Researching the ‘Search Intent’: Why it’s crucial for SEO Marketing

Are you aware of the exact objective of the visitors of your page?

Knowing your customers is a crucial step in doing any type of marketing. By learning this first, you can proceed to building relevant pages containing valuable information.

Creating “high-quality” content is said to be one of the most basic and key aspects of SEO marketing strategies, but what defines such content? Is there any guideline on assessing whether what you show in a page is of good quality? The answer to this is simple: were you able to satisfy the reader’s search intent?

What is Search Intent Market Research?

Search Intent signifies the emotion/purpose behind the keywords being searched by users. Thinking about the search intent of users, corresponds directly with understanding what the individuals wanted to know in which kind of situation.

Contents that do not satisfy these ‘intents’ of the readers, would lead to them leaving your page without reading your media, and at the same time, search engines would give a low rating for your webpage, which negatively affects your search rankings.

The 3 Types of Search Intent
The 3 Types of Search Intents

Before learning why it’s so important, let’s quickly learn more about the concept. According to Matt Cuts from Google, search intents could be divided into 3 types:

  • Informational Query

Users with this intent want to learn or ‘know’ an answer to a specific information that they are looking for.
Examples: “Rash causes”, “Tokyo temperature”, “Cloud storage advantages”

  • Navigational Query

Individuals that know exactly which webpage they want to go to, goes under this criteria.
Examples: “Amazon login”, “Facebook”, “Pinterest”

  • Transactional Query

When the users intent involves any type of transaction/action, such as a purchase or download, it would be considered to be in this category.
Examples: “Jackets for sale”, “Printer driver download”, “apartment for rent”

Confusing?

Navigational and Transactional queries are usually straightforward, and easy to understand what the users are looking for when they type those keywords, but informational queries on the other hand, tend to become a guessing game at times.

Let’s say a user searched with the keyword “Tokyo travel”

Now, these are a few potential objectives of what he/she may be looking for:

  1. Hotels to stay when traveling to Tokyo.
  2. Places to go when traveling to Tokyo.
  3. Flight prices when traveling to Tokyo.

There are countless possibilities, hence understanding/catering content specific to each type of reader will allow you to acquire new leads that were not possible before (due to unsatisfied experience).

Why Search Intent Market Research Would be a Game-Changer for Your Content and Business

1. Avoid high bounce-rates and unsatisfied readers.

Let’s say that you are writing a travel article, and wanted to attract audiences searching both “Tokyo travel hotel” and “Tokyo travel tourist attractions”.

    • Visitors who searched “Tokyo travel hotel” hoping to see comparisons of hotels in Tokyo would be greeted with information that does not correlate with what they are looking for, creating potential room for unsatisfied readers.
    • Visitors who searched “Tokyo travel tourist attractions” in order to find recommended tourism spots may also feel that the page is not answering their demand directly, encouraging them to leave.

Try to keep in mind that these users with specific intents are usually looking for straight-forward answers, as they already know what they are hoping to learn. Focus on a specific topic with each page so visitors will get the information they need without having to scroll through unnecessary text/redirect to another page.

2. To be rated higher by search engines.

Search engines continue to be improved with constant updates, with each one changing how a page is being rated in terms of its search ranking. Google is no stranger, with its algorithm Hummingbird being able to understand the context/meaning behind words being used in a content, instead of taking face-value of what’s written.

This signifies that it is more important than ever to provide media that is related to these keywords, hence knowing the exact intents of your visitors is key in growing your ratings for your website.

3. Much higher chance to convert readers into customers, and develop your branding.

This one may seem quite obvious; if visitors are satisfied with your content, they will likely come back for more/look through your website for more information. They will know and trust you better, and will hold a higher interest for your business/product. If you can get these happy readers to join your mailing list, you now have a new fanbase for further branding into the  future.

So, how do we research for a Search Intent that is also strong in SEO?

There are mainly 3 methods that I recommend:

  • Checking Google Search suggestions

Probably the easiest, type a broader keyword and see what may come up in the suggestions on Google. These suggestions are created based on the frequently searched keywords, hence you will be able to learn what people are recently looking to find.

  • Analyze top resulting pages in your chosen keywords

The pages listed at the top of the search results are currently being rated  highly from Google. That means these pages contain the information that users are looking for in that specific keyword combination.

Learn what they mention in their content, and try to include even more (relevant) information in your own page than these top pages. Make sure that your page can answer all kinds of questions that readers  may have in that topic.

Note: This does not mean you literally copy/paste the content. Instead, take their ideas as reference. Google may rate plagiarized media negatively.

  • Research Q&A websites/forums

This is a method that many tend to miss. Q&A websites/forums are a treasure mine for content creators, as the search intent cannot become clearer than this: people asking straight-forward questions on the internet. Find ones that seem interesting/unanswered/not filled with  information on the interenet as of  yet, and become a leader in those specific keywords.
Here are some recommended websites:

So, how do we learn the Search Intent that Is strong in SEO?

To Conclude

Learning your customers/visitors is one of the most important points in marketing; no tactic would work successfully when you don’t know why users are checking out your webpage. Implementing search intent marketing research into your content creation journey will surely allow you to create a product that will be far more relevant for your customers, and give you and your business an opportunity to acquire a new set of potential, high-quality leads.

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