Maslow’s pyramid and SEO: the theory of needs applied to site content

Tempo di lettura : 3 minuti

Maslow’s pyramid is one of the most famous theories in the field of communication: originally conceived in psychology to refer to the essential needs of each individual, The structure designed by the American psychologist can be applied to digital marketing and provides basic guidance for SEO, especially when we talk about search intent.

What is Maslow’s pyramid

It was 1954 when Abraham Maslow published “Motivation and personality“, a volume destined to assert itself in the field of humanistic psychology: it is here that the pyramid of needs is explained, a theoretical model of the hierarchy of motivations of human development.
I bisogni di MaslowAccording to the American psychologist, needs and motivations have the same meaning and are classified in degrees ordered according to a precise hierarchical scale – so much so that the expression hierarchy of needs is also used.

The hierarchy of needs according to Maslow

At the base of Maslow’s pyramid are the primary and physiological needs, essential for the survival of the individual, and going up to the top you reach the highest motivations and intangible needs (psychological and spiritual)which allow the full realization of one’s human potential, a process defined as self-actualization.

Maslow’s pyramid, the five levels of needs

To be precise, it starts as said by the basic and fundamental needs such as eating, sleeping or drinking: when they are not satisfied, the very survival of the person is at risk. At the second level we find the safety needs, related to health, work, family, property and social skills, while the next step is that of social needs, or relationships with others that allow the individual to be and feel integrated in a community, to have a membership.

From basic motivations to self-actualization

With the following points we get closer to the point of the graph: it is not enough to enter into a simple relationship with other people, because the mature individual also needs external esteem and appreciation. The need for esteem is also linked to the perception of self and self-esteem, which pushes to continuous improvement to satisfy themselves and others and feel better.

On the top of Maslow’s pyramid there are the needs of self-realization, which are the rarest and have relevance to the need to express themselves and their nature differently from all the others, find your own identity and follow your own path proudly, based on personal expectations and potential.

Understanding needs to understand the individual

Only the satisfaction of the most elementary motivations can allow those of a higher order to emerge in the “hierarchy of needs“, and to study and understand an individual must be considered as “globality of needs”which are common to all even if each person remains unique and unrepeatable. Precisely the needs are an element that unites individuals and allows them to reach a better level of life, when they are satisfied.

Maslow’s pyramid and the SEO

Going back to our more classic topics, the description that Maslow makes of needs and the attention devoted to the importance of satisfying these motivations comes close to two key concepts for websites, the creation of quality content that has a purpose for users (as Google’s Martin Splitt reminded us about the most important SEO factors) and that intercept the search intent, that we can define just like the need or the need to satisfy that drives the user to use the search engine.

Building keyword researches focused on the user’s needs

Maslow’s theory can also be a reference for those who own or manage sites and try to improve performance through SEO, because it suggests a path of understanding the needs driving the action of users on search engines.

Analyze and understand the target of the site

For this, it is essential to start from a deep and serious analysis of the target audience to understand what are the needs and needs that feel and, in parallel, study the SERPs and the way Google interprets their queries.

By studying SERPs we understand the needs of users

This way, only, we can understand what is the search intent, the spring that drives you to perform a search on Google, and only by knowing it you can create content that intercepts and satisfies it. The intent of research can and must condition the choice of the type of content and communication compared to others, because it is the key to get in touch with people: to give a trivial example, If the query is transactional you cannot think to rank with an informative article, since people want to buy.

From theory to practice: keyword research and intent-based content

For that, is again central the need to consider the keyword research not just as a simple search for tempting keywords or a mere list of words, but as an activity that investigates the interests and needs of users, that is, people who have needs and want to satisfy them.

A purpose for sites: meeting the needs of users

Inside SEOZoom we have the right tools to make these keyword researches strategic, that can help you to develop a page content that really offers added value to the user, which therefore has a purpose that is not (only) that of getting a placement on Google, but try to satisfy the need of the person and maybe help him to climb a step on Maslow’s pyramid.