If you want to rank in search engines and get quality leads, make sure you curate content that matches a user’s search intent. Often, you’d wonder why that excellent piece of content isn’t ranking in search engines for target keywords. Why? Perhaps because the content and its keywords simply do not match with the intent of search. So, Google isn’t looking for just “quality” but “relevance” to the search query as well. Hence, you need to understand what is search intent and how it can impact your SEO.
Understanding The Concept
When users conduct searches, there must be an intent behind it. The intent is the “why” behind a search query – the reason why people have come to the search engine and typed in their questions.
Typically, there are four primary types:
- Transactional: When a user is considering purchasing a product or service, it is referred to as a transactional search. For example. “Buy MacBook online.”
- Informational: When someone wants to gather more information about a specific topic, this type of search is known as an informational search. For example, “Who is Donald Trump?”
- Navigational: It’s when a user is looking for a particular website. They know which website to visit and perhaps it makes it easier for them to use Google to visit the site rather than typing the URL in the address bar. In several cases, the user may not be aware of the exact URL. For example, “Facebook login.”
- Commercial Investigation: What is search intent when a user is looking for a particular product or service but is considering comparisons and reviews? It is called a commercial investigation search. It means people are weighing all their options before they could make a purchase decision. For example, “best restaurants in Texas.”
Now that you understand the concept, let’s see how and why it can impact your SEO.
Why Intent Of Search is Important For SEO?
When a person conducts searches online, there must be a topic or question in mind. For a website, the objective is to identify the intent behind a search query and provide the most relevant information or answer to the user’s question.
Earlier, the primary focus was to optimize the content for keywords. SEOs simply integrated related keywords into their content without focusing on the quality of information the page provides. The whole idea was to rank higher in search engines for related keywords.
However, Google has become smarter with each algorithm update. Now the search engine giant focuses on “user experience” and hence, prioritizes providing the best search results that match the “intent.” Therefore, it has become more important than ever to understand what is search intent.
1. A Shift from Engagement to Intent of Search: With the BERT update in 2019, Google now interprets natural language better – even understanding the hidden meanings behind words. And in March 2022, Google’s John Mueller clearly stated that they do not use “engagement” as a search engine ranking factor. Google will consider a page’s engagement level only when it covers information related to the searcher’s query or intent.
So, even if your content has a high level of engagement, it may not help improve SEO rankings if it does not align with what the users are searching for.
2. Improve Search Engine Rankings: Google’s top-ranking factors are user satisfaction, authority, and relevance. Hence, you can easily understand how improving keyword targeting and optimizing your content to match intent of search can help boost your search engine rankings.
3. Maximize your Reach at Different Funnel Stages: When it comes to building a definitive keyword research and content marketing strategy, it is crucial to focus on what is search intent and how you can add value to your target audiences. The more relevant your content is to the intent of search, the better you can reach more audiences at different funnel stages.
Google is constantly striving to provide the best search results based on what users are looking for. And hence, the intent of search is here to stay and get more important in years to come. Therefore, you need to understand what is search intent and how it impacts organic SEO results – optimizing your content to drive quality leads and ensure better conversions.
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