The Theory of Search Relativity
How Much Effort to Put into Web Design and SEO in order to satisfy Searcher’s Task Accomplishment.
While Einstein’s “Theory of General Relativity” revolutionized physics and mankind’s understanding of the Universe, ideas can be borrowed and applied to SEO… Who knew?
Through Einstein, we learned that your position and speed in the Universe influences what you observe. A different person, in a different place, moving at a different speed, would make a different observation. So how does this concept apply to SEO?
In our analogy, Google is the Universe. Consider your website and the search-based rankings that it has amassed. Your ability to capture rankings is relative to the environment that you are competing in. For example, if your website offers a service to a community, and there are no competing websites in your community, then capturing strong keyword rankings would be very easy. You could have a terrible, website, riddled with typos and disorganized navigation, but you still could rank #1. On the other hand, that same website would perform poorly in a highly competitive marketplace. Your ability to capture meaningful search-based rankings is relative to the search environment that you must compete within. If you wish to compete in a small marketplace, you can do well with a mediocre website and mediocre SEO. However, if you’re going to survive in a competitive marketplace, your website must be relatively special.
"Your ability to capture rankings is relative to the environment that you are competing in."
Google wishes to display websites in its search results that are most likely to satisfy a search query. To do this, Google considers the user’s experience or what is now referred as “searcher’s task accomplishment.” Websites that best satisfy the purpose for a search are more inclined to rank better on Google. So, to remain competitive on Google, your website must satisfy the search query better than your competitor’s websites. How this is this accomplished is a very complex process, perhaps as complex as Einstein’s “Theory of General Relativity.”
What does “searcher’s task accomplishment” mean, and how to you accomplish it?
There are hundreds of parts to this equation, for example:
- How fast is your website?
- Does your website look great? When there is competition, appearance means a lot. Ever walk into a dirty grocery store?
- Does your website provide quality content, clearly explaining what you do?
- Is your website mobile-friendly?
- Is your website organized? Can people easily find what they are looking for.
- What do you offer that is better than your competitor? Pricing, testimonials, results, guarantees, etc.
"Don't underestimate your competitors, and understand that achieving greatness across the search engines can be extremely complex..."
These and dozens of other factors combine into one simple question… who’s website best accommodates “searcher’s task accomplishment?” With that in mind, you can start to engineer an SEO strategy that can capture meaningful rankings.
To begin, you need to discover your competitors. Search Google for phrases that your customers would use and see which websites consistently come up at the top of Google’s search results. Then study these websites, as your website will need to be better. Have more content, look sharper, be better organized, make it easier to communicate with your company and other features that make your website better. You don’t have to have the best website in the world, SEO is relative. You only need the best website for the marketplace you serve. But you must be willing to put the time and effort into your website to stand-out, which is a tall order when dealing in a highly competitive marketplace. But in time, your efforts will be rewarded by Google.
Warning: Don’t underestimate your competitors, and understand that achieving greatness across the search engines can be extremely complex, as there are many considerations to take into account. For example, your new web design may have some elements that are not SEO-Friendly. We recommend that you review a related article SEO Friendly Web Design Guidelines to help ensure that your efforts are not in vain.
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