What is User Search Intent? And Why It Matters for SEO!

If you want to communicate more closely with your target audience and make them your regular visitors, what exactly do you need to do? Let’s just say it right away: You need to get to know them and explore what they want. If you discover their internet surfing habits and understand what queries they make within the framework of these habits to see what, you can organize your content and service scopes accordingly. This will mean you get much stronger results. This is the subject of “understanding the user” that we are talking about, which is referred to as “user intent” or “user search intent” in digital marketing jargon. As soon as users enter search engines and search with certain keywords, you should know the following about those searches:

  1. How comprehensive information does the user want about this search?
  2. Regardless of the answer to the question the user is looking for, what other related questions does the user want to know the answer to?
  3. How does the user have sufficient background to read the stylistic responses?
  4. What type of content does the user want to find? Is a list looking for content, a detailed guide content, or a detailed content diversified with tables? Is he looking for a content that explains simple information in an encyclopedic language, or is it a bit more entertaining?

Finding answers to these questions can somehow increase the time a visitor stays on your website. What’s more, Google can quickly increase your ranking after seeing these results, convincing you that you’re offering something really useful on your site. Remember, understanding search intent and accordingly improving user experience will yield results directly related to SEO.

What is User Search Intent?

User search intent is a concept that makes your content perfect for your visitor when you understand it properly. A digital marketing agency determines every detail, from advertisements to social media shares, from service and blog content on the website to the use of keywords, by paying attention to the search intent.

What is User Search Intent?
What is User Search Intent?

Search intent allows you to best predict what result the user would like to see when they search using certain words. This educated guess is the best way to “prepare results they want to find” for people. While your primary goal will be to respond to the primary user intent, your secondary goal will be to provide information in your content about other questions and sub-topics that develop depending on this intent.

How Knowing User Search Intent Works For Me?

Remember what Google basically wants: to satisfy its visitors and giving them the fastest access to what they’re looking for. When it comes to SEO, we think it is important that you address Google first with your actions. It’s important to learn target keywords, actually discovering exactly what Google visitors want to see.

For example, consider the phrase “pizza recipe” as a keyword. To understand the potential search intent of people searching for this keyword, it may be important to explore the long-tail keywords you will find with this keyword. For example;

  1. best homemade pizza recipe
  2. bake homemade pizza
  3. best pizza topping combination
  4. pizza recipes vegetarian
  5. homemade pizza recipes for kids

Examining the above keywords and also doing a brief analysis of their semantic versions will allow you to know about the potential intents and desires of your visitors.

Why Does User Search Intent Matter?

Now, if you wish, let’s start to examine what advantages knowing the user search intent can give you. User intent can give you great results for Google, for rankings, for user experience, conversion rate, customer acquisition, and much more. Here we go, folks.

Google cares about user search intent and rewards you for it

It is great news for Google that you care about appealing to users and produce content accordingly.

When crawling content, Google examines them by scanning paragraphs. This is why it is so important to which parts of the topic you respond to in your content in general. In general, imagine that you are writing content such as “What is SEO?”. This could be a very comprehensive full guide content. A sentence in this content that contains the answer to the question “Why is the long tail keyword important for SEO?” can be featured as a featured snipped or organic search result by Google in this type of specific search. Moreover, you don’t even need to write a separate title that attracts attention for this most of the time. So, if you want your content to stand out in more inquiries, you should thoroughly examine what questions you are answering in your content. Only in this way can you produce content without any problems.

You will have higher efficiency with conversion funnels

It might make sense to follow some funnel steps to focus on a specific audience and go step-by-step. Remembering the search intent means you can skip this funnel faster in the content marketing process. Imagine you are following a funnel. What do you need to do in order to appeal to different audiences and inquiries at different stages of this funnel? Let’s just say it right away: target specific searches.

Why Does User Search Intent Matter?
Why Does User Search Intent Matter?

Your research on user intent will allow you to elaborate on the core topic of a particular content in a way that can respond to different specific searches. In this way, the people you get to your site as visitors and increase the engagement rates while applying a conversion funnel will be internet users from different sub-segments. We care about this because doing so also means reaching out to the niche parts of your audience.

