WordPress SEO in 5 Minutes – What is Search Intent?
Google ranks pages that best fit the keyword, as well as the intent behind a specific search query. If you are not optimized for intent, your keyword-rich content may not help you get the desired results. That’s why your post or page must fit the “search intent” of your audience.
What is Search Intent?
Search intent, or User intent, also known as Keyword intent at times, is the reason why users make a specific search query. Do they need to make a purchase? Do they need to reach a specific website? Are they looking for some information?
There are broadly 4 intents.
Types of Search Intent
1. Transactional Intent
The user searches with an intent to buy something. In most cases, the user already knows what needs to be purchased and are looking for a place to buy. The search will be mostly with the product name.
2. Commercial Investigation
The user is searching for a specific product, but is probably yet to make a final buying decision. The search is for products reviews or comparisons to arrive at a decision.
(Product 1) vs (Product 2)
Best (Product name)
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3. Navigational intent
Users are searching for a specific site. They already know the site name, and probably find it easier to google it than to type the entire URL.
4. Informational intent
User is searching for information on a specific topic or looking for an answer to a specific question. It must be noted that not all informational queries will be in the question form. E.g., A search ‘hot cookies’ will be mostly for a recipe rather than for a history of cookies. Google understands this very well. With improved search algorithms, Google can decipher the intent behind a search query better, and understands that it goes beyond just the keyword. Example: “What is search intent”.
Why is Search Intent important for SEO?
Google will always look to provide users with the most relevant result for their search query. So, if you want your page or post to rank, your content should be relevant to the intent. Keyword-rich content will not be sufficient to get your page to rank, as now Google understands that intent relevance is more important for user satisfaction.
Search Intent optimization
It can be difficult to identify the intent of a search keyword; and different users can have different intent for the same query. However, there are some practices that you can follow to optimize your page for intent relevance.
- Check the Search Engine Results Page (SERP)s to understand what type of keywords are currently ranking for the intent that you are focussing on.
- Check search results history, as SERPs fluctuate over time. Pages that stay the same in the ranking results have the most relevant keywords for the intent that is being aimed at.
- Optimize product pages for commercial intent keywords.
- Optimize posts with page titles and descriptions for information intent.
- Optimize transactional pages with clear CTAs and simple conversion process.
- Use keyword modifiers relevant to the intent. Few examples – Informational – How, Guide, Ideas, Tips; Navigational – Brand names, Name of a product; Commercial – Top, Best, Review; Transactional – Buy, order, price of.
The content you’re writing must be relevant to the keywords as well as the intent of your audience, for a good ranking result.
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