Keyword Intent: Optimising Content to Search Intent Associated with Your Target Keywords

If you have ever entered a question into an online search engine, you have already experienced search intent; and who hasn’t? Search intent, or the ability of a search engine to understand what you’re looking for, is what will provide you with the answers you seek.

In content marketing, search intent is a crucial element in making sure your content provides the users with beyond adequate answers and guidelines that makes it an ultimate resource to them. Without it, your content will likely not rank on search engines’ first page and will be lost in the vortex of content already existing. 

Target keywords and search engine friendly content is what gets you above and beyond in the digital marketing world. This is why your content needs to be optimized to target and achieve top slots on search engine result pages.

The ideal way to optimise content is to understand the user’s search intent. Making sure that you use the right keywords while delivering relevant content will be imperative for content optimisation in relation to your target keywords in 2021 and beyond.

The team at SnellMedia constantly work with content optimisation and sophisticated digital marketing. We have thorough experience from working with B2B businesses in various industries in e.g. Welding Automation, Food Bulk Handling Equipment Manufacturers, Virtual Conference Management, and SaaS to utilize search intent optimization for your content pages.  

All search engines share the goal of ranking pages in the order that most accurately fits keywords that are being searched by their users. If you, along with the search engines, can determine the search intent behind words and phrases that people are searching, you can make sure that your pages and blog posts are meeting the search engine’s standards. 

In this article, we will examine 4 types of search intent and how they should be used. The 4 types of search intent are:

  • Informational Intent
  • Navigational Intent
  • Transactional Intent
  • Commercial Investigation

What Is Search Intent

What Is Search Intent?

Search intent is the reason someone is getting on the internet, going to a search engines, and typing words into the search bar; The reason a searcher has for deciding to type the exact words, questions, or sentences that they enter are based on their intent, or the ‘why’ that comes before the search. 

People rarely type words into the search bar of a search engine without knowing what they are looking for. When they decide to initiate a search, it is because there is something they need to learn, buy, or find out regarding very specific information about a niche topic they may not know about, or the answer to a particular question, and their search intent is simply the ‘why’ behind their big search. When heading to a search engine to fulfill the needs of these users, keep in mind that while searching, many people tend to look for:

  • Something they want to buy
  • The answer to a specific question
  • A specific piece of information
  • A particular place or website

This is where Search Intent becomes very handy for both professional businesses and individuals alike. Optimizing your content to Search Intent, otherwise known as User Intent or Audience Intent, using your target keywords and intent prediction of the user can help lead people to your webpage or blog site by tapping into the real meaning behind the words they type into the search bar.

Tap into the real meaning behind the words typed into search

Knowing Your Intent Category

Knowing what search intent optimisation is best for your website is one of the most imperative factors for successful content optimisation. Whether you focus on a business website or a blog, the intent factor will determine which target keywords to use, website structures to implement, landing page to create, and your SERP feature.

The 4 Types of Search Intent1

The 4 Types of Search Intent

1. Informational Intent

Informational Intent is the type of intent used when people search for bits of information. The users have decided that they are interested, not in purchasing something or having a particular question answered, but locating information about a specific thing. Informational Intent tends to be related to personal preferences when searched for, and is intended to supply the searcher with information such as facts and reference guides. Examples of informational topics include:


  • The local weather
  • Information about a specific dog breed
  • A new recipe
  • The name of a movie
  • Educational materials
  • The population of a foreign country
  • The history of a particular town
  • The age of a celebrity


Informational Intent tends to be the most widely used intent form for those turning to a search engine to learn something. This is why keywords and keyword modifiers, as we will discuss more in depth later in this article, will be paramount in your content optimisation.


The 4 Types of Search Intent2

2. Navigational Intent

Navigational Intent is the intent behind a search whose goal is to lead them to a specific website. Optimizing for Navigational Intent can be very successful for those with popular web pages and blog sites that they know people will want to visit.


While helpful if it applies to your business, It is only important to optimize your content towards Navigational Intent if your site is the specific one people are looking for. Those with branded searches and brand related keywords have a higher click rate than websites without branding in their searches, according to AdvancedWebRanking.com.


The 4 Types of Search Intent3

3. Transactional Intent

Many people shop and purchase goods online, and almost every time they are searching for a specific item. When people on the internet use search actions with Transactional Intent, it usually means that they are looking for something to buy. 


The keywords that will bring people to the item they are searching for, are optimized for Transactional Inten. It is one of the simpler content optimization search intent types because when online shopping, buyers tend to already know what they are wanting to purchase.


The most commonly searched for and purchased items online include:


  • Clothing and shoes
  • Vacations and getaways
  • Vintage items
  • Technology products
  • Entertainment such as books, music, and movies
  • Courses to purchase in order to learn something


When a buyer already knows what they want to buy, they aren’t going to be spending large amounts of time browsing around the internet. Instead, they will often create more direct and simple searches, many times consisting of fewer words, in order to get to their desired product. This means that Transactional Intent keyword optimization may not be for you unless you are selling a set of certain products.


