Google has made such a signifcant number of advances in the last 5 to 10 years that searcher sastifaction is now a huge part of how you can be successful in SEO. I’ll explaing what I mean. Let’s say our friend Arlen here is thinking about going on vacation to Italy. So she goes to Google. She types in “best places to visit in Italy” and she gets a list of results. Now Google shorts those results in a number of ways, they sort them by the most authoritave, the most comprehensive. They use links and link data in a lot of different ways to try and get at that. They use historical perfomance data about which sites have done well for searchers in the past. All of these things sort of feed into searcher satisfaction. So when Arlen performs this query, she has a bunch of questions in her head, things like I want a list of popular Italian vacation destinations, and I want some comparison of those locations. Etc. But when you as a content creator and as a search engine optimization profesional, are creating and crafting content and trying to optimize that content so that it perfoms welll in Google’s results, you need to be considering what are all of these questions. This is why searcher empathy, customer empathy, being able to get inside Arlen’s head or your customer’s head and say, “What does she want? What is she looking for?” is one of the most powerful ways to craft content that performs better than your competition in search engines, because in turns out a lot of people don’t do this.
My priorities are answer the searcher’s primary questions comprenhensively and authoritatively. If I can do that, I am in good shape. I’m ahead of a lot of the pack. Second, I want to provide a great user experience. That means easy to use, fast loading, well -designed, that’s a pleasure to interact with. I want the experience of a visitor, a searcher who lands on this page to be, “Wow, this is much better than the typical experience that I get when I land on a lot of other sites.” Priority three, I want to solve the searches’s next task and questions with either content on my own site or tolos and resources or links or the ability to do them right here so that they don’t have to go back to Google and do other things or visit other websites to try and accomplish the tasks, like figuring out a good hotel or figuring out the weather forecast. A lot of sites don’t do this comprehensively today, which is why it’s an advantage if you do. Priority four is consider some creative elements, maybe interactive tolos or an interective map or sorting and filtering options that could give you a long-term, competitive advantage, something that’s difficult for other people who want to rank for this search term to build. Maybe that’s the data that you get. Maybe it’s the editorial content. Maybe it’s your photographs. Maybe it’s your tolos and interactive elements.
One of the biggest goals of searcher satisfaction is to make sure that this sceanario does not happen to you. You do not want to give searchers a reason to click that back button and choose someone else. The search engine literatura calls this “Pogo sticking”. Basically, if i do a search for “best places to visit in Italy” and I click on let’s sat U.S News & World Reports and I find that page doesn’t do a great job answering my query, or it does a fine job, but it’s got a bunch of annoying popovers and it has all these things that it’s trying to sell me, and so I click the back button and I choose a different result from Touropia or Earth trackers. Over time, Google will figure out that U.S News & World Reports is not doing a good job of answering the searcher’s query, of providing a satisfactory experience, and they will push them down in the results and they will push these other ones, that are doing a good job, up in the results. You want to be the result thet satisfies a searcher, that gets into their head and answers their questions and helps them solve their task, and that will give you an advantage over time in Google’s rankings.