For example, if you are a fashion blogger, you should be able to appeal to those who are looking for the most trendy clothes of the season, and to those who are looking for affordable brands that produce similar brands. In addition, those who want to make a certain outfit by transforming another outfit at home must somehow enter your site. By responding to such subqueries, you will increase your scope of conversion and expand your reach. As the profiles of people who discover your brand diversify, they bring their own audiences to your brand and growth accelerates.

You can increase your rankings and increase your SEO visibility rates

Hey, you know what Google pays attention to when raising content to a better rank or to page one: ”relevance”, of course! The more relevant a piece of content is to that query, the more likely it is that Google will show it ahead of the results. Therefore, when designing content, different information in different fields can cause the content to be featured in different specific searches. In order to do this, as we said before, it is necessary to target certain keywords:

  1. The most popular keywords are keywords that represent the broadest set of a search, and they are clusters with an extremely high search volume. For example, the phrase “pizza recipe” represents a popular search.
  2. Long-tail keywords are specific versions of them. For example, “homemade pizza recipe with tomato” appeals to a more niche audience than the other keywords.
  3. Semantic keywords are groups of words that can express a particular keyword with another word. For example, using the word “pizza making” instead of “pizza recipe” would mean using another alternative semantically. In this way, you will have access to a segment that is exactly your target audience but does not use the keyword you targeted.

Targeting keywords like the one above gives a pretty important message to Google that your content is competent, comprehensive, rich and relevant enough. Remember, search engine bots scan your content at the paragraph level, examine the links you provide, browse your titles and meta tags. All of this is to determine relevance and clarify whether you’re writing content well enough to get in front of users.

Finally, apart from this “autonomous” crawling & indexing & ranking process, the information Google receives from real users’ experiences is also important. For example, if you write content that is relevant and improves users’ experience, users are less likely to bounce from your site. And this is Google’s decision to “take advantage of the site that enters this site, to show conversions. Then this site should be relevant to the relevant queries,” and it will lead to boosting your ranking. It’s that simple, folks.

All of the advantages we mentioned above will be very useful for your project to reach its target audience and increase its popularity and power. That’s why we recommend that you give the necessary importance to the concept of user search intent, which has been very popular in digital marketing lately, and work with a digital marketing expert who “understands the market” in order to get strong results in this direction. It’s that simple.

What are the Types of User Search Intent?

We now know why user search intent is so important and what knowledge about it can add to your marketing process, because we talked about them in detail. So, what kind of intent might a user have when they enter a search engine and make a query? Is it possible to subject them to a certain categorization?

Let’s give the answer: yes, there is a very useful categorization on this subject. In fact, when you are doing keyword analysis and determining which query types you want to target, you are actually showing what kind of intents you have for a website. First, let’s list the popular types of user search intents:

  1. Informational
  2. Preferential/commercial ınvestigation
  3. Transactional
  4. Navigational

Now, in the continuation of the content, we will begin to examine what types of content each user intent wants to see and what kind of keywords symbolize these intents.

Informational User Search Intent

When a user enters the internet and queries to learn the information and explanation-oriented answer to a particular question, this indicates an informational user search intent. Typically, the following types of searches carry this type of user intent:

  1. Searches that ask how to cook a particular dish
  2. Searches that question how to make a particular DIY project
  3. Searches aiming to find evergreen contents: For example, searches to find the meaning of any concept or the relationship between two different variables want to see evergreen contents. ”What is user intent” is also an evergreen content. Because, a basic information sharing that will not change over time takes place within the content.
  4. Queries to find specific historical information

All of the daily or academic inquiries as above carry the desire to see a description, pure information. Therefore, all of them want to encounter informational content. So, what keywords are these searches usually based on? Let’s examine:

  1. How to
  2. what is
  3. Where is
  4. Who is
  5. The relationship between
  6. How X affects Y

It’s that simple. Now let’s move on to the other type.

Preferential/Commercial Investigation User Search Intent

Before a user buys a particular product or service, they want to see what people are saying about it on the internet. Affiliate marketing, which is very popular today, is usually done by writing review content that focuses on this intent. Searches with a prefential intent may ask someone who uses a service to see their review or definitive guide. Moreover, in some cases searches may involve a comparison of two different competing products or firms, or pros and cons of a certain product.

