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Understanding Search Intent for Better SEO Results

Published on:

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Search intent does what it says on the tin - defining the reason behind a user search and connecting it to your keywords and SEO focus so that your content and landing pages can directly answer the queries of your target customer.

To build an SEO strategy that’s enriched with search intent, you need to understand who your target customer is and what they are searching for - identifying the problem they have, and framing your business as the solution they need.

From a digital marketing and SEO perspective, there are four main types of search intent that you should be aware of - segmenting users and their search terms into one of four categories defined by their motivation and what stage of the consumer funnel they are at.

Keep reading to learn what these four types of search intent are and how to build an SEO strategy which ticks all four boxes to maximise your chances of reaching the right users at the right time.

The four types of search intent

Types of search intent

1. Information intent

This is the kind of search which is not necessarily linked with any for of commercial need, and with no specific conversion or sale in mind - rather, the user simply wants to answer a question they have.

As a business, tapping into this kind of search intent helps to establish your website as a reputable source of information - building on the importance of valuable content that answers user’s questions. The hope for many businesses ticking this box is that one day, when that user needs to find a product or hire a service provider, they will remember the valuable information they got from a particular business or website and return there as a customer.

2. Navigation intent

If a user searches with navigational intent, this means that they know what they want and they know which site they are looking for. Generally, this will see them search for a particular brand name or a specific product that they know a brand stocks or produces - creating a need for targeted SEO and backend marketing which connects these brand-specific searches with your website.

3. Transaction intent

A user operating with transactional intent is one that is ready to make a purchase. They will likely search for specific products by name or outline a number of features that they know they want their product to have. To tick this box, your SEO strategy needs to include longtail keywords which connect with the various features of your top products - putting yourself in the shoes of users who might be seeking what you are selling.

4. Commercial intent

This is what we consider to be a research-motivated search. That is, the user is looking for information relating to a purchase that they plan on making soon, be it comparing different products or seeking out reviews which relate to different brands or businesses.

How to create an SEO strategy that feeds search intent

Your SEO strategy is what ensures that when a user searches for something relating to your brand, products, or industry, Google will consider your website to be a reputable and reliable source of information to aid that user. As such, in order to build a cohesive and comprehensive SEO strategy, you need to always stay on top of search trends and consider everything from the terminology being used by customers, to the ways that they shape and frame each search.

For example, if your business is very much a local service provider or experience supplier then making sure to target the local searchers with geographical keywords is integral. If, on the other hand, you are targeting teenagers across the country then considering the keywords and terms used by that demographic is the only way of matching your website with their search intent.

To focus on search intent is to work backwards, first identifying exactly what users who visit your website might be looking for, and then building out an entire SEO strategy to support that need. There are a number of ways that you can do this, tracking data and conversion rates, exploring competitors keywords and search terms, or simply by asking your customers exactly what they are looking for when they visit your site. After all, the more information you have about your customers, the better able you are to build a brand and business that meets their needs.

Here at Social Loop, we offer a range of services which support backend and front facing customer needs, working with clients to build websites, optimise social media profiles, and create full SEO strategies that garner positive results. Find out more by getting in touch with us today.