What Yogi Bear and Boo Boo could teach us about website relevance

mobile search

If there is one thing that Yogi Bear and his side kick Boo Boo are pros at – its sniffing out their next picnic basket heist! Yup, Yogi and Boo Boo are master foragers – once they locate a scent they get on its trail until they encounter the source of deliciousness.

What does this have to do with websites and website relevance you ask? Well, everything. You see people use search engines like Google to find what they are looking for – a digital sniffer of sorts. Just think about your own search behavior: you enter a keyword, results are presented to you and you start clicking. If the first result isn’t exactly what you are looking for you go back to the original results and click on the second entry or maybe an adwords campaign. In many ways this search behavior is akin to Yogi and Boo Boo’s foraging behavior. You see, over time animals have refined their biological algorithms that evaluate feedback from their environment and help them optimize their hunting paths. The key to survival lies in the ability to locate a path where the scent gradually increases.

Well, i’m here to tell you that you can enable this hunting behavior in your marketing by providing the scent trail prospects are looking for. Capturing and maintaining a visitor’s attention by creating a strong information scent trail (otherwise know as website relevance) is one of the key factors that influence how likely a website visitor will stay on your page and not click back to other Google results. It is also one of the major drivers of website conversions. Conversions are when website visitors take meaningful actions, such as buying, registering, calling, etc.

Here is an example:
I did a search for “Create a Will” and was presented with the following results.
mobile search

Only two of the results on the page matched my search. The others were synonymous but since most humans use a pattern matching mind frame instead of a processing mind frame when looking at search results I went straight to the results that matched my search exactly.
TIP: Be aware of synonyms – they can detract from the scent trail.

So I decided to click on the Rudawski Law Adwords ad. Here is where I encountered a disruption in the scent trail. They took me to their homepage where the headline reads “Experienced, reliable attorneys” and there is no mention of creating a will – so its easier for me to click back to the original Google results then try to figure out where on their page I can find the information I’m looking for.

mobile search

Here are some recommendations I have for a company that is paying for ads like this:
1) Take me to a specific landing page that talks about “Creating a will” not the homepage.
2) Add an image of a sample will
3) Concisely explain the process the firm uses to create a will, maybe in three simple steps
4) Give me some social proof – a few testimonials or the number of wills that the firm has written
5) I need a specific call to action; maybe a button that says “Create a will now” or “Get Started creating a will”

Remember if Yogi Bear needed a will he would follow a strong scent trail to find the right firm to help him. If your company is spending money on ads that are for certain keywords it is essential to provide a landing page and information that strongly correlates to those keywords, otherwise your ads will be more costly and less effective.

The point is – relevance matters. So start building strong information scent trails and measure the change in your website’s performance.

by Josh Becerra