized for wrong phrases. These might be keyword phrases that attracted no traffic all or perhaps even keywords that attracted high traffic but wrong audience. If targeted traffic was important for success back then, it is absolutely essential that we optimize for targeted traffic now. The reason is that as web continues to age, peoples behaviour appears to be shifting again.
Plan for current shift in online visitor behavior
The early online consumer compared to today's average user was thriving on search engine use most of time. They'd search out one site then search out another site and literally travel all over place half of time, unsure what they were even looking for. Back then people "surfed net" but todays online consumer is not surfing as much. Today's online consumer is becoming educated much more quickly and a whole new trend of online branding is becoming more increasingly important according to a recent survey.
Volume traffic of any importance is decreasing.
A California-based research company (Websidestory) that measures Internet audiences, recently stated on Feb. 6 that "nearly 52 percent of Web surfers arrived at sites by direct navigation and bookmarks, compared with about 46 percent during same period last year." Even compared to just last year, clearly more people KNOW where they want to go and are directly entering web address into browser.