Table of contents:
- The new customer journey paradigm and the Messy Middle
- How to rank on the first page of Google with Semantic Keyword Research
- What results can you get with semantic keyword research?
The New Customer Journey Paradigm And The Messy Middle
“People don’t make decisions in a neat, linear fashion. A lot happens between the moment they realize they have a need or a desire for something and the moment they make a purchase”Rennie and Protheroe – Google’s consumer insights team.
During the time of the coronavirus, the percentage of online purchases has increased to record levels. And while the majority of purchases are still made offline, the media and information influencing those purchases are increasingly online, and the complexity of potential decision paths has increased dramatically.
How do consumers decide what to buy and from whom to buy it? Because of the wide variety and availability of information and products on the web, the user may make several visits before actually buying anything. He goes in and out of different stores, comes back to look a second time, and then a third time to take full advantage of the Internet. That’s the reality of Internet shopping today.
To understand how Internet users interpret and manage the increasing information and choices available for online and offline purchases, Google researchers identified the messy middle, a specific area within the maze of searches, ads, links and clicks that play a role in purchasing.
In this model, between the two poles of trigger and purchase lies an intermediate stage in which consumers move between exploring and evaluating available options until they are ready to buy. This process takes place against the backdrop of exposure, which represents all the buyer’s thoughts, feelings, and perceptions about categories, brands, products, and retailers. The purchase is followed by the experience with the brand and the product, which feeds into the sum of the display. You must learn to navigate this maze to develop an effective marketing strategy to grow your business and outperform your competition.
Messy Middle And Search Intent In SEO
Understanding the messy middle is an essential step in determining an effective marketing strategy. But it’s not enough. In SEO, the goal is to give visibility to content by appearing among the first search results in Google’s SERP. To achieve this, it is first important to know what the user’s search intent is when they are on the path to purchase. Starting with the messy middle, we have analyzed the search intent in each of the phases that make up this new model.
In particular, we found that in the exploration phase, the predominant search intentions are informational and navigational. Namely, the user is looking for information about the “what”, “how”, and “who”. In the evaluation phase, the predominant search intentions are commercial and transactional. In this second part of their journey, the user is getting closer to buying and is therefore looking for information about the “best” and the best offers for that particular product or service.
Based on this analysis, I’ll show you an example of SEO content optimization and explain how you too can use semantic keyword research to create content that ranks better on Google, generating more conversions and therefore sales!
How To Rank On The First Page Of Google With Semantic Keyword Research
In this case, I started with the search query I wanted to cover and for which I wanted my content to appear in Google’s SERP. By analyzing the search intent and the messy middle, I was able to determine the user’s position within the customer journey.
As you can see, we are in the evaluation phase: the user wants to understand what the best solution is for their needs. In this case, that need means he’s looking for the best plug-in for SEO in WooCommerce. So we are in the commercial search intent. This gives me a clear indication of what kind of content I need to create.
To optimize my content in terms of SEO, I performed semantic keyword research. For this I used the SEO Add-on for Google Sheets™ by WordLift. Let us discuss in detail how I used it and what I could do with it for SEO content optimization.
How I used the SEO Add-on by WordLift
SEO Add-on for Google Sheets™ by WordLift is the extension that lets you perform semantic keyword research and create a JSON-LD to help Google understand what your content is about.
In a few simple steps, you can install the extension and analyze the SERP to find out which search queries rank higher on Google. I select the search queries for which I want to rank and run the analysis to see which one ranks better on Google.
Then I went to see the SERP analysis. Here are two important things that the SEO add-on helps me understand and take action to optimize my content.
First, it allows me to identify entities that are already in my vocabulary. In this case, to improve my SEO content optimization, I can insert links from these entities to my content in a way that creates a semantic path for Google to better index my article and thus gain more visibility. It is important that the entities from which I create internal links to my content are relevant and already indexed by the search engine, in order to create a cluster of relevant links around the topic I am talking about and strengthen my topical authority.
On the other hand, it helps me identify new relevant entities that are not yet in my vocabulary. In this case, I can add the entities to the vocabulary, paraphrase the content by adding a mention of these entities, and add the annotation.
What result did I get with semantic keyword analysis and SEO Add-on by WordLift?
My content ranks first in the Google SERP with Top Rich Snippets. This ranking has had a positive impact on conversions: in the weeks following the article’s publication, sales of our WooCommerce plugin increased!
What Results Can You Get With Semantic Keyword Research?
As you have seen, this is an example of entity based SEO. It shows that semantic keyword research and analysis can help us optimize our content, both new content and content we have already published. Here is how you can achieve the following results:
- Optimize content, both new and previously published
- Improve user experience and engagement
- Rank better on Google
- Increase organic traffic to your website
- Increase conversions.
Start performing Semantic Keyword Research with the New SEO Add-on for Google Sheets™
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