Search Intent

What Is Search Intent?

Search Intent (also known as user intent) is the primary goal a person has when searching for something online.

It’s simply the main answer to the user’s question or search term.

For example, the search intent behind “best backpacks for travel” is a list of the best backpacks to use when travelling.

search intent in google example

The user is in the discovery stage and wants to know which backpack they should buy.

Simple, right?

The primary goal of your content should always be to answer the search intent.

If you get that right – You’ve already done 70% of your job!

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Why Is Search Intent Important?

Search intent is important because it tells you what information people are looking for and allows you to create better content your users actually want to read.

Better content = More traffic.

By optimising your content for the right search intent, your site is more likely to rank higher in Google for relevant searches. You ultimately end up with more relevant and qualified organic traffic to your website.

Who doesn’t want that, right?

The truth is that Google prioritises content that best matches the search intent of a search.

That means if you write content that doesn’t match the search intent of a keyword, it’s almost impossible to rank.

Keep that in mind before you start writing.

Different Types Of Search Intent

There are four different types of search intent:

  1. Informational: The user is looking for information or answers to specific questions.
  2. Commercial Investigation: The user is considering a purchase and is looking for reviews or comparisons to make a good decision.
  3. Transactional: The user wants to purchase a product or service.
  4. Navigational: The user is trying to find a specific page on a website.

Think of search intent like a funnel.

Users search for informational-based keywords when first learning about the topic. As they get the information about the topic, they start looking for a solution to buy.

aida search intent model

The search intent is different at each stage of the funnel.

Here’s where intelligent SEOs differentiate themselves from the rest…

Your keyword strategy should contain a range of search intent keywords. This allows you to reach people at different stages of the buying process.

It’s the best way to guide users through the buying process while positioning your business as the best solution.

How To Determine Search Intent

To determine search intent, you simply need to Google your target keyword and see what types of pages are ranking.

The content currently ranking for the keyword is there because it answers the search intent.

For example, if you Google “custom dog collars,” you will see a list of ecommerce stores ranking in the SERPs.

commercial search intent example

That tells you that people searching for this keyword want to buy a custom dog collar. Writing an article about how to make a custom dog collar doesn’t satisfy search intent and ultimately wouldn’t rank.

It makes sense, right?

Determining search intent isn’t difficult, but getting it right before you start typing your first word is essential.

It’s the difference between success and failure right from the get-go.

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