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What is Search Intent and why does it matter

Apr 6, 2022  |  Reading Time: 4 minutes

What is search intent?

Also known as a user, or keyword intent, search intent is the purpose of a user’s search. It answers the question of why people look for something online, and what they expect to find. For instance, a user might want to learn to play the piano, find a good music studio near him, or buy a beginner’s piano.

In other words, it is the why behind every search query and its goal is to make the searchers’ lives easier and speed up their access to the right information.

As noticed by business owners and digital marketing agencies in Dubai, most of the time, users’ queries reflect where they are in the conversion funnel. And for this reason, a thorough understanding of search intent can help you create effective content that aligns with your business’s and your audience’s needs.

What are the common types of search intent?

Navigational intent – or a navigational search query is commonly used when the user already knows where they want to go, either to a desired page or website. They just use the SERP to quickly direct them there. Users typically search with the brand name in their query, or along with its product.

Examples: apple store uae website, Panasonic, Starbucks medium roast

The strategy to optimize content for navigational intent is to ensure you have dedicated landing pages for your brand, products, services, and other offerings, as well as your homepage.

In addition to this, online marketing experts suggest adding your product or brand names in strategic positions like the page title, subheadings, and meta descriptions.

People using search box for query

Informational intent – an informational type of search query is used when people want to know an answer to a specific question or information to learn about a topic. These queries are usually question-based.

Examples: what is the latest MacBook, how to parallel park, where to watch Euphoria

This type of search intent usually involves questions such as “How to” and “What is”. Therefore, the key to optimizing your content is to produce highly relevant content that directly answers a question.

You may use the question in the most strategic positions of your content like headings, subheadings, title, and description. On a similar note, a sensible piece of advice from a local SEO agency in Dubai is to place questions in a heading, and answers directly below it.

Commercial intent – a user who performs a commercial intent search is likely planning to buy a product or service in the future and is researching this specific item. So, keywords would be about finding the best plugin, an alternative to a current tool, or just a simple product comparison.

Examples: MacBook pro m1 vs. MacBook air m1, MacBook pro m1 review

The content that frequently ranks well for these searches is articles that review or compare different products. Thus, when optimizing content, you need to know what the user is looking or asking for. Then, structure your page so that users can find the answer as efficiently as possible.

Interestingly, product category pages can be either transactional or commercial – a searcher has not fully decided yet on a specific product or service. For this, include any commercial search terms in the page title and/or headings if appropriate: ‘best’, ‘top’, ‘review’, ‘vs.’, ‘comparison’, ‘list’, ‘cost’, and so on. This will help him to decide and/or get your page ranked.

When possible, show comparisons in attention-grabbing graphics, such as service plans breakdowns or comparisons between your product and a competitor.

Transactional intent – transactional search queries are used when people are ready to do something. This means that the searchers have decided on a product or service and are ready to make a purchase or sign up. They often use transactional types of keywords to find the right place to make their purchase.

Examples: buy MacBook Pro 2022, subscribe Spotify, sandwich places near me that deliver

Hence, transactional searches should take a user to a product or registration page. To optimize content for transactional search, focus on the desired outcome.

A good way to do this is to use transactional phrasing in your content such as ‘order’, ‘buy’, ‘sign up’, and ‘download’ to achieve a higher click-through rate. Incorporating the product name and description in the title and elsewhere on the page, including image titles and ALT text, are also a good practice.

Why Does Search Intent Matter for SEO?

Every business wants its web pages to show up first for relevant search terms in search results. For this reason, search intent analysis is critical to the success of any digital marketing effort including SEO. By understanding the types of search terms your audience is using, you can create content that puts you in front of potential consumers at all stages of the purchasing cycle.

This in turn can help boost brand awareness, increase the share of voice, and drive conversions and retention.

Start optimizing for user search intent today!

If you’re ready to start reaching more qualified leads with your SEO campaign, get in touch with Creativo today at +971 04 568 4391.

We look forward to helping your business reach new heights!