SEO In the Age of Context
In 2013, technology writers and futurist thinkers Robert Scoble and Shel Israel wrote an influential book titled The Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data, and the Future of Privacy.
This book examined five new forces that were shaping the era we now live in: mobile devices; social media; the arrival of big data; and the rise of sensor and location-based technologies. These movements have influenced life as we know it: urban living, transport, healthcare; they drive what we know today as the Internet of Things (IoT).
Digital marketing – including SEO, especially SEO – thrives in this Age of Context.
How? Search engine optimization is about audience; it’s about intent; and it’s about experience.
All of these create context for web page visitors and customers who interact with your brand.
Audience Information Is Driven by Data
SEO audience information is gathered from analytics. When you visit your Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts, what do you look for? The keywords people use to find you and services, as well as the behavior around these searches.
A story about your audiences can be built around this information.
- What terms did they use?
- Where do these visitors come from?
- What time of day do they visit?
- Do they come back often?
- What pages have they visited and seem to come back to?
This kind of user history information about your audience and their behavior can help you put together an SEO strategy that works for you.
When clients ask agencies how to create an SEO strategy for them, you can back to their website and perform an SEO audit. Understanding this data helps you craft a custom SEO services plan that matches a brand and their target market.
SEO Is Also About Intent
You can also figure out user intent from the type of search data you’ve gathered. Review search info from sources such as Google Search Console. You’ll find you can categorize most of the searches according to these types of intent:
Informational (or educational) intent – Your reader wants to learn more about a certain topic, product or service. They’re educating themselves about it using your information.
Promotional intent – Has a website user landed on your pages searching for sales, promos, discount codes, or other offers? They’re exploring the possibility of buying, or maybe comparing you to other companies.
Transactional intent – Is someone searching for your business address, or the address of one of your shops? Are they looking for prices? If you see this type of search intent, they want to visit your store and look at products or speak to someone in charge and look into buying something already.
From an SEO standpoint, the action point is pretty clear: you have to provide the information reflected by search intent. If the information you have didn’t attract the original customer who made the search, it might capture the interest of future customers like them. You simply have to provide the most useful and appealing information to win their clicks.
A customized SEO plan helps shape your content marketing, so that your content is just as good as – but ideally better than – your competitors’. Quality content helps with discoverability (being found), and rankability (how well your content ranks on Google Search compared to other sources). Both are extremely important for your brand’s visibility.
However, to be of most value to your customer, the content you produce must meet their search intent. Well-written content that does not match their needs is of no use of them.
Capitalize on Page Experience
There are other ways to personalize your approach toward potential customers. We’ve talked about user history, location information, and user intent. What else creates helps context for visitors interacting with your brand?
Here’s one: page (or website) experience.
How does page experience – which then translates to user experience (UX) – on your website stack up? Does it create a good impression?
User experience is more important than ever. Google’s Page Experience Update of June 2021 has five main “ranking factors” or “signals” that influence page rankings, which are:
- Mobile Friendliness
- Safe Browsing
- HTTPS security certification
- No Intrusive Interstitials
- Core Web Vitals
You have to score well on each of these five criteria to give a good page experience, according to Google. This means that users who visit your website have to have a good experience on the page the visit, as well as your website overall.
Advanced SEO planning with web design support can take care of this.
SEO is All About Consumer Context
Here are three points to remember.
Consumer-driven digital marketing strategy is about customization and personalization – which is at the core of SEO. Mass personalization with intent creates a connection between your brand or service and your buyer persona.
In turn, audience information gathered from analytics improves your understanding of your buyer personas or target markets. It can even help you find new, untapped segments.
Good page experience is now essential for brand visibility on Google Search. It also forms part of the context you’re building around your customer.
Improve your digital marketing plan with a stronger, context-based SEO strategy. Talk to us today. We’ll help you audit your website and recommend improvements to web performance to help you secure the rankings you need.