Search Intent for SEO & CRO [Everything You Need to Know]
Search intent has taken a substratum place in SEO and CRO with an increase in a quick online search. Before performing any activity, a quick online search has become common these days. For instance, be it searching for the meaning of essential words to buying an office, you opt to get instant results by Google Search.
People always want quick answers, but more essentially, to get exact solutions that will help fulfil their search intent. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) have placed great importance on user intent. You can quickly know the purpose by looking at the search terms used by Google or other search engines.
On the other side, it is equally essential to keep a close eye on CRO metrics that guide how visitors engage with your content.
This article will help you with search intent, its importance, types and how to use it for SEO and CRO.
Table of Contents
- What is Search Intent in SEO?
- Why do You Need to Understand Search Intent?
- Types of Search Intent
- How to Leverage Search Intent for Optimized SEO & CRO
Let’s go with search intent for SEO & CRO!
What is Search Intent in SEO?
One of the most common questions that every SEO newbie have is “What is Search Intent?”
Let’s find out!
Search intent also termed user intent, can be defined as the goal behind a user’s search term in a search engine. Searches are usually carried out for a specific purpose or a reason; they might be looking for an answer to a question, might be searching for a product or service, or searching for information on a topic.
Eventually, Google has adapted the algorithm to understand the users’ intent, providing the most relevant and quality content ranking at the top of Google. Usually, search queries begin with interrogative keywords like “How”, “Why”, and “What”. You need to know that any actions you perform have an intent. For example, when you ask a question in person, the primary intention is to get the answer you need. Similarly, while asking questions on a search engine, the intent behind the queries can be to know or learn something.
Why do You Need to Understand Search Intent?
User intent is fundamental to digital marketing, especially to running successful SEO and content marketing strategies. One of the prime goals for Google is satisfying the search intent. It may even happen that a user finds a specific term and gets irrelevant information, then sends a signal back to Google that shows the intent doesn’t match the one they searched for.
The primary ranking factors for Google are relevancy, authority, and user satisfaction. Relevancy highly affects the users’ behaviour. If the users exactly get the information that they are exactly searching for. Providing such relevant content might show a significant difference in the click-through and bounce rates. It is even advisable to create a solid internal linking that provides a signal to Google.
This may help increase brand authority and establish an online presence by providing valuable content around the brand. The content you create should offer great value to the users and be relevant enough to the audience. Hence, providing relevant content with great importance to the users helps improve rankings.
Types of Search Intent
Generally, there are four types of Search Intent, which are explained below in details.
Informational intent is most commonly searched by people among Google results. Usually, an instant search is done by people for any queries when they are looking for any information on various topics. Information can be about cooking recipes, movies, study materials, etc. Mainly, it covers information related to questions about various daily activities.
It may be even that a searcher might be looking for a specific question that needs to be answered uniquely or looking forward to having more information about the topic. For such queries, they might not necessarily be shopping or purchasing anything at that point of time. For instance, the example provided below clearly shows that the intent is informational and provides a brief idea about SEO.
Such searches are specifically for URLs that help users efficiently navigate the company’s page. The user is much more aware of the website and knows what page they want to navigate; they are only unaware of the exact URL. Navigational search intent is to find and go to the place.
For transactional intent, the users searches to make a purchase or are searching for the best deals or offers. Such type of searches is made by people looking to purchase online and from where to buy.
You can quickly identify transactional searches with keywords such as “buy”, “sale”, or “service”. Such modifiers provide Google with the signal that they are in the buying stage.
For instance, let’s say a search is done for “mobile phone covers”. There is no indicator like “buy” or “sell”. Here, the users don’t have those buying-intent keywords and couldn’t predict whether the intent is informational or transactional. It may have different intentions. It all depends on the way the person is searching for. Google shows a variety of results that the algorithm thinks to be useful. Sometimes, Google also shows rich snippets with additional information to satisfy the user intent behind the search.
There is a bridge between informational and transactional intent: commercial intent. Before making a purchase, the users cut down their choices and look at the available options. These mainly include terms such as “best”, “top”, etc. are part of commercial search queries. The users can finalize their transactional intent after reviewing the products or services they opt to purchase.
The searchers using commercial intent are in the middle of the sales funnel. They know that they will purchase the product soon, but they are looking to make the right decision.
