We've all been there: you have a question and you turn to the internet for answers. You enter your question into a search engine, hit enter...and then you're met with a wall of results.
How do you find the answer you're looking for? Search intent is how search engines understand what you're looking for, and it's what will help you find the answer to your question.
When you enter a query into a search engine, the algorithms analyze your search to try and understand your intent. Are you looking for information? A specific product? A particular website?
Depending on what you're looking for, the search engine will provide different results. So next time you're searching for something online, remember: search intent is what will help you find the answer you're looking for.
In the world of content marketing, search intent plays a crucial role in helping your content reach its full potential. This is because search intent refers to the specific needs that users are trying to address when they search for information online.
By understanding and catering to search intent, content marketers can ensure that their site provides users with the answers, guidance, and resources they need. To effectively create content that caters to these needs, it is important to understand what types of searches people typically conduct online. There are three main categories of searches: transactional, navigational, and informational.
If you fail to take search intent into account when creating your content, then it will likely be lost in the vast sea of online content, failing to rank on the first page of search results.
Transactional queries refer to searches related to purchases and consumer decisions; navigational queries pertain to finding a particular website or product; and informational queries are used for learning about a particular topic or issue.
By understanding what kind of search engagement you want to create for your target audience and incorporating these different types of searches into your strategy, you can produce content that will empower your audience and help them achieve their goals or solve their problems.
We examine the four types of search intent and how they should be used in this article:
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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:
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. It is a great reference for how to do keyword research for PPC in your niche and how to design marketing campaigns for your products.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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 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:
Optimising your content to search intent that is associated with your specific target keywords is important because it will make your website visible on Google and lead users 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.
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:
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:
If you want your company, service, brand, or business to show up for the public during Navigational Intent searches, you must use:
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:
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:
Along with clear and direct phrasing, it is important to include keywords that support the user’s Transactional Intent. These include:
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.
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:
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.
Keyword Modifying is the action of adding keyword related filters in order to narrow-in on the particular keywords that are important to you, your company, and your brand. While keyword modifiers are incredibly useful for content optimisation, you shouldn’t depend solely on modifyers when optimising your unique content.
If you decide that images are necessary to your website and want them to be featured on a search engine result page as an organic feature, make sure they relate to your text.
Relating your photos or images to your texts will allow you a greater chance that the search engine will feature them together.
Better yet, title and label your image accordingly with your Search Intent type utilizing your target keywords, keeping it short and simple. When search engines pick up on these keywords, they will show both the image description and the image to the people who have searched.
There are certain variations, or modifyers, that can suggest a specific intent when the user enters them into a search engine. Below are some examples of how to infer keywords and which impact they are optimized for:
The 4 different Search Intent types or categories will always end up triggering different sorts of search engine features. These features depend highly, if not solely, on the style of content optimization you have chosen to utilize for your
Featured Snippets are incredibly important when optimizing your content to Search Intent associated with your target keywords. Featured snippets, or small sections of texts that come up when something is typed into a search engine, directly send traffic to websites due to their visibility. When a search engine features a certain website or brand, this means that it will take up more space on the SERP.
A SERP, or a search engine result page, is the place in which it is most important to take up space. The more prevalent your website or blog page is on the SERP, the more likely Informational Intent users are to click on your links.The fastest way to get a Featured Snippet is to compare your information to the copy of your featured competitors by utilizing an online ranking tool.
Typically, websites with the most visually clear text designs end up becoming featured. Numerical lists, bullet points, and bold headings are a sure way to be on the road to a Featured Snippet; as are short and concise sentence structures.
In order to best optimise your content to Search Intent associated with target keywords specific to your web page, remember to pay attention to what the user is looking for. Don’t forget to:
Search Intent is, by far, the top ranking factor for website traffic and search engine visibility. Listening to the needs of the searchers while anticipating their intentions will eventually make or break your content optimisation. Users want to engage with reliable sources, so make sure that your keywords and text information is both accessible and true to your brand. By optimising your content, those entering your targeted phrases into search engines will be drawn to interact with your website and blog.
Continually updating your articles for popular search intents will drastically increase your chances of being discovered online and improves your overall exposure on the SERP. Without exposure, your articles and websites will get lost in the overwhelming vortex of search engine results, fading away in the millions of articles posted every day on the web. In the end, if you don’t improve your content and the strategies behind it, you won’t rank in search engines.
Search intent is the reason for why users make the kind of searches they do. In identifying search intent, you first need to find valuable keywords related to your topics, niche, and website orientation. After that, you need to try and discover what people are actually looking for when they make that search. The search intent is the result that lets you know what the search engine predicts to be the reason why people are searching for the keyword.
With sophisticated search intent identification applications, search engines like Google are transforming into answer engines, and their intention is to identify signals that let them know what you want and why you want it. The search intent element is something you can identify by keeping your focus set on the ‘why’ of valuable, targeted keywords.
Now that you've done your research, you know what you need from the best PPC advertising agency.
With over 25 years of experience, SnellMedia has created thousands of successful B2B Google Ads campaigns for clients primarily in SaaS, Manufacturing Automation and Healthtech.
Book a 30-minute consultation with a senior, Google-certified member of our team today. During the call, we’ll answer any Google Ads-related questions you have and audit your account to provide your marketing team with valuable feedback they can implement to double or maybe even triple your lead generation.