A Simple Guide to Understanding Search Intent for SEO

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A Simple Guide to Understanding Search Intent for SEO (1)

If you want to achieve a successful campaign, one of the SEO strategies that you should incorporate in your plan is search intent.

Among all the important five Ws, search intent answers the question “why”. In a nutshell, you’re figuring out the reason behind a search. Why did the user type that particular phrase into the search bar? Are they looking for answers? How about looking for something to purchase or attempting to go on a specific website?

If you’re now as curious about search intent as any other digital marketer, then read on.

The Importance of Search Intent

For starters, some of you might ask: why does it matter in the first place? Isn’t it as easy as creating any type of content that you like and simply ensuring that it’s in line with your business?

The thing is, search intent plays a huge role in any digital marketing plan. Why?

Let’s talk about user experience. No matter how valuable you think your content is, and how read-worthy it is for existing and potential customers, it may not be as rewarding as you might expect it to be – under certain conditions.

But what does that mean? Simply put, Google examines how people deal with SERPs – Search Engine Results Pages – which are responsible for displaying links to pages that are relevant to a user’s query.

This means that if you’re using a particular set of keywords but your content doesn’t match your potential and existing customers’ search intent, Google will downrank them. In effect, users are led to other pages that answer their search queries instead of yours.

Thus, you should never overlook the importance of search intent and user experience!

Types of Search Intent

To give you a grasp of what search intent is, exactly, you may refer to its four types: informational, navigational, commercial and transactional.

Informational Intent

This type refers to the searcher looking for an answer to the question, like a piece of information. It can be either a direct answer or a lengthy, in-depth one that covers the idea of a specific query.

Some examples of informational queries are “What does SEO stand for?” “Who is the highest-paid YouTuber in 2019?” and “How to bake a cake?”.

This doesn’t mean that informational queries are all in the form of questions, though. It can be a direct phrase or statement bound to be answered, such as “number of holidays in the US,” and “weather forecast.”

Navigational Intent

This happens when the users already know where they want to go, but can’t enter the full URL on the web search. Some examples of navigational intent are “Facebook login,” and “Leads Ngin blog.”

Commercial Intent

When it comes to commercial intent, expect that the searcher is in the process of looking for something to opt for a product or service. These are potential customers who are searching for product reviews, in-depth comparisons, and the like.

You might stumble upon commercial queries such as “best washing machine,” “bagged vs. bagless vacuum cleaner,” and “top shopping malls in the UK.”

Transactional Intent

This type of intent occurs when the searchers are bound to make a transaction, like purchasing a product or service. They’re looking for websites that offer what they want, including the most important details in purchasing.

Transactional intent examples are “buy iPhone 11,” “Starbucks gift and promo code,” and “Givenchy watch price.”

How to Understand Search Intent

Moving on to the next part—understanding search intent. It’s not as easy as you might imagine, and you have to be keen and flexible enough to go with the flow of the demands of the searchers. However, with these basic tips, you’ll eventually learn how to understand search intent.

Use Keyword Research Tools

First things first: it goes without saying that you need a premium keyword research tool. This will lead to a major leap in targeting keywords relevant to your business. You can also get a grasp of different keyword data along with greater insights into them.

Although this is a great start, these tools can’t give you direct insight into searchers’ search intent.

Make Sure the Relevant Keywords Line Up with Your Content

The type of search intent should be related to your content. If the keyword indicates informational intent, create a blog article. If it’s commercial, write a comprehensive product review. Transactional intent works best in creating a product page.

Take Note that Search Intent of Keywords Change Over Time

Based on the tip above, ensure that the keyword matches the type of your content. Now if you think that it’s as easy as that, you’ve got it wrong.

Unfortunately, things change over time. The search intent of keywords fluctuates. It’s easy when you know that a particular keyword is intended for specific search intent. However, if the keyword is as vague as “carpet cleaner,” or “wooden cabinet,” you’ll have a hard time figuring out the real search intent of the one who entered the query.

If this is the case, Google provides a list of different content on the SERPs that relate to varying search intents.

What comes with accepting that things differ from time to time is a constant keen observation of search results. For instance, if a keyword as vague as “carpet cleaner” denotes commercial intent, you should focus on product reviews and comparisons. On the other hand, if “wooden cabinet” returns a list of products with prices to be bought online, you should provide a product page for that certain keyword.

In today’s digital marketing environment, one should be strategic enough to explore and experiment on new ideas that will boost a high ranking and visibility. This includes optimizing your content for search engines and making use of the appropriate search intent that comes with it.