What Is Search Intent: An Easy Guide for SEO Beginners

Edgars Kebbe

Updated February 1, 2023

Search engines not only focus on providing a valuable and quality response to users in their queries but also try to optimize their experience. So, each new update takes more value on the reason behind their search queries, the keyword intent, or what they want to know. That’s why Google, for example, places in the top positions those pages that manage to satisfy that need.

Join me today in this quick guide about search intent and discover how it can become the critical element to positioning your website.

Let’s dive right in!

Search Intent: Is It a Relevant Metric for Search Engines?

The search intent is a factor that identifies what the user wants to find when typing a keyword in any search engine Google, Bing, Yahoo, YouTube, the reason behind each search term. Therefore, it can make a difference in your positioning: 

Google Ranks Pages Based on User Intent  

Statista indicates that Google currently has over 85% of the search engine market. So, if you want to gain its favor, you must know that its algorithm considers search intent important to analyze and rank search results. It allows it to identify and offer the highest quality content related to a keyword intent, considering the reason behind the user’s query. (Informational intent, transactional intent, etc.)

Allows You to Know Your Target Audience

A Search intent SEO strategy gives you a better understanding of your audience’s problems and needs. You can create helpful content for your site that aims to provide users with the best solution in the shortest time possible. They want to buy something and focus on content with transactional intent so you can rank in the top search results.

Optimize Your Marketing Funnel 

The search intent becomes your best ally if you have an eCommerce site. Then, you can create a strategy and, more importantly, a sales funnel that optimizes the shopping experience at each stage, considering the different types of search intent.

Look at the difference between these queries:

  • “Best baseball gloves” – an informational intent 
  • “Baseball gloves prices” – a transactional intent.

Create A Results-Driven Strategy

It allows you to not only plan your content to answer precisely what the user wants but also to present and focus it on the best format. Aligning these elements (content + format) will generate more traffic to your site.  

Increase Your Chances of Conversion

Understanding your search intent is the key that unlocks the door to SEO success for your website. According to Business Insider, 39% of global e-commerce orders originate from organic search.

Taking it into account allows you to make a systematic selection of target keywords that directly lead your audience to you, gain their trust, generate quality traffic and reduce bounce rate.

Get to know how to do eCommerce keyword research, so you can at the top search result and attract your audience!

Search Intent Types: The Four Purposes Behind Every Keyword

1. Navigational Intent: User Wants to Go Somewhere

In this case, the user already knows what they want and are looking for; they use Google to reach their target faster, be it a web page, a blog, or an eCommerce site. An example of navigational intent is when looking for “YouTube” or “SE Ranking Tool” they do it because they already know the brand and its reputation.

2. Informational Intent: Wants to Know Something. 

Informational intent is quick queries; the user is looking for a piece of information, a definition, or to learn how to do something. So how are these informational queries represented? 

The informational intent usually starts with: how, which, where, who, why, tutorial, tips, ideas, etc.

3. Commercial Intent: Learning More Before Making a Deal!

Today’s users decide to take money out of their pockets and perform commercial intent searches to find reviews, guides, and information about the best options for their needs. 

Consequently, they include phrases such as best, top, review, comparison, etc., accompanied by the product’s name.

4. Transactional Intent: Wants to Buy Something. 

The transactional intent tells you that the user is already sure of purchasing and has left behind other search intentions that he may have previously made.

Some keywords are usually related to each google search intent: buy, coupon, order, purchase, cheap, price, offers, sale, etc. 

How To Improve Your Content Based on Search Intent

Each person is unique, and so is the way they search. BUT there are specific patterns that are common in their queries, and with the right tools, you can approximate users’ searches. This way, you can adapt your content to each of the four types of search intent mentioned. 

Keep this in mind to optimize your content:  

Choose The Perfect Content Format for Each Search Intent

You must consider the best form to present the information to your audience; what is the best way and most understandable for them? for example, is a navigational intent or informational intent, do they want a tutorial or a step-by-step guide? List, product roundup, or reviews?

How can you know the best format? 

Nothing easier! Just enter the related keywords and find out which content format occupies the top positions that users prefer.

Check “People Also Ask” For Suggestions

A practical tip to get closer to your audience with direct answers is to use the google people also ask tool, why? It presents you with a list of the most popular user queries related to a topic, product, or service. 

Take it into account as 53% of U.S. consumers do deep research before deciding to purchase, explains Google.

Find And Organize Your Content Ideas

Let me tell you that knowing Google search intent can help you categorize ideas and structure your web content to make it more digestible for your audience. 

Suppose you plan your content to answer different search intents (informational or navigational intent). In that case, you increase your chances of conversion because you will be providing not only information but also an option to solve a question.

This metric allows a more precise selection of your target keyword and its variations, consequently giving you more visibility in Google.

Answers Passive Intent: Content with Added Value

If you create an informational type page in which you explain to users how to do something, for example, “how to do keyword research,” and additionally include the “best keyword research tools,” you are offering a second, indirect solution, which derives from their first concern. 

If you incorporate and answer those secondary questions, you will increase the traffic to your page because the algorithm will include you as an excellent option for several search intents. 

