The ultimate goal of search engines is to satisfy search intent. If you’re a business owner, providing relevant information that matches your customers’ search queries helps build your online credibility.
Every day, billions of users rely on search engines to carry out their daily searches. Statistics show that Google processes over 3.5 billion searches per day. To reinforce your brand and ensure your marketing success, it is crucial that you build a strong online presence.
What is Search Intent?
Search intent is also known as keyword or user intent. It pertains to the reason people conduct a particular online query.
As marketers, understanding the psychology behind search queries is integral in establishing your brand’s online presence. Studies show that most decisions are made to either gain pleasure or remove pain.
Pain and pleasure are fundamental driving forces behind every individual’s search intent. For instance, a person that needs immediate pain relief to a sore muscle might turn to Google to find the best remedy. An example of a pleasure-driven search query, on the other hand, is a user seeking out reviews of the best tourist attractions in Miami. This user is likely to search on Google the best places to visit in Miami to reward himself with a getaway or some downtime after a week’s hard work.
Why Does Search Intent Matter for SEO?
Search engines have gotten smarter. Search engines have shifted the focus from keyword optimization to the users’ experience.
Today, it’s no longer enough to integrate keywords into your content. You need to present users with valuable information that matches and expands on their Google search query. “From backlinks to load speeds to page domain and trustworthiness,” Garrett said, “Google will use all these signals to decide whether a web page answers a user query.”
Search intent optimization allows you to:
• Fulfill the needs of your target audience • Attract sustainable, qualified leads to your site • Keep customers on your page • Position your company as an authority in your respective industry • Boost your brand awareness
Individuals use search engines to look for information, find a product or service or for entertainment. As a business owner, you need to zero in on these moments to appeal to the right customers. Understanding why or how online users search for certain types of information unlocks vast opportunities to enhance your optimization strategies.
What are the Different Types of Search?
Now that we’ve established the significance of user intent, let’s get started with the search query optimization. The first step is understanding the various types of search intent.
There are three types of search queries:
1. Informational Intent or “Know” Queries
These are generic searches that aim to learn more about a particular topic.
For instance, a client might search for “what is online reputation management” on Google, before hiring a company for the service.
Sample keywords used in informational queries are:
• what is/are • best ways to • how to
2. Navigational Intent or “Go” Queries
These are searches conducted by users who already have a particular company or product in mind, but need help getting to a specific page.
For example, a customer may search for “Pay-per-click marketing.” The client wants to know more about PPC services, so she goes to Google to find the web page.
Sample keywords used in navigational queries are:
• business/product name • locations near me • direction to
3. Transactional Intent or “Do” Queries
These are queries aimed at completing a desired action, such as buying a product or subscribing to a newsletter. Examples of transactional search queries are “best coffee maker under $200” and “free online marketing guide 2020.”
Sample keywords used in transactional queries are:
• buy • get discounts on • order
Understanding How Search Algorithms Work
Search engines have ranking systems designed to sort out billions of information in a split second. This system allows search engines to find and present the most relevant information to search queries.
Google sorts out web pages that contain the keywords on your search. It then ranks each page based on several factors, such as keyword density, location and relevance and usability of pages to the search query.
Higher ranked pages appear on the first page of search engine results pages (SERPs). This means that the best links relating to your Google search query are theoretically at the top of SERPs. But this may not always be the case. Users get different search results depending on the location, user intent and algorithm variations.
Why Do Search Results Vary?
Search engines have developed multiple tools to help display a wide variety of information in digestible pieces. Now, the goal of search engines is to deliver the most accurate and relevant results for each user. That is why search results are entirely personalized and intentional.
Several factors influence search results. These include:
• Location — Every device connected to the Internet is assigned a unique string of numbers called an Internet Protocol (IP) address. Search engines use your IP address to provide customized search results. This is the reason your website may rank on a particular location, while it may be invisible to others.
• Search History — No matter if you’re signed in to your account or not, search engines deliver personalized search results based on your previous online activities. These include your past searches and previously clicked links. Even the device or Google account you used can affect the search results.
If you log in to your account, the personalization goes even further. For instance, if you regularly visit a specific site or type in the same set of keywords, search engines will learn your habits and prioritize these sites in delivering results on your next search.
• Algorithm Changes — Google regularly updates its algorithm. Some users may be searching on a Google version where algorithm changes have taken effect. Those using a different version may see varying search results. In many cases, this can affect your site ranking and traffic.
A single search can mean hundreds of different things. That is why search engines are constantly developing smarter systems to deliver more accurate and highly-relevant search results.
Build a Data-Driven, User-Centric SEO Strategy
Research shows that 93 percent of online experiences start with search engines. This means that ranking high on relevant search queries can build your brand’s online presence in exponential ways. Search intent optimization can help you cater to your target customers’ needs and boost your brand’s online credibility and authority.
Make sure to follow these tips in optimizing for user intent:
➔ Build pages that address users’ explicit and implicit questions ➔ Make your content informative ➔ Balance detail and conciseness on your web pages and blog posts ➔ Learn from user experience using conversion rate optimization (CRO) tools and questionnaires ➔ Explore new content topics and provide relevant information ➔ Facilitate your customers’ online search by providing FAQs, table of content and precise navigation ➔ Create compelling titles and meta descriptions ➔ Provide correct, consistent information across all networks ➔ Avoid concealing information behind a login or paywall ➔ Make information accessible, simple and digestible
Is Your Website Optimized for Search Intent?
If you’re not implementing the best search query optimization practices yet, it’s high time that you start. Partner with a digital marketing agency that can help you build a robust connection with your target customers. Choose an SEO company that implements proven optimization strategies and positions your business in front of a broader audience scope online.
At infosites.biz, we run an in-depth SEO audit and audience analysis. Doing so allows us to understand your customers’ online behavior and leverage opportunities to optimize for search intent. Let’s work together on improving your customers’ online experience. Contact us now !