The internet provides users with an overwhelming amount of information right at their fingertips. That said, user intent has become exceedingly more relevant as Google tries to sort through trillions of gigabytes of data to deliver the most relevant information to user questions.
Understanding user intent, search intent and other types of user intent are relevant to everyone because more data is added to Google and other search engines every second. To find the information you need and to make the user experience easier on yourself or your clients, you’ll need a good idea of the more in-depth information behind user intent, and this article will help you with that.
User intent basics
People using search engines can fall into four separate categories depending on their intent: informational, navigational, transactional or investigation. All of these search intents have their own value and are relevant to both user intent for SEO and user intent for keyword research.
- Informational queries: The searcher here is simply looking for some form of information. Searches can vary from who, what, when, where, why questions to just a person’s name.
- Navigational queries: Navigational searches happen when a user is trying to get to a specific website. Examples of this could be a blog, article, or social media site.
- Investigative queries: These searches are for people who are researching products or services. So, these users are not ready to buy yet, but they are preparing to make a purchase soon.
- Transactional queries: Transactional queries are users who are specifically looking to make a purchase. They have figured out what they want and are trying to find the best place to buy it.
These four categories of user intent will be the core areas to consider when figuring who your ideal audience will be.
Optimizing SEO content for intent
Google has gotten increasingly smarter as time goes on where you cannot trick the search engine into using highly competitive keywords for your site but not providing any relevant content for those keywords on your actual site or page. This is a lose-lose situation for you and the search engine because even if someone clicks on your site, they are going to leave immediately after they realize that the content they need is not there.
Users now are going to be more interested in content the more specific it is. Statistics show that you only have about 10 to 20 seconds to engage a user before they decide to stay or leave a web page. If the content is either too short, long or not optimized for user experience, that is another reason for them to leave your page. So, not only does the content you write have to be relevant, but it should be engaging as well so that you are keeping those users on the page.
Considering user intent is also very important as far as getting qualified leads to your site. If you have high-quality and relevant content users will stay on your site longer and might even fill out their information for a newsletter or email sign-up call to action. This shows you that these users have the intention of wanting to know more about your business and are more likely to return again and even complete a goal conversion.
Knowing your target audience and demographics is also helpful because that information could affect the psychology behind their searches. There are many ways to search for the same thing, and depending on what persona you are targeting, you will want to consider that when choosing keywords.
Other tips to know for lead generation-centered writing are to prove in your content that you are an expert in that field and to build trust, so they are more inclined to complete a conversion. Also, always include Call to Actions within your content, so you don’t miss a single opportunity for a lead. For the best results, you should include a CTA in the middle of the piece and then again at the end of the page, so they have something to do after they finished reading.
In the details of SEO
You want to be aware of the intent of every aspect of search engine optimization. Title tags, meta descriptions, ad content and landing pages all matter when it comes to intent and what moves a user to click. Even if your keywords and the content are right on target, if the ad that a user sees doesn’t contain the product or title they are looking for, they will probably move on to another result.
User intent & keyword research
The search intent should always be the first consideration when choosing keywords. This is especially true for Pay Per Click advertising, as you don’t want to have to pay for clicks by people who aren’t interested in what you are advertising. For small to medium-sized businesses, long-tail keywords are a better option because there is less competition, but also it is a better method specifically because these keywords are focused on intent.
You can choose more specific keywords to use on your site so that when those terms are searched for, the user is already poised to buy or to get more information about a service. Like the content you write, keywords help search engines classify what is relevant, so the more specific the better.
Optimizing content for mobile search
An interesting fact to know about internet marketing is that statistics have shown that over 50% of website traffic was produced from mobile devices, and almost 60% of all searches, in general, are done from mobile devices as well. This shows that the convenience of mobile search is only trending upwards, so businesses should place equal importance on optimizing their websites for mobile as they do for desktop use.
Accessibility is also an issue for mobile users. Voice search and voice assistant on devices are not optimized for all languages, tones, and alternative speaking methods, meaning that people suffering from physical and cognitive disabilities cannot use these services. Also, people who speak other languages may not be understood as well, because this service has not been updated to consider these differences in speech.
To summarize, user intent is an important aspect in every area of content creation and optimization. From deciding what your target audience is, to writing the title tag, you need to use relevant information to make sure search engines can properly rank your page.
You also need to do this so that your content is specific enough for users to find the answer they are looking for, since the goal is to create content that is both informational and entertaining. With this information in mind, you should be able to both boost your ranking on the search engine result page and get higher goal completions.