Understanding Searcher (Or User) Intent

Lets look at what search intent is, how search intent helps SEO, and how you can optimize your blogs for search intent.

Lets start with a simple definition: search intent is the objective that users have when searching online.

Essentially, Google isnt just taking the words in the search box literally.

Search engines are getting better and better at understanding search intent, which means they are providing more unique and granular search results that better address the users specific ask. In search, Google's goal is the users goal.

The expectations of people doing the searches have changed too. Users are tech-savvy and know exactly what they want to see in the search results.

For example, when someone searches dresses, they will typically be greeted with a shopping carousel because Google has decided that those who search for dresses do so with the purpose to shop.

A Local Pack feature is also offered to guide consumers to local retailers.

If the search is inconclusive, Google will suggest the refine by feature to narrow and clarify search results.

Main Types of User Intent

There are five main types of user intent:

  • Know – Understand a certain topic, product or service.
  • Do – Execute a certain activity online.
  • Buy – Purchase a product or service.
  • Web – Visit a webpage or website.
  • Local – Visit a local establishment.

To rank high for any keyword, you need to understand what the user intent is behind that keyword. If you dont understand the user intent, it will be hard to rank for that keyword.

Google is a very sophisticated machine, but it still has some way to go when it comes to analyzing user intent.bIt is still evolving, and so we must be careful when it comes to selecting our keywords. Can our content really help the people that land on our site from such keywords?

User intent is critical in modern marketing, and it takes time to find that perfect balance. It is your job to figure out that intention and align your offerings to match it.

Do keyword research to uncover the reason behind certain user queries, then optimize your content to suit them. To end up with the right audience, your content needs to appeal to peoples needs and user search intent.

If you really want to benefit from User Intent, then optimise for it.

SEO Consultant

This article was written by Gaz Hall, a UK based SEO Consultant on 4th August 2017.

Gaz has 20 years experience working on SEO projects large and small, locally and globally across a range of sectors.

If you need any SEO advice or would like him to look at your next project then get in touch to arrange a free consultation.