Preferential/Commercial Investigation User Search Intent
Preferential/Commercial Investigation User Search Intent

The important thing here is this: Users who make this search often want to see honest, detailed but easily understandable content. The user, who reads the content to complete the decision stage before performing the shopping behavior, would like to be able to easily follow the features of the product. Therefore, the content written should be prepared in accordance with this demand.

It is possible to say that companies that do local SEO work give importance to this type of search user intent. Because someone who decides to eat somewhere but can’t decide which restaurant to go to, usually when they search for “best Italian restaurant near me“, they want to see results that will convince them. In this case, if the Italian restaurants in that location appeal to this search intent with the right keywords, they will acquire their new customers.

Now, if you wish, let’s give you a few examples that overlap with this kind of search intent:

  1. McDonald’s vs Burger King
  2. Google Analytics or Search Console
  3. Amazon vs eBay
  4. Which one for SEO WordPress or Blogger

All of the above searches represent research by people who are already convinced to buy a product or service about which supplier they should choose. You can also appeal to wider audiences and attract organic traffic by producing powerful and efficient content on these topics and supporting your content with answers to various frequently asked questions.

Transactional User Search Intent

When we examine another search intent, we see that it is frequently targeted especially by e-commerce site owners. Because searchers with this intent usually aim to buy a certain product or service directly. Sometimes this can be a subscription to a digital service, and sometimes it can be a purchase of a physical product. When users make such searches, instead of telling them about these products in the content, you should tell them that your platform is the right place to buy it. Because hey, they already know the product and are focused on buying directly.

BONUS: How to target transactional user search intent?

Such content is often included in the category content or blog pages of e-commerce sites. In some cases, you may be able to target these keywords by editing the content as follows:

Let’s say you own an e-commerce site that sells women’s clothing. In this case, you want to target the word “buy knit blouses” and stand out in the SERP in a large number of transactional user searches. It’s not a good idea to use this phrase in a spammy way. Therefore, after giving general fashion tips in your content and talking about how to combine knitwear blouses, you can say that you are the right address to buy the best knitwear blouses.

Doing this often makes it easier for you to form a strong bond with your users about the product you’re selling and helps you convince them to convert in a short time. In addition, Google will easily be convinced of the “relevance” of this content, which includes many semantic word versions of women’s clothing and knitwear, and will agree to feature it in your targeted SERPs. This is exactly why it is extremely important to use them in the right content setup when targeting user search intents and trying to stand out by using keywords.

Now let’s examine a few keywords that can be considered as examples of transactional user search intent:

  1. Buy knit blouse
  2. Buy Screpy subscription
  3. Buy Netflix Premium account

All of the above are calls made as a result of a direct purchase behavior and are generated with the aim of encountering the service / payment page.

Navigational User Search Intent

Let’s talk about another search intent that is used quite often: If users already know the website they want to go to and they type a keyword directly into the search bar to find that site, it is called a navigational user intent. Searching your site by typing its name directly on the search bar is also very good news for increasing your page authority.

Navigational user intent is often used to navigate to a site’s sign up or log in page. Such searches are also frequently used to navigate to a specific e-commerce site.

Navigational User Search Intent
Navigational User Search Intent

Let’s see a few different types of sample queries if you want. When you review them, you will understand much more easily what this type of user search intent looks like:

  1. Netflix login
  2. Screpy membership page
  3. Amazon Prime plans
  4. Scrapy pricing

All of the above is typed into the search bar to navigate to a specific web page of a specific website. Usually, the relevant page of that site is shown by Google in the first place.

Are they all ok? Wonderful! Now you are familiar with all of the user intents categorized in different ways, you know them all. So what you need to do is to learn how to determine search intent and thus better understand all the needs of the market, all the habits and character of your target audience. If you’re ready, let’s continue with this.

