User Experience For Search Visitors

I'm thinking about how to provide a better user exprience for visitors of my main site -

I feel like a total newbie to the field, and look forward to learning more about the topic in the near future.

I really would like the site to be in sync with the intent people have when visiting it. Here's my current mental model for what people visiting my site want.

Search Visitors

A lot of my traffic comes from Google search. It's intentional traffic in a sense. Not people browsing a news/links site who want to kill some time, but folks who are researching solutions to a real problem they have.

I can empathize with that. Your Docker image is not building right, and you're looking for solutions to fix it, and get on with your day. Well, at least if your search query is triggered by a direct technical challenge and the challenge is low-level.

There are also people looking for higher-level questions. Ones where you want to build a mental model, without an immediate "thing to fix" in front of you.

For the immediate-fix-searching folks, I think the ideal user experience is finding something that might work, implement it, maybe do a little happy dance because it finally works and get on with the thing they're building.

If those people subscribe or read more articles, this will happen later on. Or they will think "this is a nice article, maybe the site is good and there's more useful stuff, maybe it has an answer for $other_problem I have right now... let's see".

The overview-researching folks have more time on their hands, and are driven by curiosity. They should be more willing to branch out, and search for more helpful resources. Maybe subscribe to a mailing list for the future.

Site-Interested Visitors

At some point, both types of search visitors can become interested in the site itself and feel like exploring more. In one case this happens quicker and is more likely than in the other.

I wonder if there's a way to help immediate-fix searchers find what they're looking for as quickly as possible and let them get on with their day with minimal friction. I feel like any interruption which is not strictly context-specific (one more helpful article which you'll need in the next hour) is doing those users a disservice. Of course, I'm interested in getting them on a list, but that would need to happen gently at best, being respectful of their current solution-searching situation and the thing they want to get done.

Once a visitor is becoming a site-interested visitor however, everything is fair game. Leading them to more interesting articles, offering courses, more elaborate resources to consume, signing up to a list for building a longer-term relationship.

Maybe that's the difference? Aiming for a short-term interaction and expanding it into longer-term interactions when appropriate?

So Much For Now

I wonder where I can learn more about effective site design elements for visitors with different intentions.

Something like a design-pattern showcase would be cool. Maybe annotated with the context of the design decision made.

In any case, I'm sure that I want to be mindful and respectful of people's intentions.

I'll be damned if I ever introduce an intention-interrupting popup modal which might work but gets people out of their original course of action. I think it's a rude and inconsiderate thing to do.

Would it be appropriate to replace some "join the list" CTAs with leads towards less-longterm commitment fixes?