What Is Search Intent? And How Do You Optimize Your Content For It?

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Have you ever wondered why each time you try looking up a question via any search engine, upon writing the first three to five words, series of previously asked questions relating to the word keyed in pops up with your own question also coming up?

If you have, and you are also looking for a way to use this to your own content advantage, do continue reading.

Defining Search intent

Sometimes referred to as keyword intent, search intent can simply be seen as the primary reason behind a search inquiry. Search engines like Google are much known for their predictive abilities as regards search enquiries. This means that you don’t have to use a lot of words for your searches as Google helps you interpret what you want, sometimes by giving a series of related contents.

Purchasers are influenced by relevant searches as all website traffic comes from organic search.

Types of Search Intent

There are three major types of search intents namely:

Informational intent

Comprising about 80 percent of question-based search queries, the informational search query is used when people want to know the answer to something. It answers the questions “how” and “why”.

Navigational intent

This is used when a person needs to access a specific site or page. Here, other SERP features also pop up leaving you with the sole responsibility of navigating through these related search enquiries to identify yours.

Transactional intent

This search query is used when people need to carry out a transaction such as signing up for a newsletter or buying a product.

Optimizing your content to match search intent

We will be looking at the page format and search engine meta tags comprising of Title, URL, and Description of the search intents earlier discussed.

Before beginning, you need to be familiar with word processing documents like MS Word and Google Docs as well as the heading tags used in WordPress.

There are six headings ranging from Heading 1-6. Used for Title in WordPress with others as subheadings, Heading 1 is the most important.

Heading tags help search engines understand the hierarchy of a content, as well as format and break texts on a page making it easier to read. This means that search engines will give more importance to a Heading 1 than a Heading 2, and a Heading 2 than a Heading 3.

Navigational intent optimization

Ensuring you have landing pages for your homepage, products, and services, as well as using them in strategic positions like subheadings, meta descriptions, and page title is the key to optimizing for navigational intent.

Search optimization:

1) Title: Here, you ought to make it easy for new and existing customers to easily know what your site is all about. You can include your company name as well as product keywords in the title.

2) URL

3) Description: This should give detailed description of the products and services offered.

Page optimization:

To achieve this, ensure you reinforce your brand keywords on your homepage whilst ensuring the product categories is easily identified. Ensure that your landing pages- especially your homepage, defines your company, states the services you offer and the customers you are looking out for, as these are key factors looked out for.

Informational intent optimization

It answers the questions ‘What’ and ‘How’. To effectively optimize your content, questions relaying information should be used in places like title, headings, subheadings, and description, while the answer should be in the first paragraph.

If answering a directional question such as ‘How to save documents on your Microsoft Word’, give your answer using a step by step analysis with an explanatory paragraph under each step listed.

For example:

Step one: Click on File

The file icon can be located at the top left side of the…………

Step two: Click on Save As

Scroll down and click on the Save As icon located just after the Save icon.

Step Three: Select the folder to store the document

Select OneDrive to access it from anywhere, or you select ‘This PC’ icon to store it directly on your computer.

List all these steps accordingly and in a detailed approach. The key is to ensure that your answer doesn’t further confuse the searcher.

Transactional Intent optimization

To effectively optimize your transactional search intent, ensure you keep the content focused on the expected goal; e.g., buying a product. Keep things clear and concise by ensuring the content is not unnecessarily crowded with supporting information. This is because searchers tend to get impatient when you give unnecessary information.

Use lists or bullet points on the key points, and ensure the page has images, white space, and no form of distractions.

For a detailed example of how to optimize your content for transactional intent, do look up Digital Camera World laying emphasis on their description of their best cameras. Using their method helps increase the chances of your site becoming the most featured in the SERPs thereby making it easy to be read by Google.

While setting up, you can make the transactional intent obvious in the Title and URL. This is to ensure that the URL clearly states that what will likely be seen on the site.

You also need to ensure that in your choice of description, there’s a date stamp e.g.  The ten richest dogs in 2019 et cetera. This is to prove that your information or its source is up to date.

Transactional intent vocabulary

Your choice of words should be accurately used at the right time, and able to give a clear signal to search engines that you’ve created a transactional page/site. For your product, its name, product category, and type of product should reflect in the search intent.

If for the purpose of sales, other words that also send a signal to search engines include; sale, affordable, but, discount, review, cheapest, free shipping amongst others.

Winding up

When creating a new content, always remember to combine search intent with keyword search.

To evaluate content you presently have, use Google Search Console and Google Analytics.

So, what are you waiting for? Wipe up that laptop and start optimizing your search intent and generating content engagement and reviews.