Are you trying to get more visibility on Google but have been struggling to find the right words?
You've likely heard the term "search intent", or keyword intent, or even user intent while you were determining your basic SEO strategy.
No matter what your preferred term is, the main goal of a search online is to find information. They might be looking for a car and researching models.
They may also be searching for local services, such as a dentist, hairdresser, or a barber. They might just be craving fast food and are looking for a burger or fries.
Because Google's algorithm changes mean that content relevance is becoming more important than ever, many SEOs are now focusing on search intent. Google's goal is to rank pages that answer searchers' queries.
Search intent queries are often visible when you search online. Let's take an example: I can search for "pizza in Atlanta", and I get a list with local shops. If I were to choose a particular neighborhood within the city, I would receive a more targeted set of stores.
Google goes one step further, however.
It recognizes that I am hungry for pizza and in a buying mood and generates alternative terms automatically for me. The search engine interprets my search intent to offer me suggestions that will meet my needs.
You must understand the needs of searchers when creating content. Then, develop offers and content to meet their requirements.
Basics of Search Intent
By now you should have an idea of your search intent. This is why it is important to understand the needs of your buyer.
This image gives you a better idea of the differences between search intent keywords and regular keywords.
img alt="Key takeaways from search intent" class="wp-image-166223" height="291" loading="lazy" sizes="(max-width: 700px) 100vw, 700px" src="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Search_intent5.jpg" srcset="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Search_intent5.jpg 700w, https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Search_intent5-350×146.jpg 350w" width="700"/>
There are many benefits to looking beyond keywords and trying to understand the intent of searchers.
You can see in my intro that search intent has the potential for your website to be found by searchers. This increases your chances of getting a click-through and conversion, and ultimately, maybe a loyal customer. There are also other benefits such as:
- SEO can help improve your website's ranking in search engines. Search engines such as Google use algorithms to rank websites according to how closely they match searcher's intent. It's more likely that your content will rank higher in search results if it is better suited to people's needs and wants.
- Target your audience better. Develop marketing strategies that are more efficient.
- Better user experience – Search intent: Provide your prospect with the information they need. They'll be more inclined to refer to you as an authority and continue coming back. You can create more relevant content to your audience with search intent.
Search Intent Types
This is an important statistic: 99 percent search queries fall within the four main types search intent categories.
This figure is not mine, it's Brian Dean from Backlinko.com.
Intent can be broken down into four major categories: transactional, navigational, transactional and commercial.
img alt="4 types search intents: informational and navigational, business, and transactional" class="wp-image-166224" height="314" loading="lazy" sizes="(max-width: 700px) 100vw, 700px" src="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Search_intent4.png" srcset="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Search_intent4.png 700w, https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Search_intent4-350×157.png 350w" width="700"/>
Let's look deeper at each type.
When search intent is specific and the user knows the brand name or website name, this is called navigational intent. You are likely to be familiar with navigational intent.
This is why users often enter keywords such as 'Adobe login;' 'Adobe tutorial' or 'Adobe subscribe' into search engines.
Searchers can ensure they receive the most relevant keywords to their query.
This search is what brings people to your site when they are looking for information.
Informational intent refers to someone who is searching for information about a particular topic. Although they might not be able to pinpoint what they are looking for, they use keywords to help them find it. For example, you could type "How to fix a flat tires".
This is the most common type of intent people use to search when they are at the beginning of their buying journey. They might be looking for a home or a possible purchase, and may also be planning to start a project.
This type of search intent can help you increase your website's rank and bring more traffic to it. Here are some tips that will help you do exactly that.
- Your website should be well-organized and easy for visitors to navigate. People searching for information want it to be easy and quick.
- To increase visibility and rank, use keywords that are relevant for your topic. Make sure your website appears high in search results.
- Use Google's "People Also Ask" feature to answer the most common questions that people ask online.
- Provide valuable content that is relevant to your audience. Informational searchers look for reliable, accurate information. Make sure your website delivers.
A person who is looking to buy a product online with transactional intent will do so by actively searching for a product.
