The Psychology of SEO

The Psychology of SEO

April 19, 2021

Before you get into the tactics, you have to understand why you’re doing them to begin with. In this article I'm going to break down the psychology of SEO. As marketers we can appreciate why understanding psychology can bring tremendous results to our bottom line. Because at the end of the day, we’re still humans no matter what new technology we create. Also as marketers, it's our job to understand what people are searching for, how they’re searching for it, and what they expect to see.

Having these answers allows you to connect with your target audience to deliver the solutions they seek. Knowing your audience intent is one side of the coin. Delivering it in a way search engines can discover and understand is the other. This course will teach you how to do both.

Importance of SEO

Imagine not having to spend money to make money. Where most of the leads you get require no up-front costs to get the “front page” exposure you desire. Everyone uses Google first to find the services and products they need. Why not structure your website to give Google what they want to show your website more often?

The question we get all the time is “Why do I have to invest in my website to show up? I can just pay Google to show my ad at the top.” You’re right, you can pay Google 2-3x more than our monthly fee to show up immediately. However, it's a quick and costly fix to your long-term marketing pains: obscurity. It’s been proven that out of all US searchers, only 2.8% of people even click on paid advertisements. Stop wasting your money and focus on building real long-term solutions to your marketing challenges.

SEO is one of the only digital marketing channels, done correctly, that can pay dividends over time. Traffic snowballs when you properly optimize your site. One optimization can give you years of free exposure. Compared to ads which need continuous funding to send traffic to your site.

Stay Independent or Sign to an Atlanta SEO Company?

The choice whether you should do it yourself or hire professionals always depends on your personal situation. If you truly don’t have the time to learn and execute because you’re running the business then it’s best to hire a consultant or agency. However, keep in mind that this will vary greatly in quality. The wrong techniques will do more harm than good.

If you do have the time to learn, I typically recommend doing this yourself. Although there will be some up-front costs you pay if you don’t have the necessary skills needed. For example, if you’re a terrible writer you should probably have someone create content for you then optimize it after. If you don’t know how to code, then the technical optimizations should be handled by a web developer.

Understanding Searcher’s Intent

Focus on developing websites with users' experience in mind. When somebody searches for something, they’re expecting a desired outcome. It could be an answer to a question, a local bar, Drake tickets, etc.. It's your job as an SEO to meet people where they are at and provide solutions effectively based on their expectations. Here are common search intent types:

Research: Searching for information “How many points did Lebron score Game 7 of the 2016 finals?”

Direct: Searching for a specific brand or website. “Nike”

Purchase: Searching to buy. “Puppies for sale”

Basic Principles of SEO

  • Create content based on answering what people are searching for.
  • Build a positive reputation with Google and other search engines by having other websites “talk” about you.
  • Put yourself in the users shoes and consider the type of experience they will have with your website.
  • See your website from Google’s eyes. Understand how crawl bots judge your site.
  • Follow the rules. There is following the search engine guidelines and there is manipulating the algorithm from which these guidelines exist. The Google algorithm is artificially intelligent. It continues to get better. Break these rules and it will eventually ban your website from search altogether.

Things To Avoid

  • Participating in link schemes. Long story short, Back in the early 2000’s, Google wanted to figure out how to determine which website to show in search results. One of the ideas they came up with was to determine how many other websites we’re talking about that particular website. This is what we call backlinking or having your website URL placed on another reputable website. Like a job referral. When this rule was established, people started abusing this rule by creating “link farms”. Which are websites with a whole lotta links. In 2012, Google shut this down with the Penguin update.
  • Automatically generated content
  • Web pages with thin content
  • Buying links can lead to de-indexing (your site being removed or “de-indexed” from search engines.).
  • Slow loading websites
  • URLs with random letters and numbers; use keywords.
  • Duplicate content. Using content from other websites. Google considers it search engine plagiarism and will not rank content they have already seen before.
  • Keyword stuffing. If you overly use keywords on your web page, the Google algorithm will know you’re trying to manipulate it. Think of keywording a web page like seasoning a chicken. More on this later.

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