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Understanding Search Intent and How to Maximize it to Improve Rankings

by | Jan 18, 2023 | SEO | 0 comments

In the last few years, Google’s ranking algorithms have advanced dramatically. In the past, achieving high rankings for your content was feasible by carefully choosing your keywords and creating links, but that is no longer the case. Google looks at more than these factors when deciding how to rank content on the results page, but these are still important for any SEO plan.

In recent years, the most popular search engine on the internet has changed a lot to put more emphasis on the searcher’s goal. Put yourself in the users’ shoes to comprehend search intent quickly. Think about all the reasons they are conducting this search. Do they want to learn more about a product, or do they wish to make a purchasing decision? Are they looking for a website or simply a quick response to a query?

Search intent is also necessary when optimizing your content for SERP features like featured snippets and local business listings. If you own a plumbing company in Los Angeles, individuals looking for “plumbers in Los Angeles” may see your Google Business profile if you have one. Google’s search algorithm knows that the user is trying to discover a nearby plumber. Information about plumbers, in general, will be of little interest to them.

Once you fully understand how Google has been using the idea of search intent to improve its ranks and give more accurate search results, it’s pretty easy to optimize your content to match how your audience uses the search engine.

Recognizing the various forms of search intent

Google has classified search intent into four categories. Depending on the nature of your business, the short description that follows should clarify for what type of search intent you should optimize your content.

Informational Intent

If a person is looking for knowledge on a specific issue, Google’s algorithm will consider it to have an informational purpose. It might be as essential as “what is the capital of the United States?” or as complicated as “What is the theory of relativity?”

Remember that not all requests with informational intent will be posed as questions. For example, if a person searches for “Einstein theory” or “Roger Federer age,” Google will display content on the results page that is best adapted to address these inquiries.

Navigational Intent

Because the user has to be looking for a particular website, the navigational purpose is considered. They are not looking for the unknown. They know precisely the website they want to visit, but they need assistance getting there.

Since it is easier, many individuals type the name of a website they wish to visit into Google rather than typing the complete URL. Queries with navigational intent could include “Mercedes Benz US website,” “Facebook login,” “Instagram Web,” and so on.

Commercial Intent

When users search for information about things they want to buy, they are regarded as having commercial intent. They require some assistance in determining what to purchase. This could entail reading reviews and comparing similar products from various manufacturers.

For example, a buyer looking to buy a phone would look up “iPhone 14 vs. Galaxy S22.” Someone looking for a new car may look for a “BMW X3 review,” for example.

Transactional Intent

A transactional intent search lets you know which customers are further along in the sales funnel and about to buy. They may have previously conducted studies and comparisons. They are now eager to buy the merchandise.

Their transactional intent search may also be motivated by a desire to find the finest feasible offer. Keywords such as “purchase Apple Watch,” “macbook pro discount,” and so on may appear in a transactional intent search.

How to leverage search intent to improve rankings

A novel method of keyword research

By looking at the terms people use in Google, you can tell what they want to find. If you offer leather jackets, the term “purchase leather jackets” is one you should optimize for. Remember this when conducting keyword research for content optimization.

SEO research tools, of which there are several available, are worthwhile investments. They can give exact details about keywords and the number of searches in different countries and even languages. Besides keyword suggestions, many of the best SEO tools also show the search intent, making it much easier to find relevant terms.

Create information in accordance to search intent

Your audience’s search intent should have clarified how your content should be organized. If your audience wants information, write long blog posts that answer all of their questions.

A product page is effective if your visitors have transactional intent. The structure of the content and the appearance of the website should make it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for. This would indicate to the algorithm that your content is relevant.

Profit from your competitors’ shortcomings

If there is little competition for a particular keyword, your competitors may rank higher than you, even if they don’t completely meet the searcher’s needs. If Google’s algorithms can’t determine if the content meets the searcher’s needs, the ranking will likely change a lot.

It indicates that Google needs to be more confident in the capabilities of that content, which creates a chance for content that can fulfill all of the boxes for that query. Use any of the popular SEO research tools to find these possibilities and create content that ranks higher than what your competitors are doing, paying particular attention to the searcher’s intent.

Search intent is intertwined with other SEO components

Other SEO elements are still significant. Even if your content fits the search intent, it won’t automatically rank in the top five. Other factors that Google uses to rank sites are still important, but search intent is one of the most important ones.

Maintain content frequency while avoiding repetition and needless keyword stuffing. Combining SEO best practices with search intent optimization gives your content a better chance of breaking through the clutter and reaching the top of the rankings.