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Search Intent: What It Is and How to Master It

What is the “why” behind an online search? When a user types a specific string of words, such as “best sushi restaurant,” search engines must parse out what the user is looking for.

Are they seeking the best sushi restaurant or just the best one near them? Or are they typing a movie title? This is where the search engine will attempt to divine the reason the user is typing the phrase in the first place.

Why Search Intent Matters

Google’s algorithm is finely tuned for search intent and can tell when a user doesn’t like their results. For example, Google may see that when the user typed “best sushi restaurant,” the matches were all for restaurants located hundreds of miles away, and the user didn’t click any of the links. This informs Google that they were not interested in the quality of the sushi but rather the proximity.

Using trending keywords and key phrases is important, but aligning your content to what the user wants is indispensable. Matching search intent is how your page rises in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Creating Content to Satisfy Search Intent

Here are some techniques for improving your search intent:

Learn the 3 C’s

When you’re creating your website copy, make sure it adheres to the 3 C’s: content type, content format, and content angle.

First, when you’re researching keywords, see what type of content shows up in search results, whether they’re landing pages, blogs, or product pages. Second, after gleaning the content type, use that information to determine the format that content is shared in, such as a list, review, tutorial, comparison, or some other form.

Third, consider the content angle. See what unique selling points each result presents. For example, typing “old guitars” into Google brings up the Vintage Guitars page for Guitar Center as the top result, followed by Carter Vintage Guitars and eBay. This suggests that when people search for “old guitars,” they are generally looking to purchase them.

Learn the 4 Types of Search Intent

Search intent comes in several forms. With informational content, searchers want to learn more about a topic or need instructions, such as with recipes or DIY tutorials.

In contrast, navigational content aims to attract searchers looking for a particular website. If someone types “Amazon,” for example, they are most likely looking for the website, not the river.

Another type of intent is satisfied through transactional content, which appeals to those seeking a product they wish to buy who have the exact item in mind. Other users look for commercial investigation content. It attracts people in search of information to help them make an informed purchase. They are looking for things like recalls, customer complaints, specific features, and warranties.

Monitor Your Competition

Investigate the top results on search engines. How are those businesses improving their search intent? See how their content matches with the 3 C’s and four types of search intent. Remember to look for mistakes or flaws to avoid in your own content.

Refine Your Approach

Search intent can change over time. Customer needs or desires shift, and results that matched search intent six months ago may differ completely today. Make sure to update your content accordingly.

Leverage Search Intent for Your Business

Matching search intent doesn’t require clairvoyance; it takes experience and perseverance. Net Profit Marketing has the expertise to modify your content according to search intent so it can top the SERPs. Contact us right away to book your consultation.

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