Don’t forget to be consistent with your site, products, and brands!

Optimizing Your Content for Search Intent Step-By-Step 

Optimizing your content to match user intent is key to the success of your strategy. And not only is it more effective in achieving your SEO goals, but it will also help you to a greater extent to achieve your real goal: increasing customer acquisition for a specific website.

Step 1. Keep An Eye on The Search Engine Result Pages Variation

You should know that Google search intent is neither static nor immune to the passage of time. Its internal algorithm and user behavior itself generate changes. A word in high demand today, with time, may decline in terms of searches and be replaced by another similar or vice versa. It would help if you made regular revisions.

Step 2. Focus On the Type, Format, And Angle of your Content

After finishing your keyword research and choosing the perfect idea, you must adjust your SEO content:

Content Type – What to Write

 Content is the solid base that supports any SEO strategy, if not the most important.

Let me tell you about all the options you have:

  • Website content: this is the primary information that users go to find out what your company or brand does. 

Pro tip from Edgars

It must be clear and concise, and above all, the navigability must be straightforward.

  • Landing page: it has specific objectives generally focused on conversion or lead generation. 

Pro tip from Edgars

Persuasive content that convinces the user to take action.

  • Articles & blog posts: Each new publication needs to solve a doubt or need of the Buyer persona.
  • Product pages: These pages are focused on attracting and informing the buyer.
  • Videos: For a video to be a search engine optimization tool, in addition to the Keywords in the tags, titles, and descriptions, one option is to use subtitling so that the algorithm can “read” all its content.
  • Podcasts: create entertaining audio posts with high value.

Content Format – How to Publish It

Within each type of content, we can find different formats. Which ones? For example:

  • Tutorials and guides (video or post).
  • Product reviews
  • Listings products
  • Product or service descriptions 
  • Products or service comparisons 

Every time you google “how to,” you will get results step by step guides on how to do something. If, on the other hand, you search for brands of bags, in this case, you will get listings.

With “more keywords for YouTube,” you will indeed find videos. 

I’m trying to say that each keyword has a suggested format, and it goes hand in hand with the common sense of what a person typically wants when searching.

Your job is to interpret the search results pages to best answer that query.

Content Angle – What to Offer

Probably the most creative element that can give you the quality leap over your competitors in Google.

If you choose the right angle, you will have more and more opportunities for each keyword you want to attack.

I spend sleepless nights thinking about the right angle for my posts. Not kidding!

The angle of your URL can make a big difference. You need to include it within the SEO title. It shows users what you offer!

  • Fast learning: learn to cook in 10 days 
  • Pro experience: “tips to cook like a chef.” 
  • News and Trends: “cooking trends 2023.”  

Step 3. Examine The First Places on The Results Page

The last factor to consider in the search intent is the fluctuations of a query and the changes in positioning. It indicates the constantly changing position of a specific keyword.

How can you keep an eye on it?

  1. After doing your keyword research – select your target keyword (tip: use a keyword research tool to help you)
  2. Type in the keyword in Google
  3. Check the first page results. 
  4. Learn about their content type, what format they are using, and don’t forget about the angle.
  5. Check the first page constantly to see if there’s any new page on the top ranking so that you can lead your content to users’ preferences.  

Pro tip from Edgars

Try to select a stable keyword that is more predictable, and therefore it will be easier to create content without constant worries about changes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Search Intent In SEO?

The Search Intent is what the user wants to find when searching on Google using a word or a combination of words. To do this, Google tries to identify the reason for that search and the user’s intentionality when typing a query.

What Is Search Intent, And Why Does It Matter?

The search intent reveals the intent behind each query, which is an essential factor as it provides valuable information to understand users’ behavior patterns better and thus create content to improve their browsing experience and meet their needs. 

What Is Users’ Search Intent?

Search intent is why someone decides to search for something on the Internet. It answers two key questions: why are you searching? And what do you expect to find? Therefore, it is an essential element in optimizing web content since it directly answers the user’s questions and can be better positioned.

How Do You Determine the Search Intent of a Keyword?

To determine the search intent of a keyword, you only need to check the first page of the results. Observe which sites occupy the first positions in the search engine, those with the highest number of clicks and high traffic because they have the most helpful content, according to users and Google.

What Are Intent Keywords?

Intent keywords indicate whether or not the user is ready to act often of a commercial nature. For example, high intent keywords indicate that the user is prepared to close a deal, and low intent keywords suggest that they are still considering their options.

To Sum It Up 

Keeping keywords in mind when it comes to an SEO strategy is very important, but they need something else to satisfy users’ needs: search intent.

Remember that the most important thing for Google is to give the user what he is looking for, and its different pages of search results indicate it. You have to pamper the user!

It is not only about publishing frequently but also about using a language that users understand and a design that attracts them to make them loyal base on the different types of search intent.

One last tip

An excellent way to improve your content creation is using a keyword research tool, as you can choose the best words for your page and determine search intent.

Are you ready to add search intent to your content creation process? Has this article been helpful? 

Don’t be shy. Share your opinion in the comments!

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