Searcher Task Accomplishment and how you can achieve it
Blogging is an age old proven strategy used by many marketers to drive traffic to their business websites via Search Engines. In early days of blogging, it was possible to earn visibility for your article by repeatedly using keyword phrases spread across the content. Google and other search engines took cognizance of this malpractice and started penalizing websites that produced keyword-stuffed content. They even took it one step further to blacklist many websites and directories that dished out content purely for Search Engines.
Circa 2017, Search Engines want marketers to produce content that is relevant to users. They want users to find information that is relevant to their search query, thus having the users repeatedly come back to use Search Engines. To further this cause, Google has established a “Search Evaluator” program that employs real people who evaluate quality of content across web pages. These page quality ratings become important signals to Google’s algorithm. Moreover, Google search engineers are busy every single day – they make tweaks to their algorithm and roll out 500 to 600 updates every year. That’s more than a single update every day. All of this in a bid to present relevant search results to users.
The point I want to make is that you need to have content on your website that helps consumer’s complete tasks they have set out to accomplish. If you are not producing content that is in line with this principle of “Searcher Task Accomplishment”, Search Engines might not send relevant traffic your way.
Let us take a simple example that explains Searcher Task Accomplishment. Let’s say you are searching for “Home Loans”
This might mean that you are in the market for buying a house. Which means that you would like to know about the application process of securing a home loan and also have a list of companies that are providing home loans for upcoming projects in localities you have interest. For such queries, web pages that provide detailed information on the home loan application process and multiple loan options rank higher. Web pages that help searcher navigate the murky waters of securing a home loan rank higher.
Let’s have one more example to hammer down the concept of Searcher Task Accomplishment. Let’s say you are searching for “Party venues in Mumbai”
Any guesses on which websites will rank higher? Well, if you guessed that pages which list multiple party venues in Mumbai should rank higher, you now have a good understanding of Searcher Task Accomplishment. The above query has a comparative intent i.e. the user is looking for “best party venues in Mumbai city” and hence pages that show venues with all sort of ratings, user reviews, venue information etc. rank higher.
So, how do you nail Searcher Task Accomplishment? How do you create content that is sticky for your consumers and also for Search Engines? Here are two pointers that will help you as a marketer bridge the gap between your consumer’s search queries and the content you create:
- Know why Searchers search
People have problems and need answers. Conduct in-person interviews with your target audience and try to understand their problems. Ask them what they are searching for (on Google). Conduct online / focus group surveys to understand what issues your customers are facing. You will be astonished with the first hand insights you have from conversations.
You can also type in some search queries and see what your competitors are doing. Why are they ranking higher in search results? Are they providing some content on their web pages that you have missed? Take notes from competitor web pages and go one up on their content.
- Understand why Searchers are unsatisfied with your content.
You need to understand why Searchers are not spending more time with your content. Why are they hitting the back button and trying out a different search query? To know this, simply type in the query on Google and look at two aspects – Auto suggest: What Google Suggests as a search query and Related Searches: Those shown all the way at the bottom of your search results.
Auto suggest for “Home Loan..”
Boom. You have your next steps. You need to create content (web page) that has a housing loan EMI calculator, content that provides information on eligibility of home loans and also a list of brands / companies providing home loans (SBI, HDFC etc.). Basically create content clusters around a topic.
The idea of Searcher Task Accomplishment would form a compelling argument on how we should create content and optimize our sites. Let’s get the content engines re-calibrated to Searcher Task Accomplishment. Shall we?