Understanding Search Intent

Search intent is the term used to describe the reason why someone uses a search engine. For Google, meeting a person's search intent is their number one goal. That's because if they display exactly what the user is looking for, they will continue to use Google's search engine. This means Google gets more users, which means more businesses want to pay for Google Ads.

What does this mean for your SEO? It means that you need to create content that aligns with the search intent of your target audience.To do this, you'll need to firstly understand the four types of search intent and then how to optimise for it. We're covering all of this for you below.

4 Types of Search Intent

There are four main types of search intent, also known as user intent. They are:

  • Informational 

The person is looking for information. Sometimes they might enter a specific question into the search box, such as "when did the first person land on the moon?" Other times they might just enter "Neil Armstrong" or "moon landing," but still seek the same information.

  • Navigational

Here the person is looking for a specific website. They may or may not know the URL of the website they want to visit. Or they might just find it easier to search for the website using the search box rather than type in the URL. Examples include searching for "Facebook" or "Website World."

  • Transactional

This is when the person is wanting to buy something. Their purpose  already knows what they want to buy and just need to find somewhere to buy it. They will use terms such as "buy iPad" or iPhone 7 price."

  • Commercial Investigation

Here the person has identified their problem and is looking for the solution. They've already got a good idea of the type of solution they need, and are probably looking for comparisons or reviews to help them make their decision. Examples of commercial investigation searches include "best restaurant in Wellington" or  "Website World vs Shopify."

Keeping in mind the type of user intent is important when it comes to creating the content on your website. That's because if your content specifically meets the search intent, your page is likely to rank within the top ten of Google, or even as a featured snippet.

Website Content Creation for Search Intent

Search engine optimisation or SEO is about doing things for and on your website which increase its ranking in search engine results. Search intent optimisation involves the creation of content which meets the specific needs of your target audience. For most businesses, this means optimising your content for mostly informational, transactional and commercial intent. Navigational intent is something that you probably don't need to optimise for, as a Google search of your business name, should bring up your website anyway.

To do this, you will need to not only identify the keyword phrases used by your audience, but also the words they add in addition to the keywords which signal the user intent.This chart lists some of the most commonly used words associated with each user intent.

Informational Navigational Commercial 
Investigation
Transactional
what
how
who
why
guide
where
resource
ideas
learn
tips
help
examples
business names
service names
product names
website names
top
number one
best
verses
comparison
differences between
review
attribute
order
price
cheapest
low price
buy
sale
purchase

Once you have decided which type of search intent your audience is most likely to use, you can start incorporating the words which are best associated with it. Of course you'll also need to include beneficial on-page SEO strategies into your content too. For further information on how to do and use SEO in your content, please view our growing range of SEO resources. 

Posted: Friday 11 September 2020



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