Searching the internet concept
Only quality content is king. The rest is a court jester, distracting the audience but failing miserably to entertain or inform it. The internet features a proliferation of content, but not all of it is relevant to those who find it. Savvy readers have become wise to both irrelevant content and how to deal with it.
We live in a world where people seek instant gratification. Readers are told how many minutes it will likely take them to consume an online article, and when that amount might be too daunting, they’re given a TL;DR. And that’s just for content they’ve already decided they’re interested in! When it’s not, readers, including me, have found ways to filter out irrelevant material. Here are four of them.
1. They Have Become Contradictory Searchers
These days, most internet searchers are loath to scroll through pages of search results to find the most relevant links. That’s why the first page of a Google search captures 71%-92% of clicks of clicks and page two, just 6%.
Yet irrelevant content creates a bit of a Catch-22. Readers who have adapted to not finding what they’re seeking on page one may begin going higher in the page count. As they do, companies sense they have opportunities to create even more content—relevant or not—hoping they’ll be found if readers begin taking a deeper dive.
Businesses can do better. Search engines change algorithms hundreds of times a year to help quality content rise to the top. Businesses need to keep up with algorithm adjustments and focus on creating high-quality content that will land on page one.
Lowered expectations yields a rise in contradictory search behavior. When readers approach a search anticipating irrelevant content, businesses shouldn’t be surprised at this response. If they will make a concerted effort to raise the bar for their content, though, they just might raise their readers’ expectations as well.
2. They Have Learned to Navigate It
If irrelevant content creates a Catch-22, keywords create a chicken-or-egg quandary. Do you use keywords relevant to your product in your content? Or do you create your content based on keywords found using Google’s keyword tool? It’s your target audience that should be driving this decision.
Readers have figured out how keywords affect their search results. One recent analysis of keywords used on Google found that nearly 92% of search terms are long-tail keywords. However, those searches accounted for only slightly more than 3% of search volume.
When that long-tail search yields a multitude of irrelevant results, readers will shorten it trying to get more concentrated ones. Some will use that autocomplete prediction list that pops up under the Google search box. The tool uses information specific to the reader, such as past search history and the language and location of the query.
Businesses should use simpler, more focused keywords and avoid a broad match keyword strategy. Sure, the volume of searches using broad terms is greater, but that just means a higher number of readers are frustrated by the irrelevant content they find. Companies should create higher-quality content that steers readers to finding them on the first page of their query results.
3. They Take Shortcuts
The vast majority of the time, humans will take a shortcut if it’s available. We want what we want, and we want it now. Readers searching for relevant content and not finding it are even more likely to use hacks that shorten the process.
When search results come up, readers may hit “Command (or Control) + F” to highlight their keyword without having to read every result as they scroll down. If they take a site-specific shortcut, such as “site: website name + search term,” only results for that site will appear first. Readers can also use quotation marks around specific words, which means the search finds those specific words in that order first.
It’s obvious that your content will likely be buried in search results when readers take these shortcuts. You can’t blame them for taking them, but you can do something about it.
An intuitive digital marketing strategy should keep a company’s content prioritized. In turn, readers will find the company’s relevant content high in a search, increasing readership and the number of potential customers. That could help them eschew the shortcuts and enjoy a fruitful journey instead.
4. They Are Going Incognito
To avoid the distraction of getting search results based on predictive elements, readers are going incognito on Google. This offers an easy way to prevent the algorithm from offering results based on previous search history. It’s kind of like getting a new identity with every query.
A simple “Ctrl + Shift + N” in Windows is all it takes to stop the browser from storing a reader’s browsing history, cookies and information entered on forms, such as an email address or phone number. So why do people searching for relevant content feel like they have to go dark to do it?
The more often readers find relevant content on page one of their search results, the more likely they are to search overtly. It’s up to businesses to create the relevant content that keeps them out in the open by repeatedly giving them what they want.
To make their content relevant, businesses need to develop content that addresses readers’ concerns, answers their questions, solves their problems and engages them authentically. They also need content strategies that pivot as those concerns, questions and problems change. If your content says, “I see you,” your readers may come out of the shadows.
Search results connected to nothing readers are searching for has motivated them to adapt in a desperate effort to find what they are seeking. Those of us who create content have only ourselves to blame. As a result, only we can fix it by giving readers what they want when they want it. And they want it now.
Source by www.forbes.com