How to Utilize User Intent Marketing in Your SEO Strategy

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of improving the quality and quantity of web traffic to your site. In simpler terms, the goal of SEO is to get search engines, such as Google, to recommend your content to its users. This can be a difficult feat, since search engines will only rank the content they consider to be the most credible and relevant to their audience. 

One important factor that search engines take into consideration when ranking content is search intent, or the reason behind the search. Read on to find out more about search intent, as well as how to identify search intent.   

What is Search Intent?

Search intent, also referred to as user intent, is the goal the user intended to achieve when searching in Google or other search engines. Users may be hoping to find out the answer to a question, learn more about a specific topic, navigate to a website, or purchase a product online. 

Google’s algorithm is able to determine search intent and provide recommendations they believe will be the best fit for their users. If you utilize user intent marketing when creating content, you increase your chances of ranking higher, resulting in increased engagement and reach for your brand. 

Types of Search Intent

There are four different types of search intent — informational, preferential, transactional, and navigational. 

1. Informational 

Those who have informational intent are looking for information regarding a certain topic or have a specific question they would like to find out the answer to. This can include questions such as who someone is, where something is located, how to do something, and so on. 

Examples of Informational Intent Searches

  • Gluten-free recipes
  • What is the capital of North Carolina?
  • Marketing agencies in Charlotte
  • How to optimize SEO

2. Preferential 

Once users have identified a need or want, they will typically use search engines to find the best product or service to fulfill that need. Sometimes referred to as commercial investigation, those with preferential intent are typically looking to compare options to find the best deal for them. Searchers with preferential intent are typically in the information search or evaluation of alternatives stages of the buyer decision process.

Examples of Preferential Intent Searches

  • Best Mexican restaurant in Charlotte 
  • Healthiest protein powder
  • Nicest golf course near me 
  • Hootsuite vs Sprout Social 

3. Transactional 

Many people purchase items and services over the internet. When searching with transactional intent, users know what product they are looking to purchase, and are looking for a website to purchase it on. 

Examples of Transactional Intent Searches

  • Buy MacBook Air online 
  • Nordstrom coupon 
  • Starbucks coffee cup
  • Olly vitamins 

4. Navigational

When searching with navigational intent, people are looking to navigate to a specific website. It can be easier for users to search the website into a search engine rather than type out the full URL. Therefore, most navigational searches include the brand or company name of the website the searcher is trying to reach. Furthermore, users may search for a specific page within a website, such as the login page. 

Examples of Navigational Intent Searches

  • Pinckney Marketing blog 
  • Instagram login 
  • Amazon.com 
  • Chipotle order online

How to Determine a Keyword’s Search Intent 

Search intent can sometimes be difficult to determine. For example, if someone types into a search engine the word “Patagonia,” they could be looking to purchase an item from the popular outdoor clothing store, or be looking to learn more about the Patagonia region in South America. 

If you don’t consider user intent when creating content, you run the risk of not ranking on search engines, and therefore limiting your reach. So how do you determine the intent of the searcher? 

Analyze SERPs

The easiest way to determine the search intent of a keyword or keyphrase is to analyze the search engine results page (SERP). Since search engines only rank the most relevant webpages, the first page of the SERP can shed light on search intent. For example, if you search the keyword “Nike’’ into Google, you will see that the SERP only features web pages relating to the popular athleticwear brand. The off chance you are writing a blog about the Greek goddess of victory, Nike, you will need to tweak your keyword to “Nike goddess” in order to boost your chances of ranking.

When analyzing SERPs, it is important to also pay close attention to the ads that appear at the top, as these can help to reveal the search intent. For example, if shopping ads pop up at the top of the SERP, this is a dead giveaway that the intent of the keyword is transactional. 

Ready to Improve Your SEO with User Intent Marketing?

So why is user intent marketing so important? Search intent is essential for creating valuable content that ranks and boosts SEO. However, as seen above, determining search intent can be a time consuming feat.

If you struggle with determining user intent, we’re happy to help. Here at Pinckney Marketing, we are experts in getting website traffic that converts into viable leads utilizing user intent marketing and SEO. If you are interested in working with us to boost your SEO rankings, don’t hesitate to contact us via the button below.