Explore How to Understand Search Intent of Your Target Customers

If you want to discover different search intents on certain topics and optimize your content accordingly after learning these intents, you are definitely in the right place. What we will tell you shortly are actually a few methods that every content marketing professional should know. If you are writing your own blog site or adding a blog page to your e-commerce site to stand out, you should definitely enrich the content in line with these methods.

Here is a detailed guide and X methods!

Utilize Keyword Finder Tools

What is the most searched for about a particular word or concept? For example, let’s say you’re targeting the word “mug” and you’re a boutique that sells personalized mugs. To understand which versions of this word you should use, you need to understand the search intents of your target customers. The thing that can tell this best is the words they use when they enter search engines. For example, you can find the word mug in the following versions:

  1. travel mug
  2. mug vs cup
  3. ceramic mug
  4. mug verb
  5. coffee mugs
  6. mug design
  7. mug slang
  8. mug drawing

See, these are just a few of the keywords that are often combined with the word mug. Moreover, there are also some questions you can use:

  1. What is the best mug for coffee?
  2. What is the meaning of coffee mug?
  3. How expensive is a coffee mug?
  4. Is there a mug that keeps coffee hot?

Did you see? Great, isn’t it?

If you wish, you can easily explore long-tail keyword versions such as:

Utilize Keyword Finder Tools
Utilize Keyword Finder Tools

To discover such words, you can take advantage of platforms such as Semrush, Ahrefs, which are offered for free on the Internet. Also, Screpy shows you the most popular queries for a particular keyword via its keyword tracker tool. For this, we work in integration with Google Trends. While presenting your ranking performance in a particular keyword, you can use the keyword suggestions we provide in the strategy creation process of your content.

We just want to give you a little tip on this subject: When targeting keywords, make sure to target both long tail words, word pairs and questions, as we gave you an example above. This makes it easier for you to address specific inquiries and increases your potential for organic traffic.

Google SERPs Are Telling You Very Important Things

In fact, if you look at it, you can continue with keyword research without needing any tools, just by working on Google. Good but how? Let’s tell you a secret: many people are not even aware of the treasure at their disposal, which they can use absolutely free of charge. In fact, Google search suggestions give very important tips to those who want to do content marketing. Moreover, when these are combined with Google Trends data, it becomes really easy to understand the popularity of a particular keyword and see which phrases / semantic versions it is being searched for.

Now we will show you a total of 3 different areas in Google SERP that are important to you and will let you know about the user search intent. Lets start:

People also ask

This area, which Google has increased in use recently, shows the “question-oriented queries” made by users in relation to the said keyword and gives short answers to them. Users can visit the site by clicking on the link and see longer responses if they wish. This area is very important in terms of seeing which questions your target audience wants to find answers to, by making relevant searches with which intent.

In order to show you as an example, we searched for “teeth whitening” and wanted to share the people also ask part with you:

People also ask for exploring search intent
People also ask for exploring search intent

 This area gives very important information about what kind of content users want to see about teeht whitening. Moreover, by clicking on the last question, you can have more questions listed below.

When you search for a specific keyword on Google, many phrases are listed under the heading “related searches” at the bottom of the SERP. These word groups, listed as clickable buttons, give you important information about which alternative searches are made with these words. You can get an idea of the long-tail keywords you can use by looking here. For example, when we searched with the word “teeth whitening” as before, we came across an image like the one below in related searches:  Did you notice? It was even possible for you to get information about the types of products that those who want to whiten their teeth are popularly looking to buy: gel, kit, pen. You also learned which word combinations the most popular searches were made with: procedure, treatment, price, review, products. Seeing this will further refine your search and make it easier to do long-tail searches for different user intents. SERP on Google alone works as a great keyword finder for you.

Related searches for exploring search intent
Related searches for exploring search intent

Search Suggestions

Another keyword suggestion field that usually changes depending on the searches performed near you, your previous searches, or search trends is:

Search suggestions and exploring user search intent
Search suggestions and exploring user search intent

 This field is listed directly below the search bar. In this way, it makes it easier for you to go to the search you want easily with your mouse or keyboard. At the same time, this area is very important for you to understand the popular search intent. The suggestions given to you in this area and the suggestions given in related searches do not fully match with each other. That’s why we recommend you to check both parts.

