The earlier days of web marketing was quite easy, the Google algorithms were not so advanced and ranking your website in top results didn’t take many efforts. But as consumer behaviour evolved, the algorithms became more and more human-friendly.
Earlier Google used to depend on text and backlinks in order to prioritize websites’ ranking but with the boom of internet marketing, there are literally thousands of websites pointing at the same query and hence Google updated its toolset to provide a more relevant and user-friendly result.
When it comes to search engine optimization these are some of the features we focus upon:
- Search volume
- Organic traffic
When a digital marketer tries to boost their search engine ranking what they are trying to do is increase organic traffic and by association increase the website conversions.
Keywords form the backbone of search engine optimization, it is the starting point of a users journey and hence the starting point of our research. As a digital marketer, we always try to rank for keywords with high search volume in order to increase our chances of conversions.
But as the internet penetrated among masses and the search of informational queries reached billions, it became difficult for Google to rank the websites on keywords alone. Hence Google decided to take its algorithm on a more deeper level and provide results on the user’s search intent.
What is Search intent?
User search intent describes a categorization of what a user is looking when they type a keyword in the search box. It goes beyond those words – it is interpreting what a user is trying to gain from this search.
What is Search Intent Analysis?
Search intent analysis involves analyzing each query and keyword and working out the user’s search intent. Understanding a user’s search intent helps you generate specific content depending on a users buyer journey. It increases the chances of building a good relationship with your customer and ultimately boost conversions.
A search engine optimizer should take a user’s intent before creating any campaign or a piece of content.
Understanding Different Categories of User’s Search Intent?
In order to create user-based content, you need to first understand different types of user intentions. Enter your target keywords and see what result Google provides. This is a good starting point to understand what your target audience might be looking for. User’s search intent vary on which stage of the buyer journey your target is currently in
There are three main types of intent:
- Informational – The user is in the awareness stage and trying to gain information
- Navigational – The user is in the consideration stage & trying to reach a specific type of website
- Transactional – The user is in the decision stage and is ready to make a purchase
Let’s look at each of these intent individually…
1.Informational user Intent Queries:
Here the user is in the awareness stage and is trying to gather information about a particular topic or a product. They are not yet ready to buy anything. For example – A user searching “how to start blogging?”
Just understand how Google provides information results and not pushing any product. It is just trying to provide information in the form of ‘How to” blog posts and guides.
2. Navigational User Intent Queries:
In a navigational search query, a user knows about a particular topic or product but trying to gain information. They are not yet ready to make a purchase and hence trying to weigh their options.
Notice how Google is providing results to help user weigh their options and make a decision. Results like reviews and list based content. Some website also provides the buy option but sites aren’t pushing the purchase so hard.
3. Transactional User Intent Queries:
Here the user is in the decision stage and is ready with their credit card to make a purchase. They have gathered all the information they need and already holds the name of the brand in their mind.
Here Google doesn’t try to kill time by providing them additional information. User already has all the information they need and hence they provide results like “One click setup” and results which directly fulfill the user’s search intent. If you make them navigate through information blog post they may get bored and abandon your website. You need to be precise with your keywords and provide only relevant content.
Tips To Understand User Search Intent
- Go beyond Keywords:
The user has no idea about keywords they are just trying to solve the problem by typing words in the Google search box. “Learn Digital Marketing Online” or “ learn Digital Marketing for free” is intent and based on this query you can understand what your user is thinking.
- Consider The Buying Cycle:
Consumers in the earlier stage of the buying cycle have a different intent than that of a consumer in the later stage. You need to be aware of your customer’s buying cycle and produce content accordingly.
If your website has a large audience each of them falls in a different buying stage, you need to produce content for all the buying stages:- Awareness, consideration and buying stage. This way all the queries of a consumer moving down the sales funnel are fulfilled on your website and they don’t have to navigate elsewhere to search for additional information.
- Understand the queries:
Put yourself in customer’s shoes and imagine what would information would you like to know about the product you are providing. Google your queries and see what result it generates. This is a great way to get into your customer’s mindset and understand their search intent
- Understand Your Audience:
You must understand your audience and try to analyze what problems they might be facing, what solution is your website provide? You need to know what makes them click and what frustrates them?. If your previous content piece has performed well, you need to know the reason behind its success and the same goes if the content fails to attract attention. Create buyer personas to specify your customer’s needs.
Understanding User intent is the present and future of Search engine Optimization. Your content must have only one goal in mind, that is to solve your customer’s problem. But your efforts may lay waste if you don’t understand what your user is trying to gain and understand search intent is a great place to begin your customer understanding.