What is user intent?
A person performing a search always has a goal in mind. That “goal” is known as the user intent.
The Importance of User Intent
Whether you’re building awareness, creating SEO content, or driving sales, developing an understanding of the customer and their experience is the first step in any marketing campaign. For example, consider the person the product development team had in mind when they designed hammers in the image above.
The hammer on the left is used by professionals and is better designed to meet the user’s intention to hammer a nail than the hammer on the right. Digital marketing is no exception – prioritize meeting the needs of the user over flashy aesthetics.
User Intent in Strategy
It’s easy to design SEO content around user intent. User intent is broken down into 4 general intentions:
Core thought: “I want to know…”
Common search queries: how, what, tutorial, why
Search examples: how do I build a shed, what is a quarterdeck, Peruvian history
The user is looking to learn more about a subject, either specific or more general.
Core thought: “I want to go…”
Common search queries: [brand name], [page type]
Search examples: Whole Foods, gmail login, passport application
Often paired with the device’s map application when the search query is a physical location, users may also be looking for website navigation shortcuts.
Core thought: “I want to consider…”
Common search queries: [specific product name], [service category], best, review, comparison, demo
Search examples: best smart tvs, Beats or Bose
Users are diving deeper into their research to evaluate options prior to making a buying or action decision.
Core thought: “I want to do…” or “I want to buy…”
Common search queries: price, buy, near me
Search examples: Cantonese restaurants, ATM near me
The user has made the decision to proceed with a course of action that leads to a conversion, typically to buy or exchange contact information for a downloadable product.
Match SEO Content Pieces with User Intent
There are a lot of opportunities to be creative when deciding what content marketing strategies to pair with the user’s intention. For example, how-to guides, FAQs, and tutorials go well with informational content. It is common to have a clean website sitemap or location data when covering navigational intent. Having a long-form comparison article ranks well when targeting commercial intentions. Lastly, using Google Shopping syntax on product information can be extremely helpful when the intention shifts to transactional.
49% of marketers report that organic search has the best ROI of any marketing channel.
Are you ready to appear in more search results, make sure the right people are finding you online, and generate the results you’ve been looking for? Our team specializes in optimizing content for organic search.
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