They may have a particular item in mind and are looking for the best price. They might be interested in a subscription or searching for a part for their car.
These searchers might be searching for additional information. They might search using terms like'review' and product reviews. Or they might search for comparison articles or listicle-style "top ten" articles to aid in their decision.
When someone is interested in learning more about a company and/or product before purchasing, this is called commercial intent. This can be determined by what keywords they use. If someone searches for "buy pizza near me", it is a sign that they are in a commercial/buying mood.
In their searches, they might also use words such as 'buy', 'purchase', 'deal', and 'discount'.
There are also hybrid questions that combine informational and commercial purposes.
Search Intent Is Important for SEO.
The times have changed.
Keywords were the foundation of online visibility. This led to keyword stuffing where site owners used keywords excessively to manipulate search engines in their favor. This often resulted in low-quality content dominating SERPs and a lack of value for readers.
Search became intelligent and SEO was able to understand search intent. What is the search intent of people when they enter a query in a search engine? This question will help you optimize your website and content to meet those needs.
Keywords are still important but they can't be ignored. This is possible by integrating search intent into your content.
An extensive case study featuring top SEO professionals such as Viola Eve and Matthew Woodward will help you to better understand the role search intent plays in SEO.
The experts spoke about search intent analysis, its importance and Google's ever-changing algorithms. They also discussed data around these topics.
The case study featured experts who believe search intent is the foundation of content optimization. This includes backlinks, technical SEO and content in relation to search engines' page evaluation process.
The case study concluded with:
- Search intent is a "critical ranking factor", and top SEOs build their strategies around it.
- Robbie Richards, founder of Robbierichards.com asserts that 'Intent, is the most important facto r when it comes to prioritizing and accurately qualifying your keywords opportunities.
- Your content won't be able to pull its weight if it doesn't have search intent. Viola Eve says that Google's job it to provide the best answer to a search query. Understanding what Google considers relevant will allow you to create a more targeted content briefing, and an SEO strategy that will increase your chances of success.
For this section, it's a good idea to use search intent if you haven't done so yet.
Search is getting more sophisticated thanks to developments such as artificial intelligence (AI). Google recently discussed the Multitask Unified Model (MUM) and how it could transform search.
Here's an easy definition of MUM that will help you to search for the right thing without obscuring your vision with science or technology:
MUM allows you to group similar search queries together.
This can help you to understand the goals of users when they search for your site. This information can be used to improve search engine results pages (SERPs), create more content, and better target ads.
MUM is able to understand consumers' complex needs. This means that searchers can complete tasks faster and get answers in fewer steps.
A search query might look something like this:
img alt="Example of a search query about hiking" class="wp-image-166225" height="462" loading="lazy" sizes="(max-width: 700px) 100vw, 700px" src="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Search_intent7.jpg" srcset="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Search_intent7.jpg 700w, https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Search_intent7-350×231.jpg 350w" width="700"/>
This search engine may then provide the answer.
How to Learn the Search Intent of Your Audience
How can you find out your audience's search intention? This can be a challenging task but you need to do it correctly if your content is to attract and engage your audience. These are some tips to help you understand your audience's search intention.
1. Research the keywords and phrases that your target audience uses to search online for information. Google Trends, Ubersuggest and Google Keyword Planner can help you find popular phrases and keywords related to your topic.
2. Pay attention to what questions your audience asks on social media or in online forums. This will give you clues as to what information they are looking for.
3. Look at the SERPs to see which keywords and phrases are ranking highest in Google. You can use the results to find: What keywords they are using in their search engines. Ensure you understand:
- They are looking for informational content, or other types of content.
