Search Intent


What Is Search Intent In SEO?

Search intent is defined as the goal of the searcher, when they make a query on a search engine. When a users types a keyword or a keyphrase into a search engine, they have an end goal in mind. They could be searching for information on how to perform a task, looking for directions to a place or trying to buy something. Search engines try to understand the reason and display results that matches the search intent.

What Are the Different Types of Search Intent?

There are 3 main types of search intents, these are:

1. Informational Search Intent 

When a searcher is looking for information about a particular topic, or seeking an answer to a specific question. An example of informational search is someone searching for "how to bake a cake".

Google SERPs for how to bake a cake - what is search intent

2. Navigational Search Intent

When a searcher types in a query in order to find a specific web page or website. An example of this search is when a user searches for "Facebook login".

Google SERPs for facebook login - navigational search intent

3. Transactional Search Intent

For this type of search intent, searchers are seeking to making a purchase, and are mainly looking for a product or company. An example of this type of search is a search for "buy mercedes benz in california".

Google SERPs for buy mercedes benz in california - transactional search intent

Why Is Search Intent Important for SEO?

Optimising your website for search intent is important because if a searcher sees that your website relates to their search query, they are more likely to click on your link in SERPs.

More clicks, means more traffic, higher dwell time and a higher conversion rate. This ultimately leads to a higher ranking in SERPs.

If your page is really good, you might even turn up as a featured snippet in SERPs.

How Can You Optimize Your Website for Search Intent?

There are different ways to optimise your website based on the different kinds of search intent. However before we get on to that, you must take a look at what is already out there.

Take a look at your competition’s content and see how you match up in terms of ranking for certain keywords.

Make sure you have a fast page speed, that you have optimised your website for the mobile user and assess whether it is easy to navigate. Then, take a look at making the following changes.

1. Optimizing for Informational Search Intent

For this kind of search intent, in order to effectively fulfil the searcher’s query you must provide an easy to understand and concise answer. You can do this by dividing up your page content into digestible chunks.

  • Use your page title to clearly outline the broad focus of the page
  • Use your H1 tag to plainly state the question you will answer
  • Use your H2 tags to divide your answer into subsections
  • In each paragraph clearly outline the answer directly

2. Optimizing for Navigational Search Intent

Obviously, optimizing for navigational search intent is a tricky one, because you won’t get traffic if you are not the website or brand that the searcher is specifically looking for.

However, to help searchers find you, make sure to integrate branded keywords into your meta tags, URL and throughout your content. But don’t keyword stuff.

3. Optimizing for Transactional Search Intent

This one is pretty simple. Your landing page should clearly outline what it is you’re selling, and how your particular product will benefit the customer and fulfil their transactional search intent.

  • Entice the reader with a CTA (Call to Action). Make this stand out.
  • Persuade the reader by using emotive language. Keep it simple though, you don’t want to overwhelm them or turn them off.

How Can We Help?

Just not quite sure exactly what your users are searching for? 

We can certainly help - contact us and we’ll put you in touch with a team that can provide you with professional insight and an action plan to implement so you can give your customers what they want.