Search Intent & Why It Matters — People First Content

Have trouble ranking on Google? Then this article might help.

There are multiple factors that determine your SERP rankings. We know things like keyword optimization, backlinks, and page speed have a hand in how your page will appear in the search engine.

Related Article: 11 SEO Things You’re Forgetting

But even though you know your page is well-optimized, your content is still not driving enough traffic. What is going on? One answer is that maybe your target audience isn’t looking for your kind of content.

They’re searching for something different and one that matches their needs. This concept is known as search intent, and it may be pivotal to your content strategy.

What Is Search Intent

Search Intent is the core motivation behind a user’s search query. It looks to answer the questions:

  • Why are they searching?
  • What are they hoping to find?
  • What is the purpose of their search?

Why it matters

Intent plays an integral role in your content strategy. Google’s mission is to provide users with the most relevant search results. They want to ensure that people find pages that best answer what they’re looking for.

For example, someone searches “computers,” and the top results are all about “the best computers to buy.” An article on “what are computers” is less likely to rank for that keyword because it doesn’t align with the other pages.

So if you want your page to rank for a specific keyword, you need to determine the intent behind a user’s search. It’s not only beneficial for SEO but also content creation.

Types of Search Intent

The majority of web pages fall into four types of search intent: informational, navigational, transactional, and commercial investigation.

Informational intent

The user wants to learn something. They’re looking for information about a particular topic because they may be curious. So as a writer, your page should act as a resource that provides educational content or answers any questions that someone might have about that keyword.

Examples look like:

  • “How to change a tire”
  • “What is a black hole”
  • “Content writing best practices”

Navigational intent

The user is looking for a specific website or address. Typing in a website URL takes some work. So it’s easier to just search for it on Google instead. For this intent, you’re not creating content but rather looking for ways to simplify the search process for people — whether that be through shortening URLs, organizing your site structure, or even optimizing for keywords.

Examples look like:

  • “LinkedIn”
  • “People First Content blog”
  • “Sweets Kendamas”

Transactional intent

The user wants to do something, perform an action. Most of the time, they’re looking to make a purchase. But in other cases, they may want to download a piece of free content (e-books, calendars, templates, etc.) or subscribe to a newsletter.

Related Article: What The Heck Is Lead Generation

Examples look like:

  • “Buy DSLR camera”
  • “Free marketing e-book”
  • “Nike Air Max shoes”

Commercial investigation

The user looks to learn before they make a purchase. Essentially a blend of informational and transactional, the person is interested in buying a product or service but wants to do more research before making a decision. So people are likely to look up reviews, list rankings, and testimonials to understand the product better.

Examples look like:

  • “Best work laptop”
  • “Spider-man review”
  • “Popular restaurants in Mexico City”

Tips To Optimize Content for Search Intent

Now that you know the four types of intent, here are helpful tips to better optimize your content.

Do a quick search for your target keyword

Fortunately, determining a keyword’s intent isn’t hard. Simply do a quick Google search for a specific query and observe the results page. The type of search intent will often be obvious just from how the titles are formatted.

For example, if you searched for “headphones” and you see results like “best headphones to buy” or “20 headphones you should consider,” then you can infer that people search the keyword with a commercial investigation intent.

Before you start writing, figure out the search intent for your keyword. It gives you a better idea of what content you should be creating.

Understand your target audience

You should already have a deep understanding of your audience. It’s vital that you know the user’s pain points, personas, and stage in the buyer journey to better align your content with their needs.

Take a step back and evaluate what your audience might find valuable. What are some of the most frequently asked questions in your topic? What information could help influence their buying decision? How can you make it easier for users to find what they need?

Conclusion

Catering to search intent does wonders for your SEO. When your page matches what people are looking for, it results in lower bounce rates, more page views, and higher rankings. So be sure to factor in search intent during your content creation process.

If you already know the search intent for your target keyword but just need content, then People First Content can help. Our team of writers excels at crafting engaging and optimized content that improves your website’s rankings. Interested in learning more? Contact us today!

Originally published at https://www.peoplefirstcontent.com on April 24, 2022.

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