How Do Users Behave with Search Engines?

The average user has a different view of search engines than the average developer. What’s more, their view and how they approach the web differs from the way firms do, too. As your goal is to improve your SEO, you’ll have to get inside the head of your users. The only way to be one of the top results is to use the right SEO techniques. To do so, it’s not enough to know about SEO or to hire a firm who does. No, you must have a deep understanding of how your users operate. This will greatly contribute to their user experience, but also help you reach the top.

1. They Write Phrases

Sometimes, when a user needs something online, they simply type in a certain phrase. The search engine will then spill out all relevant information. This is why keywords are still popular and valid. In the olden days, it used to be enough to pack your article with as much buzz and keywords as possible. Then, a user would type in a common phrase and the article which mentions it the most times would be displayed first.

This led to low-quality and unhelpful sites being first, while valid information was hard to find. Google recognized this, and as technology advanced, practices changed. Today, the phrase the user types will be closely related to the point of the article which is displayed first, not to the buzz words written in it. It’s simple, search engines today are very sophisticated and are able to understand what the users actually need. You can still use keywords, but for different purposes now. They’re usually able to tell you how often the phrase is Googled and how relevant it is to your business.

2. They’re Conservative

No matter how advanced today’s technology and search engines are, people don’t use them. We have to realize that most of the population is used to traditional ways of finding information. This means that users don’t interact with search engines as much as we’d like to think. This is in no way bad news, it just means that we need to be aware of what we’re working with.

As times go on, people are bound to look to search engines more and to use more than one source of information. We might live in a technological world, but not everyone has got the memo. Some research even shows that users only search the web maybe a few times a week. This leads us to the conclusion that our users are still conservative. In other words, if you aim for more website visitors, try to be simple and approachable.  

3. They Ask Questions

Real-life brings a lot of questions. From their work to their personal life, users will turn to the internet for answers. This practice has become so common that we now even have the phrase: “Google it.” It doesn’t matter if their washing machine is broken, their home needs a new paint job, or they’re thinking of starting their own firm. Google will be the lifeline and the answer to all of the questions they have about life.

This is why it’s a good idea to have handy and helpful articles on your website. If you don’t have any valuable content that gives users the information they need, they’ll simply find it somewhere else. Providing them with expert information on your website also builds your authority. If your advice turns out to be helpful and valid, you can count on users coming back for more tips. All of this ranks you as a high-quality site and puts you at the top of the search query.

4. They’re Comfortable with the Internet

As controversial as users may be today, we have to say they’re fairly comfortable with searching the web. There is some sort of unspoken trust between the search engine and the user. This is because the first experience of the internet for most users is usually using a search engine. Because search engines are fairly easy to use, most feel very confident looking for information.

In the beginning, there were some concerns about privacy issues, but users have quickly come to understand that they are not in danger when searching the web using trusted sources. This led them to feel like they’re in charge of their searches. The good news for your website is that the more comfortable your audience is, the more likely they’re to stick with your website.

5. They’re Goal-Oriented

As soon as users enter the website, they’re going to start looking for the information they need. There is no need to read through all the contents of the website nor do they care what it is about. The only thing that matters is that they find the information they are looking for.

This is why it’s a good idea to separate your website into sections. This way, your users will be able to navigate the site easily and freely, thus making them stick around longer and more likely to return.

6. There are Demographic Differences

Our users aren’t all uniform. We’re dealing with a wide range of people here. Men and women use search engines differently, for example. So do the younger and older users. When it comes to gender differences, men tend to have one favourite search engine and are more controversial, while women fiddle with a few engines. Men also tend to search more frequently and value themselves more as users, despite not having more success in finding what they’re looking for.

The same can be said for the difference between younger and older users. Younger users search way more often and use a variety of different sources. This is only natural since they have grown up with the internet and are more informed of its uses and benefits. This information is relevant because you can find out how to operate your website according to your target audience.


As you can see, people are fairly simple. As long as you meet their needs you should be fine when it comes to your SEO. Of course, understanding your average user doesn’t automatically guarantee great results. You also have to implement valid SEO strategies. First and foremost, you need to place importance on the quality of the text that is written. Search engines are getting smarter, and they now display websites according to quality, not the number of keywords.

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