As marketers, we always want to know what our customers are looking for. Because knowing that makes it that much easier to provide them with the exact product/service/solution that will ultimately result in them making a purchase.
Search engines also want to understand this.
Understanding a user’s intent plays a big role in search engine optimization (SEO) and can increase the quality of your keyword research.
However, identifying the intentions behind a user’s search can be difficult because everyone thinks differently and asks questions from different perspectives. That’s why search engines apply complex algorithms with artificial intelligence to better understand search renitent through queries and behavioural analysis.
In this post, you will learn what user intent is, why it matters, and its impact on improving your SEO.
What Is User Intent and Why Does It Matter?
User intent is a technique that allows you to understand the intended purpose of the customer based on their search engine query. It is also known as search intent or keyword intent.
Since Google’s relevance algorithm continues to evolve along with the web itself, you should also focus on semantic search along with keywords. This helps you better understand user intent and create an improved user experience.
For example, if a searcher types the phrase ‘buy frosted glass shower door’ into Google, chances are that the user wants to purchase a frosted glass shower door. But what if they just type in ‘glass shower door’? They may want to buy one, but they could also be looking for information on how to install or replace it, how to maintain it, which brand is best, etc.
This is why understanding the user’s intent is important. It helps you leverage that information into improving your leads and traffic.
How to Identify the User’s Intent Types
To apply user intent to your digital strategy, you have to identify which search queries are bringing traffic to your website. Once you understand which ones bring traffic, you can take a closer look at the user intent behind each of them. User queries generally fall into one of three categories:
1. Informational Intent:
In this type of search intent, users are looking for information. ‘What is cryptocurrency?’ is a good example of a search term exhibiting informational intent. Here, people are not looking to buy anything but are looking for relevant information.
So, when you have informational queries related to your business, make sure you provide informational results. These will also educate users on how your products and services work and how they can assist in resolving their problem. Keywords with informational intent are also useful to develop content around. This is because providing information allows you to engage with potential customers, which will eventually boost your page traffic.
2. Navigational Intent
In navigational intent, users want to find a particular website. In the search terms, you will find brand names that signify a searcher’s intent to visit that specific website or page. Here, you don’t have to do much regarding conversion optimization because you’ll win over the user from an SEO point of view.
But to ensure searchers get to where they need to go, you need to build a proper website with great content. This lets you get site links to show in the search engine result pages (SERPs). Using branded keywords can increase your organic SEO rankings, drive relevant traffic, and increase conversions.
Make sure the results offer useful content about your brand that gives the user a clear understanding of your business and the right landing page to navigate further.
3. Transactional Intent
Users with transactional intent are ready to make a transaction (i.e. a purchase). The terms ‘buy’, ‘discount’, and ‘best price‘ indicate transactional intent. Utilizing these in your keyword selection can be pivotal for your PPC campaigns and SEO. This is because Google can understand from these keywords that your ads have transactional intent and can produce shopping ads as a result. Here, you can use all the conversion optimization strategies you have at your disposal.
Also, make sure that you have a fully-developed purchase page for all transactional queries. The purchase page is not technically a landing page, but you should treat it with equal importance because this is where the ultimate conversion happens. Build it with strong headlines, calls to action, product images, etcetera to create a long-lasting impact on users.
How to Use User Intent to Improve Your SEO
Google is the master of understanding user intent. It uses different search algorithms and ranking systems to determine the underlying purpose of each query. Then it analyzes different web pages, searching for the keywords that match up with the search and user intent to list them on the SERPs. That’s why your content needs to align with intent to rank well, drive more traffic, and convert them into customers.
There are certain steps that you can take to achieve this, such as:
- Your content ideation should be based on intent-based keyword research to better serve your website’s users. For example, focus on specific questions or long-tail searches that provide greater context clues. You can refer to Ahrefs. This is a great keyword explorer tool that can provide you with tons of related variations along with volume data.
- Use specific Google tabs (other than the home page, which is perfect for informational searches) to create marketing content that aligns with a marketing intent. For this, you also have to create content that fits each Google tab. For example, to create videos, you must use keyword-optimized titles and descriptions that will appear on the video tab.
- You can improve your page structure to lead a customer’s journey from informational to transactional. User intent will support your customer’s next step and guide them on that journey. For example, after reading an article about your industry, there could be a link to guide them to a page with more information or a chance to sign up for a newsletter. You can add backlinks and navigational structure to guide the readers’ movement from one page to the other, bringing them closer to conversion.
- Social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram have become great search engines of their own. They are designed in such a way that you can instantly see the reaction of customers. And customers can make a purchase or subscription directly through the app. So, include these social media platforms in your content strategy to attract more customers.
- Finally, target different audiences with different landing pages. For instance, in B2B industries, the intent of a CEO with a decision-making mindset visiting a website could be different from that of a B2C customer using the site to search for an answer. As a solution, you can create different landing pages depending on your audience. These include:
- Introductory pages for new customers.
- Landing pages for the retargeted audiences.
- Landing pages for customers acquired through social media leads.
- Discounts and promotions for cost-conscious consumers.
This segregation will help align the pages with intent-based keywords. This way, customers with informational intent will learn more about your company from the About Us page, and customers with transactional intent will be taken to purchase pages.
Do you still have questions about search intent or conversion rate improvement? Would you like help improving your SEO? Then contact G Web Pro. We would be delighted to help you.