Search engines are getting smarter day by day, and the ultimate goal revolves around offering the best possible search results to the users. Google and other search engines are investing heavily to understand the purpose of a user’s query and rank websites accordingly to save the users’ time.
With growing SEO competition, it becomes crucial for you to understand search intent in SEO and perform the best practices to get it right. In this article, we will check out what exactly is defined by search intent and how you can thrive online by mastering it.
What Is Search Intent?
As the name suggests, search intent defines the purpose behind a searched query. It shows the specific reason for someone searching for a certain keyword or a query. The user might be looking for some information, an in-depth guide, or planning to buy some products. The user is typing some queries to seek something and fulfill the intent.
In this scenario, it becomes vital for business owners to optimize their content according to the search intent and make sure users can find it quickly. For a perspective, if a user is searching articles on bicycles, then showing them a bicycle product page might not be the correct option. This is because the intent is different, and the product page will not fulfill it & the user will bounce off.
To ensure your website content fulfills the right intent, you need to optimize the content and pages accordingly to make sure you get the maximum benefits.
On a Broader Level, You Need to Focus on 4 Types of Search Intent:
1. Informational User Intent
The informational intent goes much beyond that showing a few precise text lines. Google and other search engines are getting smarter, and they know how to offer the best information in the easiest way possible. For example, if someone is looking for how to make noodles, Google knows that the user is searching for the recipe, videos, and in-depth guide and not the history of noodles.
In this case, Google will present the user with some top-rated videos, in-depth articles, and images. If someone has written about noodles’ history and evolution, then that article will not rank on this user’s intent.
This is just one example of how the informational intent works, and there could be hundreds of different examples. The key takeaway here is to stick to one intent and don’t confuse both Google and users. If you are writing the recipe, then only stick to the recipe. Don’t add information about history because search engines want users to get the fastest possible results.
2. Navigational Intent
Navigational intent is pretty straightforward— in this intent, the users are searching for a particular website. For example, if a user is searching for your brand ‘XYZ,’ your website will appear on the top search results and gain good organic traffic.
However, this intent doesn’t work the other way around. If you are not ‘XYZ’ but you are trying to rank for this term, you will hardly get much traffic benefits.
3. Transactional Intent
Transactional intent is when a user searches for some queries to buy a product. As the name suggests, the user is looking forward to a ‘transaction’ of their money for a product. If a user is searching to buy the best bicycles and your website has a high-ranking product page for the same term, there are chances of ranking.
4. Commercial Investigation
It is related to the above intent, but here, the user plans to buy something sometime later in the future. For example, if a user is searching for the best phone for under $600, it means the user is ready to spend his money, but they need more information and guidance.
If you have a blog that answers the user’s query of the best phone under $600, then there are high chances that Google will rank your site as you are fulfilling the intent.
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How to Optimize for Search Intent
The success secret here is optimizing the website’s content and pages according to the intent. Make sure you are introducing the right landing page as per the search intent. For example, if someone is searching for a how-to guide, make sure they are not lading on a product or contact us page.
On the other hand, if someone is searching to buy something, then there is no need to land the user on an in-depth article. Keep it simple— give users what they want, and the search engines will reward your hard work.
To optimize the content, you need to perform some research to understand what users are searching for. For example, if you are writing a blog, then include all relevant questions that users ask on Google. You can refer to the People Also Ask section of Google to understand it better.
On the other hand, if you are optimizing your product page, you need to search for the buying intent keyword and then optimize the content. Searching for these kinds of keywords is not difficult as you will find plenty of queries on Google.
Check out how your competitors are optimizing their pages and the keywords they rank. Once you analyze a couple of already ranking competitors, you will have a better idea about the search intent in SEO.
Apart from website content, even while writing social media posts and marketing emails, make sure you do not confuse the users. Keeping the content purpose straightforward will help you thrive online and take the lead. You can easily grow both organic traffic and sales with the right intent without extending the marketing budget. You can also hire a professional SEO company that can help you in optimizing your website.