Google ranking factors are very similar to offline buy factors. If we use a shopping mall as an example we can equate each optimized SEO foundation with a real-world shopping experience.
Keyword research and implementation – If a customer is interested in buying an iPhone at a shopping mall and the first shop they see sells iPhones and this is indicated in the store’s signage or name, there is a high probability they will make a purchase at that store. We can relate this to keyword research and implementation – Understanding the potential customer needs (keyword research) and indicating this in the title and description.
User experience design (UX, UXD, UED or XD) – If a customer walks into a store to buy an iPhone and has trouble locating the product or trouble purchasing, we can relate this to user experience design (UX). Setting up the website user experience optimally so that the user can easily navigate to the products and then purchase means Google will rank that website higher. The signals that indicate to Google that a website has an optimal UX are:
- Low bounce rates – If a customer leaves a brick a mortar store immediately without purchasing we consider this a high bounce rate.
- Multiple page navigation – If the customer remains in the store and looks at multiple products.
Website page speed – If a customer enters a shop and has to wait to purchase the product, there’s a good chance they will leave the store and find another store where they won’t have to wait. We can relate this to Website Page speed. If a user has to wait for a page to load, generally they will exit the page and find another site which loads faster so they can buy the product or services.
Backlinks or citations – If a customer reads a positive review in a trusted newspaper or listing in a classifieds section with the store name, address, and phone number (NAP), the customer will likely visit that location to purchase their item. This relates to backlinks and citation – each listing or backlink provides the website with trust authority and Google will rank a website with high authority higher.
Latent semantic indexing – If a customer enters a shop to purchase an iPhone and the store doesn’t sell related items, such as headphones and cases, this will be poor user experience. We can relate this to latent semantic indexing – populating the website content with related items to enhance the user experience.