What Is Search Intent?
With the rise of search engines and SEO, the face of buying changed. Buyers now take a much more active role in their buying research and decisions. The buyer’s journey is now less linear and now looped with research and information gathering.
How businesses reach them changed as well. In order to reach buyers, it is necessary to create specific content based on where they are in the buyer’s journey. Search intent takes SEO a step further and anticipates the buyers needs based on what they search for.
In order to make the best use of your SEO practices, search intent is key. Here is the rundown on what it is and how it can improve the engagement with your brand.
The Types of Search Intent
Basically, search intent is the “why” behind what drives them to a search engine. With recent Google updates, namely Hummingbird and RankBrain algorithms, they are better able to understand the “why” behind the search and give answers geared towards that. Companies can take advantage of this by creating answers that most accurately reflect the meaning behind the search keywords.
Intent can be broken down into four general categories:
- Informational. This is the most common reason that people use search engines. They want to gain information and learn more about a specific topic. Typically, searches will start with phrases such as “How to…” “Best ways to…” and “What is…”.
- Navigation. This type of search wants a specific website. They know what they want, they just do not want to type in a specific address. If someone types in “Instagram” to Google, they most likely just want to get to Instagram.
- Transactional. This is the active buyer. They are looking to purchase an item and are now on the active search for it. These types of searches typically have “buy”, “deal”, or “sale” in them.
- Commercial. A mixture of informational and transactional, these people are usually on the cusp of purchasing. They are comparing companies or products, for example, but they are further along in the buying process than simply informational.
It is important to keep these intents in mind in order to create the most reliable search. The goal is to direct people based on their intent. If they search your business name your search results should take them to your main page, not to a long-form informational article. They want more informational knowledge about your industry, on the other hand, directing them to your sales page will seem overly pushy and potentially turn them away.
Benefits of Optimizing Search Intent
When you create the best results based on the meaning behind the keywords, search engines and potential customers are much more likely to be pleased. Some of the benefits include:
- Less Bounce Rate. Since you are providing the most accurate answer that they want, people are more likely to stay on your page. If they are directed to a page on your website that does not match their intent, they will not continue to search your site. They will simply go back and try someone else.
- More Engagement. On the other hand, if you do match their intent and give them what they are looking for, they will be more likely to look at the rest of your site.
- Get in Google Answer Box. What is better than ranking #1 in a search? Rank 0 by landing at the top of the page in the Answer Box. If Google algorithms understand that you match both words and intent, you will rank above your competition in the Answer Box.
By utilizing search intent, you can get ahead of the competition and engage potential customers efficiently. Do not simply find keywords. Get to the “why” behind in order to translate search ranking into sales.