by Russ Ward (@russcward)
Some people think in abstract terms. You know the famous art work by Dali and countless others. Like that.
Fortunately for the search engines and web professionals very few people think this way when it comes to searching for information on the web.
Imagine having to accommodate a infinite number of distortions to a particular concept that could meet the expectations or billions of different people.
Of course this would be a crazy way to think – right!
OK. If this is a no brainer then why are we so lax and open about how we serve up information based on search today?
Recently I demonstrated a small example of this by identifying three different toilets. The idea is that if we present search results that have little to no logical “match” with the “cognitive construct” of the searcher then, the chance of a higher bounce rate becomes significantly greater.
If we take the “What you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) concept and transform it into SEO applications it should be “What you Imagine Is What You See” (WYIIWYS).
If you imagine a search term and run it as a Google Search you expect to see a specific group of words or images in the results. If you are good at SEO, you will create keyword groups that fit closely to the concept.
Recently, in conducting a search using the key phrase “treatment of knee injury” I found I arrived at this top-ranking page. However when I looked at it my initial response was “this is not what I’m looking for!”
In deliberately looking for examples of cognitive construct mis-matches I explored further to find that the keyword terms (key phrase) was in the associated article on this page but the title and images did not fit my expectations.
In this case there is an X-ray of what appears to be a human knee and a headline that states “4 Rides for What Ails You”. Though the knee x-ray is sort of relevant, the title and terms in the subtitle are not a fit at all – I would have definitely bounced away.
A closer match is more likely to keep my attention – for example:
Here we can see the actual headline has a direct relationship to my search phrase, and a sub-heading that extends the construct. Further, some of the images on the right also match my search, with images and text that fit my construct.
OK. So what!?
SEO needs to be driven by SEO keyword research and natural search terms used by the audience. The implementation on the page not only needs to be managed by the proper HTML coding of the keyword terms and images, etc… but the editorial team need to understand how search, words and images, impact the users arrival and the bounce rate.
I suggest to folks to follow these few simple steps:
- Provide basic SEO 101 training for these editorial people so they are able to identify the best approach to optimization
- Do your keyword research in conjunction with whoever is creating your content copy and image selection.
- Discuss the content need and the objective of placing such content on the page and write a summary of the general cognitive construct.
- If need be – ask some office peers for their perceptions of the words and images that come to mind.
- Create the keyword list that is most relevant to the content – first.
- Choose images that have the closest fit to the construct.
- Write the article with the chosen keywords and images once the construct is identified.
Keep in mind – the goal should be WYIIWYS – “What You Imagine Is What You See” or phonetically “Why I Wise”