A lot of organic traffic but high bounce rates and low conversion rates? Then, your content likely does not align with your visitors’ search intent.
By: Olof Strömbäck on February 5, 2024 | Reading time: 5 minutes
Understanding search intent is a valuable tool in optimizing your online presence and ensuring you deliver the right content to the right people. By aligning your content with your audience’s search intent, you will increase the chances of attracting qualified traffic to your website. This will improve the user experience and ultimately drive conversions. It allows you to be more targeted and strategic in your marketing efforts, resulting in better engagement and higher ROI.
What is search intent?
Search intent is the term used to describe a user’s primary goal when typing a query into a search engine. Satisfying search intent is ultimately Google’s primary goal.
Most keywords can be clustered into three search intent types: informational, navigational, and transactional. Figuring out the search intent behind each keyword will help you understand what kind of page you’ll need to create to satisfy searchers best. For example, suppose you create a blog article with information on a specific topic or maybe a product or category page with conversion possibilities. In that case, Google will rank the page that satisfies the search intent best at the top of search results. Meet your target audience’s search intent to stay on top of the competition.
How to determine search intent
To understand the search intent behind a keyword, analyze the first ten organic ranking results for each targeted keyword query. This will provide insights into what Google believes the search intent behind the keyword is. By performing this type of search intent analysis, you will understand how to optimize your content to align with the search intent and improve your organic rankings.
There are three different types of search intent:
• Navigational search intent: Customers want to go to a specific page, for example, Transportstyrelsen
• Informational search intent: Customers want to know something, for example, “How to travel safely with a dog in the car”
• Transactional search intent: Customers want to buy something, for example, “Dog cages for hatchbacks”
Navigational search intent
– The users’ journey to specific pages
Navigational search intent refers to when customers have a specific destination in mind and are searching for a particular website or webpage. These queries are focused on finding a specific brand, company, or organization. Let’s take the example of Transportstyrelsen, the Swedish Transport Agency. When users search for «Transportstyrelsen,» they seek to navigate to the agency’s official website directly.
Optimizing for navigational search intent is crucial to ensure your online presence is easily accessible and optimized for search engines.
Informational Search Intent
– Fulfilling the audiences’ need for knowledge
Informational search intent occurs when customers seek answers, explanations, or general knowledge about a specific topic. These queries typically start with question words like «how,» «what,» «why,» or «where.» For instance, a user might search for «How to travel safely with a dog in the car» to find information and tips on safely transporting their furry companion.
Understanding informational search intent presents an opportunity to provide valuable and informative content, helping your audience take the next step in their customer journey. You also have an opportunity to establish yourself as a trusted source while attracting organic traffic by creating high-quality articles, blog posts, or guides that answer your audiences’ questions and provide helpful information. This type of content can also help build brand authority and foster customer loyalty.
Transactional Search Intent
– Facilitating the Buying Process
Transactional search intent happens when customers are ready to make a purchase. These queries can include keywords like «buy,» «order,» or «price”. This is not always the case, though. The keywords can also consist of products, services, or specific phrases indicating that the customer has reached the lower part of the funnel. For example, someone searching for «dog cages for hatchbacks» is likely in the market for a suitable dog cage for their car.
Understanding transactional search intent is essential to drive conversions and generate revenue. By optimizing product pages and providing relevant information such as pricing, availability, and customer reviews, you will make it easier for potential customers to take the step and convert. Implementing effective SEO strategies that target transactional keywords helps businesses capture valuable organic traffic with a higher likelihood of converting.
How to optimize for your audiences’ search intent
Understanding your audiences’ search intent is required to create content that answers the query and meets your target audience where they are in the customer journey. If you send someone who searches for “How to travel safely with a dog in the car” to a product page, there is a high risk that they will be overwhelmed and leave. At this point, they want to learn how to travel safely with their dog in the car and are not ready to evaluate buying options. This happens lower down the funnel when they have identified their specific needs and type in queries like, for example, “Dog cages for hatchbacks.”
Search intent is crucial to your SEO strategy and will ensure that your content supports the customer journey. Navigational search intent allows you to streamline the user journey, informational search intent enables you to provide valuable information and establish authority, and transactional search intent facilitates the buying process. By understanding and catering to different types of search intent, you can enhance your online presence, attract relevant traffic, and drive conversions.
Further reading: How to boost your ranking with keyword research
About the author
Olof Strömbäck is an SEO Content Consultant at Curamando, a leading digital consulting firm in the Nordics. He has a background in B2C retail and the car industry in the areas of CRM, content creation, and copywriting.