When you have a question, say you want to learn something, buy a product or service or discover something new, chances are you will ask a friend, use a search engine or both. Your ‘task’ as a searcher is to find the right answer.
Keywords, entities and topics
Search engines care deeply about helping users complete the task they have in mind when searching. They currently rely on the keywords we use when searching to find the most relevant and timely answers to our questions.
Once you have an answer, it may spur you to do additional searches. These ‘chained searches’, one search after another, helps build a picture of the topics, contexts and entities which are related to the search task the user has.
Future search results the search engine delivers use this understanding of topics and entities to provide a better contextual match. This approach, more about the ‘topics’ and ‘entities’ rather than the keywords, shorten the number of searches a user needs to make to get to a successful answer.
Search engines better understand the intent of a search too. Your search history gives more clues about the goal of your task and of your ‘mental model’, more on this below.
Psychology drives SEO success
Cognitive scientist, Don Norman, wrote about the centrality of understanding the user’s mental model before designing products. Content experiences are our products, and keyword research is central to creating content which meets the needs of users.
Some questions require quick answers, like ‘When is the next Bank holiday?’ Other questions may have many different perspectives or require further detailed insight to answer to move your knowledge gathering along. Not all people need the same level of detail. The design and structure of the content are as important as the answers.
Creating a page of content or a video with the answer is relatively easy; delivering the right content experience to match the user’s ‘mental model’ requires a process.
This process will consider the content types, the questions and subsequent journeys a user may make as a result of the initial query. This degree of thought helps to provide the users of your website with the best answers.
Using topics to delight users
Keyword research helps us to deliver a keyword optimisation strategy which uncovers the key topics and entities, clustering the keywords and the intents of those keywords. Research depth stands the test of time, keeps the focus on the needs of your users and of your business.
We analyse the search results appearing in each topic cluster to outline content optimisations, which if made today, would deliver reliable results.
Understanding user needs is the goal
The investigation of user needs begins with thorough keyword research. echwa has in-depth experience finding the different keywords people use when searching in various tasks, modes and intents. Our process is straight forward. You complete a simple keyword research briefing form, and we deliver results on time, every time.
Investing in research develops insights to understand best the language, words and needs of the people you wish to attract via SEO. These fundamentals are as good as money in the bank and the second cornerstone of excellent SEO optimisation. The first cornerstone is a technical SEO audit.
Not all keywords we identify from keyword research will be right for your business. It is essential to discover these keywords, and we discuss the investigation with you to refine and create a modified version of the keyword research for the addressable market opportunity.
Contact us today to discuss your needs.
I’m Damien Anderson, the founder of echwa. My goal is to help website owners get the best out of their search optimisation, and help grow their businesses.