A Dummies Guide To Understanding Page Relevance

pexels-photo-530024-300x200  This is the third in our three-part series on understanding the principles of building page value, and how you can implement a strategy that can draw more traffic to your site, and increase conversions.

Previously, we discussed the importance of understanding and growing your domain authority, and the significant role that outstanding content plays in gaining credibility for your website. Now we will take a look at the concept of page relevance, and how well search engines believe your website pages answer a user’s query.

What Is Page Relevance?

Google defines ‘relevance’ as it relates to website pages by determining how well that page answers a user’s question, or provides information based on the goal of a query.

In the old days, Google would give higher rankings to website pages that included the exact keywords that a user typed as a query.

For example, if a user typed ‘Thai fusion,’ Google would search for that exact phrase in the content of website pages and rank them accordingly.

But Google is a fluid entity that is always changing its algorithms, and the introduction of its Hummingbird update in 2013 changed the equation in a drastic way.

The Hummingbird search algorithm was much more agile in recognizing a user’s intent and triggering results based on what a user meant as opposed to the exact phrase or keyword that a user entered.

This was part of Google’s goal to de-emphasize keywords and focus more on the intent of the words that a user typed.

This was also the result of a move toward encouraging users to enter more ‘conversational’ queries with long-tail keywords instead of just specific keywords.

The Importance of Long-Tail Keywords In Page Relevance

Long-tail keywords refers to four-or-five-word phrases such as ‘monster movies for adults,’ which are more specific than a standard keyword such as ‘movies.’

Long-tail keywords typically generate less traffic, but they generate higher quality traffic because the keywords are very specific, which means that users who land on your website through this type of search are more primed to make a purchase.

And long-tail keywords are more likely to benefit businesses that post in-depth content such as whitepapers, long articles and eBooks.

So does that mean that you have to start forcing long-tail keywords into all your website pages?
No, because that would create copy that was very unnatural, and readers as well as search engines would sniff this a mile away.

But, it does mean that you should be judiciously sprinkling long-tail keywords into your website content.

For example, if you’re a personal injury law firm, using the phrase ‘personal injury lawyer’ in your page content is fine, but using the phrase, ‘slip-and-fall personal injury lawyer’ may be more effective, because by simply adding the ‘slip-and-fall,’ you are more likely to draw the attention of users who are looking for specific sub-categories in their query for legal help.

And there are tools on the market such as Spyfu that can help you hone in on the most popular long-tail keywords in your industry, so that you have know which ones to considering using in your page content.

One thing you shouldn’t worry about is the length of the long-tail keyword, because some are going to be longer than four words. In fact, Neil Patel believes that the longer the keyword, the easier it is for you to rank well for that keyword.

So if you’re an accounting firm, the long-tail keyword, ‘how early can you file your taxes this year?’ is perfectly reasonable, even though it is a whopping nine words.

So how does all this help you build page value?

Because the relevance of your website pages as defined by Google is one of the biggest factors in building credibility for your site.

And by understanding why long-tail keywords play a big factor in the way Google evaluates the relevance of your website pages, you can use them naturally in your content to increase the value of each page on your site.

How To Increase Page Relevance

The question you may be asking at this point is if it’s possible to increase page relevance.

And the answer is yes, and here are some quick tips to help you do that:

  • Understand Your Audience’s Intent – Your audience’s intent when they make a query is to either do something (‘buy a computer’), find out something (‘computer reviews’), or find out how to get to a business (‘computer website’). Research your audience to find out how which of these intentions they are using to make queries, so that you can use your keywords more effectively.
  • Make Sure Your Landing Page Has a Relevant Headline – When users land on one of your website pages, the headline must give them the comfort that the query they entered will be answered by your page. The headline for that page must be brief, powerful and informative.

For example, if a user typed in ‘die-cast steel bits,’ that landing page must have a headline that immediately tells the visitor that they can either buy or find out more about die-cast steel bits on that page.

Patience and Perseverance

Building page value takes a lot of time, a lot of patience, and a willingness to adapt and change your strategy if something isn’t working. But now that you have a working knowledge of important factors such as your domain authority, the quality of the content on every page, and the meaning of relevance as it relates to your website pages, you have the foundation necessary to start building page value, and then maintaining that value for years to come.

To learn more about building page value, or if you need marketing advice, please contact us today for a consultation.

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