How to Leverage Search Intent for SEO & CRO
The main goal of SEO is to attract wide traffic to the website, and CRO helps convert it. Optimizing the website with the most appropriate search helps reach a much larger target audience. Here, I have compiled ways to leverage search intent for SEO and CRO, which are mentioned below:
Think Like a Customer
There is a specific intent behind every query. Identifying the intent is not challenging, and you can do it quickly. It is crucial to determine the user intent that will help you choose the most appropriate keywords and can use easily in your marketing plan. You can even prepare a chart just by looking at the search intent. For instance, you can easily categorize the search terms based on their purpose, and type.
After finalizing the chart, you can work more on keyword research. Determine the relevant keywords, and fill the information in the graph to help resources match the users’ search query with that particular keywords. The key to optimizing for user intent is to ensure you are using the most appropriate tools and incorporating the best practices. While assessing search intent, you need to take care of specific steps, which are:
- Use tools such as Google Webmaster tools, YouTube Analytics, etc.
- Conduct a study of impressions, clicks, click-through rate, etc.
- Analyze the results.
Perform A/B Testing
For SEO and CRO, one of the best and most amazing things is experimentation. Suppose you are thinking of performing A/B testing. In that case, you can expect outstanding results that you might have never thought about—for instance, placing a call-to-action button on the product page whether or not the visitors might end up clicking on the button. The optimization process is a bit complicated. Whether it may help boost the conversion rate or optimize the purchase transaction, it is essential to use split-testing to ensure everything is up to the mark.
You should invest your time checking CTA, button size, colour, placement area etc. As a result, with more testing, you may get attractive landing pages and even boost more conversions.
Optimize Content & CTA
It is crucial to satisfy the users’ queries with the most relevant content and eye-catching CTA. As a result, the chances to scroll down your page increase, rather than redirecting it to competitors’ sites. Offer audience consistent, long-form content on your website across every social media platform.
Make sure that you follow specific steps to optimize your content & CTA for search intent:
- Create content in short paragraphs.
- Build keyword-optimized content.
- Ensure using relevant keywords in URL, metadata, and description.
- Include infographics.
- Leverage internal-linking.
Optimize Existing Content
Search engines like Bing and Google may use bots to crawl, index and rank websites on top of SERPs. Updating the existing content, helps boost the crawl rate. The faster your content is crawled, the more visible it may appear. Sometimes, it may even happen that old content might not seem to be relevant enough. So, updating the existing content of your website is crucial. The content should match the user intent and perform well enough.
You can optimize your content with the newly targeted keywords and change the existing content. Make sure that the keywords you use match the content of your website. If you sell any product or service, you should incorporate transactional keywords into your content. If you want people to provide information or might be for learning purposes, the keywords used should be informative or navigational.
Simplify Conversion Path
One of the best ways to leverage SEO and CRO mainly includes simplifying the conversion process. As soon as the customers arrive on your website, you can redirect users to the next stage of the conversion process. Attract many customers by incorporating a compelling call-to-action above the fold of the webpage. This encourages customers to navigate to the next stage of the conversion funnel. It may either include a demo or a free trial.
Reverse-Engineer Your Competitor’s Strategy
To achieve high ranks, it is mandatory to learn from the success of top-ranked competitors. If the competitors are ranking at the top with the how-to articles, then the same goes for you, and there are high chances that your content may rank on top. Carry out the research and analyze the competitors’ content that can help beat them.
It would be best if you went through some of the points like:
- The tone of your content largely depends on several factors.
- The format of your content plays an essential role and helps improve readability. Well-optimised content with proper formatting may help rank at the top of search results.
- Make sure that you provide every relevant information and try including the content missed out by the competitors’.
Identify Areas Where People Leave Your Website
It is mandatory to find out the areas where people leave your page. The content provided might be relevant enough, but it may appear repetitive enough and not provide good value to the users. It may happen that SEO and CRO might not be moving toward a similar path and might have got the information from starting themselves.
The users may not find a reason to stay long enough and might think of leaving the website. Thus, if you can quickly determine the web pages where most visitors leave, you can try out better strategies and find out the areas for improvement. SEO helps find intent keywords that may keep users engaged, update the existing content and ensure visitors have the exact content they want.
It’s important to identify the user search intent and offer them the right content. Making appropriate use of keywords may help serve you the content that they are exactly looking for. As a result, providing the most relevant content may even help boost conversions. Make sure that you highly focus on what exactly the user is searching for, what they want and whether it matches the content you deliver. Satisfying such requirements may indeed help to boost the conversion rate.
I hope that this article may prove helpful to you!
Thanks for reading!