It’s not enough anymore to just create quality content – you need to know who it’s aimed for and how they’re going to find it. This is called creating content with search intent, and it’s the best way to ensure you’re reaching your core demographic.
Search intent is the why behind the text entered on a search engine. What is the person hoping to get from their search, and what is the next step? Are they looking for a specific website or any place carrying the product or information they need? There is more than one kind of search intent, and figuring out how to appeal to each group is what’s going to take your SEO strategy to the next level.
4 Types of Search Intent
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These are the people who know what they want and have the intention to buy in the near future. They already have a product in mind and are usually researching for factors like the lowest cost or the service with the best reputation.
If they wind up on your website, you’re probably pretty close to getting a sale – so the most important thing is not to lose the fish while it’s on the hook. You’ll want to ensure your keyword is specific enough to be found amid a sea of competitors, and your website and social media are clear and intuitive enough, so no one gets frustrated when they arrive.
This is the most common type of search. It usually comes from someone who has a question they want answered that might lead to a sale, but there are a few extra steps before they get there. The question can be anything, but Google tends to prioritize sites that provide the most commonly-sought information.
To maximize your chance of being seen, you’ll want to address a variety of related questions to your product in your content. Including videos and images can also help your site get rated highly by Google; from there, it’s about transitioning from a question to a purchase.
This is when people know exactly where they want to go, but they don’t know how to get there. If they want to reach a website but don’t know the URL, they’re likely to search for the company on Google. That means you should make sure that you’re one of the first things they see when they search – often, sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor are the first hits for companies.
Use of keywords and backlinks can help promote your site, but it’s important to know which site to prioritize – if your Facebook page is where most people find your company, for instance, you may want to promote that one instead of your base site.
Transactional intent goes one step further than commercial intent – these searchers already know what they want to buy and are just looking for your product page. You’ve made the sale already, and the only important thing you have to do is make sure there are no stumbling blocks in the way.
This can be done by searching specific keywords relating to your product or website and making sure you’re the top hit and that all references are positive. Make sure your website is intuitive, and the purchase page can be reached in as few clicks as possible.
Tips for Optimizing Your Website and Content
Consider a Customer’s Perspective
It’s easy to miss some major pitfalls if you’re not following in the same footsteps your customers are likely to walk. Make sure you’re checking your search results, exploring your website, and finding possible pitfalls. Most transactions are done on mobile now, so if you have an older website, it’s worth optimizing it to be easier for mobile users to navigate.
Look at the Keywords Customers Are Using
A keyword can make or break a website. You might get lost in a sea of results from larger companies if yours is too broad, or you might not get enough traffic if it’s too specific. It’s worth investing in tools like Ahrefs Tool Guide: Keyword Explorer for e-Commerce, which allows you to search which keywords your competitors are using and how they perform.
Create Content in the Format that Matches the Search Intent
Your content is your secret weapon when it comes to pulling in traffic. You’ll want evergreen articles that answer the questions information-seeking searchers are most likely to ask, which can lead to them sticking around and transforming a search into a lasting business relationship.
A Better SEO Strategy
SEO can be a tricky balancing act. In order to convert clicks to sales, you’ll want to know what your potential customers are searching for and how. These tips are your key to a healthier company and a stronger online presence.