How To Use User Intent In SEO Activities? - Semalt Expert

What is User Intent? How to optimize for it like a pro

Google has long set itself the goal of matching content to users' queries as much as possible. To do this, it focuses on the so-called search intent, i.e. the purpose of the search. what is it? What types of search intent do we distinguish? And most importantly - how to optimize content for intent? 

These are the most important points that we will shed light on in this article.

What is search intent?

Search intent is the goal that a user wants to achieve by typing a specific term into the search engine. It can be said that intentions reflect the problems and dilemmas of Internet users. The Google algorithm tries to respond to the users' intentions by displaying the results that are closest to the query. Does it always manage to suggest the right content? Mostly yes, but not always. Sometimes it's hard to determine the intentions of keywords that are typed into Google. Let's look at two examples.

When a user searches for "steam mop", what might he/she mean? Perhaps he/she wants to see the ranking of the best mops, compare prices, or maybe check how it differs from traditional floor cleaning brushes?!

However, when he/she enters "steam mop up to 140 euros", the search intent will be clear - the user wants to check models up to a specific amount because he is very likely interested in buying.

In both of these cases, website owners should choose a different content strategy - one that will be best suited to the expectations of users. You will learn how to do this later in the article.

Why is search intent important for SEO?

Every user who enters a phrase into a search engine has a purpose. In the past, Google only paid attention to keywords and displayed page suggestions on this basis. Over time, however, it was noticed that this is not the only thing that matters. The topic of intention has come to the fore and for several years now Google has been doing everything to improve both the quality and relevance of searches. To this end, it introduces many improvements and updates - the most recent being the Helpful Content Update.

Thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning, Google takes into account e.g. the user experience and can understand the context of keywords, as well as combine phrases into a logical sequence, which makes it more and more accurate in recognizing intentions. How does this relate to your SEO efforts and why should you focus on search intent?

You will be a great source of knowledge

Creating content tailored to the intention of users will translate into trust in your brand. Imagine you are the owner of a pet shop. When the future owner of a pet types into the search engine: "how to choose dry food for a puppy", he/she will certainly be interested in the article in which you describe the properties of individual foods and their purpose concerning the breed or age of the dog. 

You can also try to rank the best food for puppies or tips on what to follow when choosing on your own. However, if you proposed a text about wet food or food for senior dogs, you would not answer the question asked. In this way, you will increase the probability that the user will not enter your website, or after a quick scan of the text with his/her eyes, he/she will simply leave it.

What should you avoid in the context of search intent?

If you want to take care of the SEO of an online store, you should focus on precise and detailed responses to search intent searches. If you are not sure what content to create or how to optimize it for the users' intentions, arrange an SEO consultation. Perhaps making small changes will make users more likely to visit your website.

Users will appreciate you and Google will conquer your website

If you create relevant content that takes search intent into account, you improve your brand image. Not only will users be more likely to visit your website, but Google will also promote your content in organic search results. Detailed, specialized texts, enriched with graphics and appropriate website design will make users use your advice and remember your brand faster.

You will collect valuable leads

Content created with intent not only improves website traffic but also leads to conversion. After all, if you can answer users' questions thoroughly, they won't have to search for new pages to learn more. As a result, you will keep them around longer, which will most likely result in lead acquisition.

4 types of search intent

Search Intent: How to Use It For Your Business | State of Digital

There are 4 types of search intent you need to consider to produce high-value content. Let's go over them briefly.

1. Information inquiries

The intention of the user in the case of information queries is simple - he/she is looking for a definition, specific information on how to do something, and it does not matter to him/her on which page he finds the answer. The effect matters here. Preferably as fast and specific as possible. The goal in this case is probably not to buy, but only to provide knowledge.

Here are some examples of information requests:

2. Navigation Queries

Navigation queries are related to a specific brand or place. Users in this case are looking for a specific product or service, and their intention is to be redirected to a given website or a tip on how to get to the destination. Most often, their search scheme looks like this:

3. Commercial inquiries

Commercial queries are a combination of information and navigation queries. The search intent of users who enter such questions is probably a purchase, but before that, they want to finally compare brands/services/products.

Examples of commercial inquiries are:

4. Transactional queries

The intention of the user asking a transactional question is to buy (make a transaction). He/she is determined for a given product or service and his/her motivation is to find the best offer. After entering the phrase, product cards will most likely be displayed instead of e.g. blog entries. An example of this type of query could be:

How to specify search intent?

Pay attention to the keywords

If you're wondering how to find the right phrases that meet the search intentions of users, many SEO tools come to the rescue such as the Dedicated SEO Dashboard. Indeed, this tool is an all-in-one software that has very advanced features capable of accomplishing the most complex SEO tasks. 

With this tool, you can not only find a list of relevant keywords, but you will also find useful information about your competitors. There are other DSD features that I invite you to discover on demo.semalt.com.

View Google search results

See what the SERP results look like for each of the four intents and where you can get information.

Informative intention

With information questions, the first result will likely be Wikipedia, a blog, or a dictionary entry, and often the Google Knowledge Panel will also be displayed. Depending on the topic, videos from YouTube may also appear in high positions (e.g. "how to make a cure?").
 

Navigation intention

Users who know what they are specifically looking for will find the best-matched results in the top positions. For example, when typing "TikTok", the first result is the home page of the application. Just below this "Similar Questions" and to the right is the Knowledge Panel. Of course, these kinds of results are phrase-dependent.

Commercial intention

When considering two products or brands, the result of a commercial query is likely to be a review, test, comparison, etc. Google knows that you are faced with a product choice, so it will suggest information to help you make the final decision.