SEO specialists often find clients who are on the verge of success. They're sitting on fantastic content that just doesn't rank for their target keywords. Why? Often the keywords and the intent just don't match up.
Understanding search intent can be the secret ingredient that takes your content strategy from good to great.
Next, you will discover what search intent is, its different types and how to use it to optimize your content. Let's go with the basics first.
Search intent is the reason behind the query someone makes in a search engine. It represents the goal that the seeker is trying to achieve. For example, someone may want to learn about something, find something, or buy something.
Creating content that meets search intent is important to the success of your SEO, PPC, and content marketing efforts. By aligning content with search intent you can:
- Make you more relevant to your audience.
- Increase brand awareness.
- Increase your market dominance.
- Boost conversions and retention.
When doing keyword research, it's imperative to consider search intent, as well as keyword popularity and difficulty. If you want to grow your online presence and attract new customers, you need to focus on the intent and needs of your users.
The way user intent is translated in the world of digital marketing is through the keywords and search terms used by users who are searching for a particular product or service.
Although each query has its own intent, there are four basic ways to group search intent.
The intention to learn something. These users want to answer a specific question or solve a specific problem. Searches with this intent often include words like "how" or "what is."
The intention to go to some website. These users search for a particular web page or site and use branded queries.
These users seek more information before doing something, usually buying a product. So even though they are looking for specific information, they can be convinced to convert if you provide them with the right landing page and content.
These users are looking to complete a specific action, usually buying, but also other types of actions. Sometimes the intention may be free, so the user expects not to pay to obtain the product or service.
These users search for information based on where they are . Local intent is often navigational (seeking to visit a store), but it can also be informational (opening hours, accepted forms of payment, etc.) or even transactional (contact via email or click to call, make a reservation, etc.). etc.).
The search intent for a particular query can be obvious when it includes words like “buy” or “how to repair”. For other less obvious queries, determining search intent is as easy as searching Google.
The search engine gives you the answer directly on the results page. For example, if you search for “make a rice pudding” we see that all the main results (and related questions) are intended to be informative.
But if you search for “waterproof flashlights” you will find a mix of product pages, e-commerce site categories, and comparisons. All of this may reveal commercial intent or commercial research.
The presence of paid ads is another important clue, as is their absence. The latter may indicate that there is not much commercial intention behind it. If people used that query to find products to buy, advertisers would be bidding on it.
This may seem obvious, but make sure the page associated with the keywords you're trying to rank for matches the search intent.
If you're creating a page to target people searching for "how to play tennis," it's best if there are instructions on the page. Imagine the discontent of a user if the search engine results page (SERP) only contains links to buy balls and rackets.
Identify a few keywords you want to target and run searches on those terms. You can learn a lot from what Google is already displaying in the SERP. Which search intent category do the pages currently displaying on the first page belong to?
If they are in the first group (informational), make sure that your page offers the user, first of all, the information they are looking for. It includes content about any related questions that the user may have after collecting the information.
Since educational pages tend to have longer content, make sure your page is easy to read with headlines, subheadings, lists, and tables where appropriate.
Just because a user is looking for something informative doesn't mean they won't take an action on your site, but asking them to take an action has to be secondary to matching search intent.
If it is the second category, make it very clear in the title that you offer what the user is looking for. If the search intent is to find a free service and what you offer is free, make sure it is very clear in your title and meta descriptions.
Once the user lands on your site, make sure the page is navigable and has clear, direct calls-to-action that allow the user to take an action.
Keep in mind that search intent can change at any time, so you'll want to revisit your key organic pages often to make sure they're still aligned with user intent.