An introduction to search intent

By Kimberly Lee on October 30th, 2020

importance of search intent

The Importance Of Search Intent

When creating content for your website, understanding search intent is the key both to improving quality and to Google ranking. When you’re aware of your customers’ intentions, you can ensure that they find what they’re looking for.

What is search intent?

Search intent is the “Why?” that instigates a search query. When someone is searching, they type phrases or words into a search engine to find the product or service they are searching for. This concept generally falls into one of three loose categories:

  • Informational: the searcher wants to know something, eg “latest football scores”, "how to fix broken window" or "weather tomorrow"
  • Navigational: the searcher wants to go to a specific web page or website, eg “Tesco groceries”, "Amazon" or "Facebook"
  • Commercial investigation: the searcher wants to compare products and services before making a decision, eg “hotel with pool Guernsey”, or "plumbers near me"
  • Transactional: the searcher is ready to make a purchase, e.g. “ buy Fitbit charge 4 uk”, "dog food" or "school uniform".

Search queries: key phrases and keywords

In the SEO sector, it’s hard to overestimate the importance of search intent. Google’s algorithms have become increasingly sophisticated and are now capable of understanding much more about users’ search intentions. The success of Google as a business depends on the search engine’s ability to organise information accurately and providing users with the results they are seeking.

A search query can be anything searchers type into the Google search box, and every search query has its own intent. The role of the SEO professional or writer is to create content to understand the intentions of people searching the website and make sure that they are fulfilling their requirements.

How do we infer search intent?

We can often infer a searcher’s intention from the modifiers they use. For example “How” implies an informational search while a searcher who types in the name of a company or product wants to go a specific website or product page. “Best” or “near me” imply commercial investigation, while “buy” tells the search engine that the search is transactional and the customer is ready to make a purchase.

Why understanding the intentions of visitors to your website is essential

While you may be experiencing high levels of traffic to your website, this might not translate into more sales. If your site is ranking on Google for queries that do not meet the intention of the searcher, you will be getting a high “bounce” rate. If viewers don’t find what they’re looking for immediately, they will leave your pages immediately and start another search.

Improve your Google ranking with the right search queries

If you fail to provide visitors to your website with what they’re looking for, Google’s algorithms will soon spot it, and your ranking will drop. Identifying search intentions and creating content that matches the motivations of visitors to your site is time-consuming and can be quite a challenge.

If you need assistance in optimising your website to position it high on the search results pages, we’re here to help. At Vooba, we have a wealth of experience in assisting companies to boost their organic rankings. We take time to get to know you and your business and will then research the most relevant key phrases and keywords to use in your marketing content. Contact our SEO experts by sending us a message or telephone us on 01798667167.

(+44) 01798 667167