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July 16, 2020

What is Search Intent & How Will It Help My Content?

Search intent refers to the user’s reason or purpose behind their online search query. Why does the user want this information? How are they going to use this information? What is the context?

Knowing the answers to these questions is the key to creating valuable content. If brands know why user are searching for a specific topic, they can tailor their content to best fit the needs of the user. 

In order to understand search intent, brands must first distinguish what specific type of search intent is behind the online search. 

search intent

Informational Search Intent

An information search query is made when the user wants to learn more about the given topic. This includes searches like “how to change a tire” or “best beach chairs.” The user might not be searching for a full sentence question, but the intent is to learn more about the keyword or phrase they have entered.

For informational searches, brands want to not only provide users with the information, but provide it in the most clear and concise way possible.

The most common types of content include instructional videos, how-to articles, infographics, checklists, or other short-form content. Designing content in this way allows brands to provide answers to the user’s inquiry in a way that makes sense and is easy to comprehend. 

In addition to serving the needs of potential consumers, this content also helps brands improve SEO. Search engines are more likely to show your content in featured snippets or give you a higher ranking on SERP if it directly answers the user’s query.

Transactional Search Intent

A transactional search occurs when someone is shopping or looking to purchase a product or service. These searches normally occur when users search for products and services by name, including “nike shoes”, “PS5”, or “amazon prime video membership.” Transactional searches can also be identified by common action words, such as “download”, “order”, or “apply”, or “reserve.”

Transactional searches typically come after the user makes various informational searches. This means the user is likely already well-informed about the product or service and is now looking to complete the transaction. 

The intent of transactional searches is to find a website where the transaction, or interaction, will take place. These interactions range anywhere from buying, booking, ordering, scheduling, downloading, registering, or signing up. 

Rather than focusing on product descriptions and information, brands should be providing advertisements and shopping-related search features. The goal is to show users the value they provide to potential customers, and in turn, why the user should choose their website to complete their transaction. 

To capitalize off of transactional search intent, companies should focus on optimizing product pages, pricing pages, appointment pages, and any other sign up pages. The easier it is for users to complete transactions, the higher your pages will rank on SERP.

Navigational Search Intent

A navigational search query is made when the user wants to get to a specific website. This includes searches like “facebook”, “twitter”, or “pink dog digital.”

Let’s face it: typing “pink dog digital blog” into a search bar is significantly easier than typing out “https://www.pinkdogdigital.com/blog/.” 

For navigational search queries, the user most likely already knows the brand name or product name, which means they are looking for one specific website. 

The most important thing to note about navigational searches is that it is not about optimizing content, but rather optimizing and formatting individual pages. Brands should focus on the content that will be shown to users on the search engine results page. When creating web pages, be sure to include strategic keywords and phrases within the page titles, subheadings, and meta descriptions. 

Brands can optimize website content by including popular navigational keywords that users will be searching for. This includes keywords that describe the webpage, including blog, videos, presentation, webinar, homepage, login, and other product or service lists.

Commercial Investigation Search Intent

Commercial investigation searches are, in a way, similar to informational search intent. Commercial investigation queries occur when users are searching for information, products, or service that they intend to purchase in the future. Common searches include “best coffee maker” or “wireless headphones.” Users are looking for information that will aid their future transactions. 

For these types of searches, brands should create content that is value-focused, meaning content that demonstrates how your product or service is the answer to the user’s problem. Common types of content for this type of search intent includes reviews, blogs, product ads, video demonstrations, and all other content that will help users make consumer decisions.

If you would like more information about user search intent, need help creating or optimizing website content, or other digital marketing services please contact Pink Dog Digital at (410) 696-3305, email us at info@pinkdogdigital.com, or visit us on the web at www.pinkdogdigital.com.