The terms user, occupant, user or Internet user designate a person who makes use of the services of the computer and the Internet. However, the term user can have several meanings: On the one hand, it can generally describe a person who uses the Internet – i.e. surfs – or uses a user account on websites. On the other hand, the term user can refer to a person who is a member of a social network or a specific Internet community. There are also gradual differences in the use of web applications and software:
We speak of a power user when they have above-average knowledge in the area of the application – due to a long period of use. On the other hand, there is the concept of the DAU, the dumbest user to be assumed. He has little or no knowledge of the technology he is using. When developing software and web applications, the DAU is often used as a starting point in order to increase user-friendliness, especially for users with little knowledge.
Various terms are associated with the user, which refers to what the user does with a web application or how he uses it. Usability, user-friendliness and user experience are on the one hand terms that want to describe user behavior in some way. On the other hand, usability or user-friendliness is often used to specify the requirements of a web presence or application, while user experience refers more to the subjective feeling of a user. On the other hand, a high level of usability is an ideal that must be fulfilled so that the user is satisfied with the application or website and also so that the website or application can achieve its previously defined goals. If an application was designed for the user from the outset, it is also referred to as user-centred design: the user is the focus, and every concept for the most diverse web applications must be based on him.
Various KPIs are used to analyze user behaviour with regard to websites, which together provide an overview of user behaviour. However, these KPIs are only a quantitative view. If a web application wants to be user-centric, the architecture must be based on the real needs of the user to a certain extent. Concept designers, programmers and SEOs need some empathy and common sense.
Important KPIs are:
- Page views of individual visitors (Engl. Visitor, recently at Google: User!)
- Click paths: The user’s path through HTML documents
- Bounce Rates: When the user leaves a website or clicks back
- Dwell Time : How long they stay on a website
- Click-Through Rate: Ratio of page views to clicks
- Scrolling behaviour: Does the user also look at what is not ‘above the fold’ ?
- What kind of query? Informative, Transactional, Navigational
- What could be the intention of the user? What does he want, what does he expect?
The importance of the user for SEO
The intention of the user is an important ranking factor in the field of SEO. The behaviour and interests of a user play a major role in listing in search engine results. Search engines like Google try to adapt the results of search history to the wishes of the user. Google gets insights into this by changing the places in search history and observing the effects on user behaviour. If a website is not clicked on or only rarely, although it is sometimes in first or second place, this is rated negatively by Google – the page then appears to be irrelevant to the user. It can also result in this website being removed from the top 10 rankings and slipping down the rankings. The click-through rate in the search results is consequently reduced. The behaviour of the user is mainly found by clicking on the back button and selecting another search result because this is used to specifically consider that the website was of no use to the user due to the quick exit.
But that’s not always the case. When a user is looking for a quick answer to a short question, they will leave a website after finding their answer. The bounce rate can also mean something positive. Search engines like Google are currently starting to pay less attention to the keywords with which the user landed on a website. Instead, user behaviour or user experience is the focus of attention.
The search engine Google tries to show the user personally preferred search results as much as possible. The Search Plus Your World feature also serves this purpose, which, together with the Hummingbird update and other changes such as the Knowledge Graph, represents an expression of the focus on the user.
In order to analyze and understand the behaviour of potential customers, not only factors from web analysis and marketing can be used, but also concepts such as social proof and insights from psychology.