What Is Search Intent?

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Louis O'Neill

Co Founder & Head of Content

Search Intent What does this mean?

It means creating content that aligns with their search intent. 

Example: Search Query

Search intent refers to the reason behind a user's online search query. When you understand exactly why someone is arriving on your page, you can create precise content that is tailored to their search intent. By aligning your content to the right search intent, you can begin to increase your results - whether that’s the amount of time someone spends on your page, or the number of people who buy your products.

Generally, when someone searches for something online, they will have one of three reasons (or intents) for the search. These are:

  1. Informational 
  2. Navigational
  3. Transactional 

If someone has an informational intent, it means that the user wants to learn something. For example, someone might search “Which fabric is the warmest?

Informational intent is best served through information-rich blog posts and articles.

If someone has a navigational intent, they want to find a specific page. For example, someone might search for a brand like “Carhartt clothing”.

You will only begin to fulfil navigational intent once you have built up enough of a reputation that people are searching for your brand name rather than the service or product that you offer. 

If someone has a transactional intent, they want to buy something. For example, they might search “Buy Carhartt clothing”.

To satisfy someone’s transactional intent, you want your page to contain clear descriptions and images of your product or service, with CTA (call to action) buttons throughout the page. If someone is searching “buy toothbrush” and they land on your toothbrush site, but they can’t quickly figure out how to buy a toothbrush, they’ll leave and go to one of your competitors. 

When you tailor the content on your website to align with your audience’s search intent, you can provide content that is exactly what they’re looking for, which will help to lower your bounce rates and give you higher ranking potential on Google and other search engines. 

Keyword intent is critically important when developing an SEO strategy - ultimately because it’s a major factor in providing a positive user experience. If you can provide the best, most precise possible experience to users that are arriving at your website, whether they’re coming for information, to see your brand, or to buy a product that you offer, you’ll begin to reap rewards. 

Of course, when it comes to SEO, search intent is just one factor among many that you’ll need to consider when building out your site and content strategy, alongside elements like your page layout, meta descriptions and page speed. 

But if you can nail your content from a search intent perspective, you’re moving in the right direction.

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