How You Can Use Search Intent for Crafting SEO Content

When the billions of users input a search in Google’s search engine, there’s a clear intention behind it, whether the user is aware or not – this is described as search intent.

As you can imagine, the intentions behind a search query are endless, ranging from seeking practical advice, to making a purchase, even indulging in a full-out escape.

We’ve all been there before.

Yet from a marketing perspective, we take these intentions for granted because understanding them plays a huge role on whether our online presence becomes noticed.

For instance, when you understand the intentions behind search queries (keywords) that are related to your brand, you can craft and align content like product pages and blog posts more accurately to your audience’s needs.

Then, you’ll receive more visitors, they’ll spend more time and engage with your website, and as a result, your website’s search engine rankings will rise.

So, if you’re interested in crafting more relevant content and devising a more effective SEO strategy by understanding search intent, we’ll break down the most important elements along with critical steps for success.

Ready?

 

What is Search Intent

(Photo by Johanna Huber on Unsplash)

 

What is Search Intent?

The why behind search queries is called user intent, or search intent. Search intent is divided into four different categories: informational, navigational, commercial, and transactional.

Each of these different categories captures different intentions behind why a person may be searching for a particular thing online, and understanding each category is vital for crafting a good SEO and content strategy that’s relevant to your targeted audience.

Here’s a breakdown of the four categories in more detail.

 

3 Categories of Search Intent:

 

1. Informational

Informational search intent includes queries that focus on finding information or answers in addressing a need, usually on broad topics. For example, an informational search can look like the question “what is SEO?”, “how to build a good website” and so forth.

 As you can imagine, content that addresses informational queries are a great way for leading people to your website and establishing industry expertise.

Overall, the user’s intent is to discover information, and you’ll typically see informational searches with key phrases starting with words like ‘i need to…’, ‘how to…’, ‘what is…’, ‘what are…’, ‘best ways to…’, among many others.

Tip

The best way to target informational search intent queries is by becoming an authority on your topic by blogging, creating videos, infographics, guides and overall, by producing authoritative and trustworthy (E-A-T) content that truly offers useful information.

Just make sure your content is based off high volume keywords by doing a keyword research.

[Related: Your Beginner’s Guide on How to do Keyword Research in 2019]

 

2. Navigational

Navigational search queries are those that seek a specific website or brand. This kind of search intent includes queries that typically involve a brand, product, or service name and sometimes followed by a phrase such as ‘cost’, ‘reviews’ or ‘services’. One example is “Upwork writing services” or “Upwork”, instead of “Upwork.com”. 

Tip

Because the user has a specific idea of what website they’re searching for, it can be challenging to rank for navigational queries unless you own the website or brand – but it’s not impossible.

One strategy is to craft news related content about the specific website, such as an analysis.

If you own the website yourself, the two best ways to target these uses is by becoming the owner of your brand’s navigational query, and by purchasing relevant keywords so that you feature at the top of Google’s sponsored and organic results. Think Pay-per-click ads.

 

3. Transactional or Commercial Intent

Transactional or Commercial queries reveal the user’s intent to complete a transaction, such as making a purchase. Transactional intent shows a person has already searched for information, has made a decision and is determined to now make purchase.

If we look more specifically at the queries used, commercial intent refers to those that are only relevant when making transaction. This can look like queries that have “buy now”, or the actual product name like “collagen powder”. 

Tip  

These keywords are all highly commercial and therefore, of high-value. These users are at the end of the sales funnel – credit card in hand and ready to buy right now!

It’s important not only to target these keywords but be prepared for the arrival of potential customers once they arrive.

Have you made it easy for them to reach their goal once they land on your site with strong call-to-actions? 

[Related: How Link Building Can Better Rank Your Website]

 

How to Leverage Search Intent

(Image by Photo Mix from Pixabay)

 

How to Leverage Search Intent in 4 Steps

Once you understand the four categories of user intent, here’s how you can use this understanding to improve your rankings and engagement.

 

1. Align Content with Search Intent

Firstly, take a look at your top performing pages on Google Analytics and Google Search Console to examine what top keywords they rank for. Then, examine what search intent categories they fit into and revise the content accordingly.

For instance, if the top performing keyword phrase for an article is “buy dog-grooming shampoo”, and your article is about how to groom dogs, there is a disconnect between the user’s search intent and what you’re offering. Fix this issue by revising the page’s content to be more product focused, which can look like an end list of some highly rated shampoo products.

Overall, you want to ensure that transactional queries lead to pages where users can purchase a product or service, and informational queries lead to informative pages, and so forth.

 

2. Create Content Based off Every User Intent

Secondly, think about each category of user intent as a stage in the buyer’s journey for making conversions, then, create content for every stage with CTA’s and links.

Informational Queries: Awareness stage

Navigational Queries: Evaluation Stage

Transactional Queries: Decision Stage

You might also want think about what kind of users you want to draw to your online presence. If you want users to learn about how to bind books, but your blog posts about book-binding are comparing the prices of different paper manufacturers, you won’t rank highly in Google searches for informative book binding queries. Think carefully about what kind of searches you are targeting, and ensure that your pages fit that category neatly.

 

3. Take Note From Your Competitors

Thirdly, take a look at what your competitors are doing by using tools such as SEMrush and SpyFu. This can show you which keywords they are targeting, which may help you to refine your niche. Either avoid the most common keywords and position yourself in another untapped section of the market, or make a strong campaign to break in to existing search rankings.

 

4. Long Tail Keywords are the Future

Finally, make sure you craft content that utilizes long tail keywords that are used in natural language searches. Voice searches are becoming increasingly common, and by ensuring you are on top of this trend, you’re able to get ahead of the game.

 

Final Tips on Leveraging Search Intent

The main thing to remember is that search intent is the goal of users when they type in a query, and understanding this search intent is the cornerstone of SEO and modern content marketing.

Analyzing how Google interprets user intent through the steps listed above can be a little time consuming, and might appear complex at first. Nevertheless, this is time well-spent that will help your business to succeed.

Good luck!

 

Creating SEO optimized content that established your brand as an expert is what we at Advesa specialize in. Contact us for more information.

Post by TS

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