OK, that might not be how that saying goes but, unlike the real world where intent and outcome are often very different, in the world of search and in building an excellent website, understanding intent is critical to getting it right.
If, for example, someone searches for “eagles”, Google has to try to determine the intention of the searcher. Are they looking for the football team? Are they looking to place a bet on the team? Have they seen an eagle flying around their neighborhood and are trying to identify it? Are they a student writing an essay on an endangered species? All of these could be the intent of the searcher.
So what does Google do? Well, in this week before football’s biggest game, they serve lots of results around the Philadelphia Eagles. But they also provide other options in case you were searching for “eagles birds” or perhaps the rock band, or the Colorado hockey team (an affiliate of the Avs).
You should think of your website in the same way. When someone gets to your site, what is their intent? Are they trying to find out how to contact you (don’t make it difficult)? Perhaps they were referred to you by a friend or colleague. Is it clear from the outset what you do and what services you offer?
Taking that a step further, lets remember that not everyone comes “through the front door” of your website (the landing page). If someone clicks on a Google search result to get to your site, they may very well have come in through a “side door” to a page within your site. In that case, in addition to providing the information the person wanted, you should have enticements to dig deeper, learn more, engage in the site.
This part becomes more complicated. If the page they landed on gave them the information they wanted, they may be done. But most of us want the visitor to stay on the site, to find it so engaging they just stay and keep clicking – or better yet to call / fill out a form / buy. For this part you need to think more about what all users may want when they come to your site.
And not everyone, unfortunately, comes to your site looking for what you are offering. But that doesn’t mean they might not stick around. What can you do to further engage them? Here are a few things you may want to consider:
- Video – a short video that captures the visitor’s attention even before clicking on play
- Testimonial – written or video is captivating because it is someone else sharing their experience with you / your company
- A button that has some kind of unique offer – that will take them to another page and provide more information
Not sure what might be right for your site? We’d be happy to have a conversation with you. Give us a call