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6 Situations Where Psychology Influences Search Behaviors

Hassaan Khan
6 Situations Where Psychology Influences Search Behaviors

What do customers want?

A consumer wants to be satisfied. He wants to spend money and get a good return on his investment.

All the pressure underneath the excitement of buying new things and making purchases comes together on the keyboard while making queries on the SERPss and finding reviews through countless sources.

We want clues. We want signs of satisfaction. We look for a thumbs-up.

Most of us don’t want to go crazy researching for any one purchase — hence, most of our purchases are influenced by our own past experiences, eye-witness examples or recommendations.

To understand the consumer’s mind and its influence on search behavior, I thought I'd explore some situations that reveal the connection of psychology and search behaviors.

We focus on social interaction, communication, content strategy and customer satisfaction to develop authority of our brand. So knowing exactly what people might want or demand will help trigger some ways to perform better in the search engines.

Below you'll find my list of examples.

6 Situations Where Psychology Influences Search Behaviors

1) In the Hour of Need

When you need something, you probably head over to your favorite search engine.

To understand the psychological influence, we need to understand behaviors and perceptions of audience and customers. Misspelled keywords, solution-oriented long search terms and exact-match results are the things marketers might be interested in.


While searching for "high quality web hosting," I found lifehacker.com’s link on top rather than any web hosting service’s website. (Of course, sponsored ads were right on top above the search results and it clearly states "ads" with a yellow-button.)


Imagine you’re using a web hosting service — your emails aren’t working properly, you’ve got issues with your website downtime and quality, etc. Well, the websites in the top 3 already knew this; they emphasized the psychological reaction and behavior, and did their homework for how to provide some content on high-quality web hosting. And now they’re enjoying the results.

2) In the Panic Situation

People search for what they need. They want solutions, so they look for them.

Copyscape might be the most popular plagiarism checker tool, but Siteliner and Plagspotter beat its competitor Copyscape against a certain keyword.

copyscape-keyword Whenever you look for certain behaviors of the searcher, you can reach them through the search engine … this is why the understanding of psychology matters in SEO. You win when you successfully publish what people might be looking for.

3) In the Curiosity

People want answers.

Brands and companies want to help consumers with their products/services. Customers follow advertisements, social media updates and advertisements because companies and brands create a hook to reel them.

When searching for something on Google, have you ever had something catch your eye? It wasn't what you were looking for, but you wanted to check it out anyway? It's not relevant to you, but it's interesting, and you just couldn’t walk away.

This type of curiosity is very much necessary for social media engagement. Take a look at these tweets:


Twitter followers of this account might want to check out this link after seeing this tweet. People in insurance or looking for life insurance advice on Twitter might be attracted to it as well (if they find it).


Similarly, this tweet from Microsoft’s Azure official account on Cloud Data might attract Azure users, followers and data science geeks because this tweet starts with a "Free Webinar!" announcement.

4) During the Pre-purchase Period

If you find out what a prospect might be thinking before the purchase or even while on the hunt for the product to find — you’ll be closer to him.

Content marketing is one of the best ways to attract readers and customers globally or for a specific territory. Use that channel. Share the solution you have in your backpack.

Smart content marketers write content that helps. Smart content strategies demand or create content that fulfill the demand of the targeted searchers. Understanding the mindset and requirements of the searchers are important elements of reaching the customers.

I tested a search term "Payperpost Reviews" to find reviews about PayPerPost. Besides the search results, I found related searches, and Google showed me relevant searches which people tried earlier. Obviously, it looks like people wanted to know about the legitimacy or authenticity of the site.


5) Word of Mouth

People value what they hear from loved ones or friends. Trust matters. When a consumer listens to positive reviews of any brand or product from a friend he wants to try someday, he'll recall the friend’s opinion when making that kind of purchase.

In search business, marketers need to understand this behavior. Content with testimonials and quotes from people or friends doesn’t just increase the output, it also adds value to that content. When a variety of things will be discussed and more references will be taken into consideration, there are more chances that content performs better in the search engines.

For example, say you created a review of a certain product and you want to make it SEO-optimized with certain keywords. You know another colleague of yours who has used this product; you should ask him about the review of that product, take his words, and quote him in your review article. Try to link to his blog or website and social media profiles, and ask him to share with his friends.

6) Social Recommendation

People either agree or disagree on this, but I believe in social recommendations. People really value advice and recommendations from influencers on social media. Creating a buzz might not suddenly result with click-through or immediate visitors, but it’s a process.

In marketing, it’s called "positioning" — brands continue to market their products or services to make sure that their brand names get idealized and saved in the minds of prospects. It’s a process of recognition development.

Have you seen continuous TV commercials of betting websites during breaks of a live sporting event? It’s because they want you to remember the betting site’s brand. At the end of the day, you might not do any betting, but you will definitely know the betting site’s name.

So, image (perception) matters.

BuzzSumo is one of the most popular online tools for content marketers, SEOs and bloggers to find out the popularity of a specific type of content on social media websites like Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and more.

If people come to know about a company’s scam on social media, it would have a direct influence on their searches. Suppose the company's name is ABC Chemicals Pvt. Ltd. People might try these searches:

ABC Chemicals Pvt. Ltd Scams Is ABC Chemicals Pvt. Ltd Scam real? ABC Chemicals Scam real or not? ABC Chemicals Reviews

Your Part

It’s your turn now. What do you think about the psychological influence of content creation on search behaviors and, ultimately, SEO? Did you try to find keywords that were less competitive in your industry? Will this article influence your next content marketing strategies to understand the search behaviors of people? Let me know in the comments!

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Hassaan Khan is a blogger, freelance writer, and a personal branding enthusiast. He works with brands and helps them create useful content for their blogs. He writes his personal blog and provides freelance writing service. Follow him on Twitter.
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Hello, Very informative, keep it up !!
Hassaan Khan
lutfar rahman
Thanks, dear!
Yes great post to understand how to play with client brains. hmmm very informative and change seo plan 2015
thanks for sharing
Hassaan Khan
Thanks Amir, for stopping by and reading this article.
Kathleen Garvin
(Reposted without link) Poweredby247:

An instructive post. People to really know who they want to reach and why or else, they'll have no way to know what they're trying to achieve. People need to hear this and have it drilled in their brains..
Thanks for sharing this great article.
Hassaan Khan
Thanks Fawad!

I'm pretty much sure that this article is going to help you. We don't know how exactly and from where something gives us some clue to make things better... All we have to do is keep digging...
I just read this whole, first i scroll the whole page but when i see some of the images that teas me, i have to read the whole content, It's such a useful post at the start of 2015 I know it is going to be helpful reading for this year.