Your knowledge of search intent plays an instrumental role in doing SEO the right away. From a conventional SEO standpoint, the best way to understand search intent is by probing into the search trends. While such enquiry does that, for the time being, there is a lot more you can do to leverage your SEO potential.
Don’t limit yourself to researching just the search volume and trends
The big idea here is to find and optimise “know”, “do”, “how” queries for content ideas that could really put you in front of readers at different stages of their buyer’s journey. In the world of SEO, anyone who has a good grasp of a purchasing cycle will also have a clear-cut picture of consumer behaviour. Essentially, it allows a webmaster to know what a user searches for. Today it’s more important than ever to make sure that your brand and online assets are showcased in front of the users when they research the products. At the end of the day, if you don’t bring your brand and products to the top of their minds every time they get their wallets out to buy products online, then you are not doing your SEO properly.
So, where do you start? How should you create content that can place your business at key stages of the buying cycle? Well, this is where understanding the internal workings of ‘search intent’ can be of great help.
What is search intent?
‘Search intent’ is basically your portal into the mind of the average user. It is the reason why people use a search engine. Google has rolled out landmark algorithms to help users find results relevant to their search intent. Rich snippets such as Answer Box and Google knowledge panels make things easier for users to find intended results.
The average user’s search intent can be classified into three categories:
- Informational searches
- Transactional searches
- Navigational searches
What does it mean in SEO’s grand scheme of things?
Let’s say you are performing SEO for the website of a domain/web hosting service company. You can essentially tap into the “know”, “do” and “go” queries to streamline the search functionality. Before we go about doing just that, let’s learn a little bit more about three different kinds of search intent.
Users perform this informational searches with the intention of learning something about a product or service. Of course, these searches tend to be generic in nature, and are carried out by people who may be interested in your business but are not yet ready to convert.
As for the specific searches, they may look like:
- How do I register for a new domain?
- How much does a domain cost?
- What types of hosting plans do you have?
The better optimised your search keywords, the higher your chances of earning sweet spots in SERP
Remember, because informational searches pertain to the initial stage of the average user’s buyer journey, you are not necessarily looking at conversion. Identifying the right informational search terms can go a long way in optimising for keywords in accordance with search intent. Despite the low scope for conversion, these queries are still the low hanging fruits that you want to rank for. Fully optimised content will not only answer the queries of users but put your brand and services right at the outset of their buying cycle. When you have finally found the much-coveted positions on SERPs, you will certainly get the cutting-edge over your competitors.
Users perform transactional searches with the express purpose of making a purchase. Each of these searches is targeted at products or services on a website. Your web hosting website is likely to generate generic queries like these:
- Buy cheap domain
- Best web hosting for under £50
- Cost effective web hosting
The transactional searches drive the sales through your website. Hence, these searches form an essential part of a website. While informational searches satiate the curiosity of users, transactional searches should lead to the culmination of a buyer’s journey. Make sure to optimise your transactional searches for the best buyer experience.
The workings of navigation are not readily visible for optimisation, and it is an area where most websites are crying out for improvement. Anyone who performs a navigational search on a website knows exactly what they are looking for. Your job is to make user navigation as easy as possible.
How search intent is related to Google rankings
The primary concern of every website is to get into Google’s good books. Google, on the other hand, employs various meaningful algorithms to deliver the most relevant results on SERPs. The more relevantly optimised your search terms, the higher your chances of ranking better on google. While creating content for your online assets, always keep search queries starting with “know”, “do”, and “go” in mind.
Laying out your priorities in place
You can never place enough stress on features to optimise. It’s absolutely vital that you select key sections of your website for optimisation, be it products or services page. The practice of picking things up indiscriminately often leaves in its under-optimised elements. Remember, it’s not about taking more than you can chew on. Instead, it’s about setting your priorities straight and optimising things that matter most to your business. Also, both over-optimisation and under-optimisation are equally capable of hurting your good rankings. So select wisely.
Focusing on your current and new content pages
It’s more difficult than you imagine to incorporate newly found search terms into the current content on your website. In most cases, people come up with a set of search terms to boost sales for their business but end up finding it difficult to fit into the existing content. Should you make tweaks to your title to accommodate the new phrase? What about the SEO optimised page title? Do you need to change the images?
Well, in short, if you are planning on introducing search terms, you should change everything correspondingly to make their presence appear contextually relevant.
Of course, creating new pages is no big deal as long as you comply with all the SEO quality guidelines. But before injecting new search terms into existing pages, conduct a content audit to make a list of pages that are already generating traffic and conversion. As they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Always keep your search volume in mind
As many SEO experts would concede, there’s a special magic in including low-volume or less searched keywords in your content. So you may ask immediately, what’s the point in adding a set of keywords that nobody ever searches? Well, as you try to zero in on the search intent keywords, you will come across one or two low-volume keywords. After all, it’s all about what you are trying to sell. Let’s say you have got a high-ranking low search volume keyword and a searcher clicks on it, and the searcher eventually buys £1000 product from your website. It happens all the time. Hence, you don’t want to ignore a keyword just because it’s got low search volume. Just make sure to get the search intent right.
How well optimised is your content for search intent?
Is your website constructed based on the personal requirements of users, or is it the run-of-the-mill website giving users page after page, talking about how great your company is? What every webmaster needs to understand is that they have a personal responsibility to understand the buyer’s journey and deliver content in harmony with the search intent.
You have a personal responsibility to understand buyer’s journey, and deliver content in harmony with search intent
If you feel that your website is not effectively optimised for search intent, then it is something you should address right away. Why do users come to your website?. Are they being served what they came to see?
Mr Digital is equipped with SEO experts who understand the mechanism of search intent inside out. We create and implement content that corresponds to search intent, so feel free to Book a FREE Strategy Call – you might walk away with a couple of nuggets of information that you can implement in your SEO strategy.