BONUS: If you want to discover search trends in a specific language or location, be sure to change the location and language in Google search settings. To do this, go to the SERP page and click the buttons below:

Changing search settings
Changing search settings
  1. You can select a country by going to the location field from the Search settings.
  2. In the Languages section, you can specify in which language you want to see the results.

In this way, even if you target individuals in overseas countries, you will be able to see Google through their eyes.

Examine your competitors and make a detailed analysis

Earlier, we shared detailed content about competitor analysis with you. Analyzing the market and your competitors will also allow you to understand the user intent work of others. Remember, your competitors, just like you, want to appeal to a sizable portion of the pie, so they do keyword research. The keywords they target can give you information about what you can do.

We recommend doing this review both using various tools and manually. Examine your competitors’ blog sites, in what structure do they produce current blog content? If you wish, you can try to understand their strategies and be inspired by them.

Would you like us to talk about what questions you might ask yourself during this process? We can exemplify as follows:

  1. Check out how they shape their content
  2. Identify what is missing in their content or overall strategy. These points can be the points that will make you stand out.
  3. What did they talk about especially in their evergreen content? Being able to offer a more comprehensive version of such content than theirs is very important to increase your competitiveness with them.
  4. What style or style did they use while creating their content?
  5. How has their current keyword ranking changed? Finding the answer to this question is especially important so that you can understand whether your competitors’ strategy is right or wrong.

The intent targeting process, which you will perform by paying attention to all of the above, will mean a much more advantageous marketing process for you. You can follow the steps above to discover more and start getting to know your target audience for real. Remember, only this way can you achieve the best results.

How Does Understanding Search Intent Contribute to SEO?

We think you understand search intent really well by now. Now you know better than before how valuable this concept is to establish closer contact with your target audience. Alright what now?

Many of the website owners who visit Screpy are trying to get strong results in their SEO projects. Reaching their target audience and bringing their projects to the level of visibility and recognition they desire is very important for all website owners. That’s why we wanted to tell you how intent targeting can contribute to the SEO process. Here are the features of search intent targeting, which contributes to SEO in a few simple steps:

  1. You can reduce bounce rates: User search intent targeting, which increases the power of your content to appeal to your target audience, means that visitors can find what they are looking for on your site. This ensures that visitors stay on your site for a while rather than leaving immediately. Hey, dropping bounce rates is a ranking-boosting factor.
  2. Get popular with more page views: Targeting more queries, especially with semantic keywords and long-tail keywords, means being visible in more people’s SERPs. This is basically getting more clicks, increasing page views. To increase your organic visitors. This will make you even more popular in the eyes of Google.
  3. Featured snippets miracles: Producing content that responds directly to the search intent can help you show up as an answer box by Google, especially in long-tail searches. This will allow you to capture a significant portion of SEO visibility rates without having to wait for rankings. Hey, this is very helpful for business SEO.
  4. Dominate a wider part of the market with a wide auidance reach: You can introduce your site to wider audiences by appealing to more of the users who make specific searches in your target audience.

FAQ

How do I find user intent?

To understand user search intent, you can do keyword analysis, choose to literally read SERPs, or take a look at your competitors’ content marketing strategies. We believe you can gain a very detailed insight in this way.

What are the most common types of search intent?

In general, the most common search intent options are as follows:
Informational: Users with this type of search intent want to find pure information on the internet. For example, research on a general historical topic or research on a current topic are informational searches.
Navigational: Inquiries made by giving the site name to go to a specific website are called navigational search. These types of searches are usually called a specific page like “spotify log in”.
Transactional: If the user wants to buy a product and wants to find platforms where he can buy this product, he can perform this type of search. In this case, their search will contain a specific action such as “shop Nike shoes”.
Commercial investigation: Before making any purchase, a user may want to do a detailed research on the product or service in question on the internet. Product comparison articles and review contents provide useful results in this regard. These types of calls are usually written with a commercial investigation intent.

How do I find intent keywords?

It is possible to examine intent keywords by examining the SERP view in Google in detail, using keyword analysis tools, and using Screpy’s keyword tracker tool.

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