The 4 Types of Search Intent4

4. Commercial Investigation

The last type of Search Intent is Commercial Investigation. Rather than looking for something they want to know or purchase right away, Commercial Investigation optimisation is geared more towards people who are interested in conducting research online. 


People with Commercial Investigation intent are not exhibiting the intent to buy right now, but will end up buying in the future. This means that they will have Transactional Intent once they decide upon which product or item suits them best. 


Common themes and keywords in Commercial Investigation tend to be pre-purchasing research such as:


  • The best record player to purchase
  • The most energy efficient home appliances
  • The most inexpensive tropical vacation to take
  • Which anti-virus software is the most effective
  • The best romance novel 

Making Search Intent Optimisation Effective

Making Search Intent Optimisation Effective

Optimising your content to search intent that is associated with your specific target keywords is important because it will ensure that traffic will lead users to your website so that they are able to find what they are looking for. Below, you will find the ways in which to best optimise your content as well as which intent type is right for your website. 


Whether you should optimize your target keywords for informational intent, navigational intent, transactional intent, or commercial investigation will greatly depend on what your site is offering.


Keywords Are Key for Informational Intent

Keywords Are Key for Informational Intent

When searching with Informational Intent, people want to know an answer to a question or problem. They will often use specific key words that establish themselves as Informational Intent users. These words are:

  • What (what the user is looking for and comparing against; often a product)
  • Why (why should the user be interested in purchasing a certain product)
  • How (how do they find, use, or decide on a product)

While many search engines will display ads and videos, they will also display 3 organic optimisation results that use keywords to answer the individual questions. According to Bright Edge, over 40% of a business’s revenue is actually acquired by organic traffic that is led to their page or site by a search engine’s organic feature. Full and complete Informational Intent searches may look like this:

  • What is the most energy efficient washing machine? 
  • Why should I purchase an energy efficient washing machine?
  • How do I find an energy efficient washing machine to purchase?
  • How do I decide between two different energy efficient washing machine brands?

Navigational Intent Requires Landing Pages


If you want your company, service, brand, or business to show up for the public during Navigational Intent searches, you must use:

  • Headings: clear titles for each section of text on your website or article
  • Bullet Point: turn lists into bullet points for easy reading and information absorption
  • Font Changes: bold or italicize pieces of font if appropriate to create aesthetic and visual gradients within your informational texts
  • Descriptions: make your descriptions easy to read by using simple words and short sentences.


in order to optimise your website. Creating a Landing Page, or a stand alone web page, will ensure that the user and  potential customer is directed to a recognizable home page or welcome page once they click on your website link. The best search optimisations for Navigational Intent usually include these things:

  • A Title: A clear page title so that the user knows exactly what page they are on and what they are looking at.
  • A URL Link: The http:// URL link that connects the user’s search click to your site.
  • A Detailed Description: A short, clear, and detailed description that expands on what services your business offers or what products are carried by your company.

Focused Optimisation for Transactional Intent

The best and most effective way to optimize for Transactional Intent is to make sure the content of your website, product article, or online store is streamlined and focused. 


Your focus should always be the user purchasing your goods. Clear, direct, and short informational blurbs rather than large amounts of supporting descriptions will appeal to the users who are interested in purchasing and doing so quickly.


The 4 main things to keep in mind when optimizing your content for Transactional Intent are:


  • Clear Design: avoid images, videos, and clutter on your page.
  • Clean CTA: use user-friendly buttons, basic colors, and sleek contrasting shades.
  • Simple Text: add practical titles, lists, and bullet points for easy information gathering.
  • Readable Font: avoid fancy or spiraled fonts; keeping it simple is best.



Along with clear and direct phrasing, it is important to include keywords that support the user’s Transactional Intent. These include:


  • Purchase
  • Buy
  • Sale
  • Save
  • Compare
  • Deal
  • Best
  • Original
  • Affordable
  • Top
  • Percent Off
  • Discount
  • Limited Time


These words allow for a search engine to know that you are selling something, therefore presenting your website as a destination for the user to go to when they are interested in making purchases. The targeted keywords make it easy for the search engine to determine the particular topic of your website. This allows it to utilize these transaction related keywords in order to signal to the user that they are coming to the right place. 


The search engine will then cue the user into realising that they will most likely find what they are looking for after clicking on your http:// URL.


Product Detail for Commercial Investigation Optimisation

When the user is not completely ready to purchase something at the moment like they would be in the Transactional Intent phase, but already know which product they want to buy, they may turn to a search engine in order to research which exact company or manufacturer to buy from. They are often looking to research by comparing and contrasting between the various options available. Including information such as:


  • Your Location
  • Product Price
  • Product Keywords
  • Detailed Product Descriptions


These can assist your website in becoming featured by a search engine, therefore leading traffic to your products, goods, and services.The Impact of Keyword Modifiers