- Their search was motivated by an intent
- Their demographics and location
4. Google's People Also Ask feature is a great way to ask questions. This is what I get if I enter "low carb diet":
class="wp-image-166226" height="291" loading="lazy" sizes="(max-width: 700px) 100vw, 700px") srcset="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Search_intent6.jpg 700w, https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Search_intent6-350×146.jpg 350w class="wp-image-166226" height="291" loading="lazy" sizes="(max-width: 700px) 100vw, 700px" src="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Search_intent6.jpg" srcset="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Search_intent6.jpg 700w, https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Search_intent6-350×146.jpg 350w" width="700"/>
5. Google Autosuggest is a great tool. If I enter "new car", I get an example.
'New car deals'
"New cars 2022"
"New car at a low price"
6. Google's related search feature is another way to analyze search intent. This tool is located at the bottom search results page. It displays a list with keywords people are searching for.
7. You can implement a site search bar on your website. This can be tracked via Google Analytics. It is easier to find out what users are looking for on your site so you can narrow down their search intent.
Turning Search Intent into Action for Your Content
It's easy to create content that matches people's search intentions, as you can see in the examples. This is how to put search intent into practice:
- Keyword research can help you determine the keywords and modifiers that your target audience uses to find information about your topic. Once you have identified the keywords and phrases you want to target, you can include them in your content in the title, the body and the keywords section.
- Your ideal customer's search query is the basis for your website content and copy. Let's take, for example, the question "What can I eat with a low-carb diet?" There are many content ideas that you could create.
- Your CTAs should be relevant to your prospect's search intent as well as their stage in the customer journey. If you want to target searchers looking for information on low-carb diets, you could write a series about the topic, then invite them to sign up to a cheat sheet, or ebook. Once a lead has signed up for the cheatsheet, you can begin nurturing them with informational emails about low-carb products.
Let's now move onto content optimization.
Optimizing Content For Search Intent
This section should provide some suggestions for optimizing content. But there are always more things you can do.
Use a tool first. Cognitive SEO, for example, has developed a tool that allows you to create keyword-optimized content around informational search terms.
class="wp-image-166227" height="524" loading="lazy" sizes="(max-width: 700px) 100vw, 700px" srcset="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Search_intent2.jpg 700w, https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Search_intent2-350×262.jpg 350w") width="700patel.com/wpatel.jpg class="wp-image-166227" height="524" loading="lazy" sizes="(max-width: 700px) 100vw, 700px" src="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Search_intent2.jpg" srcset="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Search_intent2.jpg 700w, https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Search_intent2-350×262.jpg 350w" width="700"/>
Next, add keywords that match your search intent.
To further optimize your site's navigational intent, include a keyword in your title tags and meta description, format your text correctly, and use images or videos to illustrate your points.
You could give away freebies such as a lead magnet or write informative content to convince readers to take action. You could also use call-to action buttons and other elements to encourage readers to interact with your content.
You need a landing page that is frictionless and has a simple CTA to capture transactional intent. This example is from Muzzle.
img alt="The Muzzle App. " class="wp-image-166228" height="430" loading="lazy" sizes="(max-width: 700px) 100vw, 700px" src="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Search_intent1.jpg" srcset="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Search_intent1.jpg 700w, https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Search_intent1-350×215.jpg 350w" width="700"/>
Structured data markup is another way to optimize your site for transactional searches. This code informs search engines which type of content they have, and helps them understand your page's purpose. Structured data markup can help you rank higher in search results.
What's Search Intent?
Search intent is what drives someone to perform a search. You can understand what people are searching for to help you create content that is relevant and helps them find the information they need.
How do you determine search intent?
There are many ways to determine search intent. These include looking at the SERPs for clues and Google's People Also Ask feature. You can also use software tools.
It is crucial to understand search intent in order to provide the best user experience. There is a simple reason for this: Search is constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated. Likewise, consumers' demands change over time. Consumers want content that answers questions, makes buying decisions easier, and addresses their pain points.
You can create the page they are looking for by analyzing their needs and adapting your content accordingly.
If you provide the type of content that is relevant to searchers, you are more likely to rank higher in Google and gain customer confidence. This can lead to a higher likelihood of engaging your lead and eventually converting them into a customer.
Are you using search intent? What has search intent done for your business?
By: Neil Patel
Title: What Is Search Intent?
Sourced From: neilpatel.com/blog/search-intent/
Published Date: Fri, 09 Sep 2022 07:00:00 +0000