Optimizing for Search Intent

By: ITVibes, Inc | Published 06/06/2019

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When you type a search term into Google, you might not know what search results will appear, but you know what type of information you’re looking for. For instance, if you want the definition of “computer”, you don’t want to see pages of electronics stores selling computers. That would indicate that Google’s algorithm missed what you actually wanted to find on your search–your search intent.

Search engine optimization can boost your website’s visibility, but don’t stop there. You can attract traffic to your website and encourage visitors to stay longer by making sure you provide precisely what they’re looking for. You can optimize your website to satisfy user intent as well as basic SEO.

SEO is important, but don’t forget about user intent! If you’re consistently posting content but aren’t answering search queries, your #DigitalMarketing efforts could fail. Here are a few tips to produce quality content designed for search intent!CLICK TO TWEET

Types Of Searcher Intent

The vast majority of Google searches fall into one of three categories:

  • Navigational
  • Informational
  • Transactional

Navigational searches account for about 10% of all searches and refer to finding directions to a nearby location. 

Informational searches, general questions or inquiries, make up 80% of all searches.

Lastly, transactional intent refers to searching for goods or services the user wants to buy. Transactional searches cover the final 10% of all Google queries.

What does your website have to offer Google users? Even if you rank high for your keywords, make sure you satisfy their intent as well.

Optimizing For Navigational Intent

Local SEO can help you out here. You should show people searching for your website that not only can you offer the product or service they want, but also that you’re close enough for them to visit your business. Build a detailed landing page with localized keywords, even in the URL when possible. In a nutshell, make sure your landing pages communicate clearly what your company does, where you’re located, and the customer base you can help.

Pro Tip: Help potential customers find your location by regularly using Google My Business.  This gives potential customers a clear picture of your location relative to them.

Optimizing For Informational Intent

Determine the most common search queries and questions that lead people to your website, then incorporate those terms into your URL, page title, and description. For instance, a pet store’s website might title one of their pages, “How Often Should I Take My Dog to the Vet?”, and several semantically related keywords from the title would appear in the URL and throughout the page itself.

Use subheadings to break up your content so that users can quickly browse the entire page to find the answer to their specific question. Since informational searches make up the vast majority of Google inquiries, optimizing your content to answer questions or provide information will significantly boost your visibility.

Optimizing For Transactional Intent

A Google user with transactional intent has already made the decision to purchase services, so they don’t need advertising or promotion anymore. For a product or service-focused landing page, avoid internal links or other distractions in your page design. Keep your text concise and easy skimmable with bullet points and emphasis on important aspects. Remember, the user is here to buy from you. Don’t put anything on your page that could make them second-guess their decision.

Don’t neglect your transactional page’s URL or title either. Returning to our pet store example, a transactional page might be called “The Best Bird Cages Under $100”. This title clearly indicates that the page is dedicated to steering the user toward a specific product to purchase, rather than explaining how to clean one of the birdcages. The page itself would contain a brief description of each cage, along with the price and a link to purchase.

Optimizing Your Content For User Intent

Basic SEO and keyword research will certainly improve your website, but you can’t forget to offer something of value to the users who find your site. Keyword intent can be just as important as the keywords themselves. By appealing directly to searchers’ questions or targets, you will attract more relevant traffic and boost your sales as well as your online visibility.

Focusing on digital marketing to a specific audience? We can help! Connect with us to speak to our SEO experts and improve your website.

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