Why Search Intent Is Important For SEO
Daniel Foley February 2017 in Marketing 0
Search Intentions and SEO - The Relationship
If I was to tell you that I want to search for “phone history” what do you think I am looking for?
Perhaps I'm looking for the history of the telephone?
Perhaps I am looking to find my browser history on my iPhone?
Perhaps I am looking for old versions of the telephone book?
Deciphering what a user is actually aiming to do with their search is “Search Intent”. It’s a concept that can have a dramatic impact on the ROI of your SEO campaigns, and It should be the bread and butter of your keyword research.
The Types Of Intent
There are a whole host of different intent types ranging from the macro to the micro level. To give you an idea of why search intent matters we are going to look at a few types, and explain the benefits (or consequences) of targeting keywords with the intent.
Pre-DeterminedExample Query: “What is the checkout time for my booking at the Holiday Inn in London”
For this kind of search, the user is looking for a website that they already have in mind. They are not looking for anything more than highly specific information, from a predetermined website, about a specific thing.Â They have already made a transaction, they are no longer receptive to being sold to, and are only really valuable to the brand they have a reservation with.
For predetermined queries, Google is nothing more than a telephone book.
Non-CommercialExample Query: “How old is Brad Pitt?”
This kind of search is a purely informational request. There is no commercial intent of any kind at present.
However we do know that the user is at least interested in Brad Pitt, and as such, they may be interested in movies, or celebrities, and could be potentially marketed to. But as these informational searches are often made out of nothing more than curiosity, the traffic is reasonably cold. People making noncommercial searches are usually not in buying mode, and as such, it converts relatively poorly.
Commercial ResearchExample Query: “Is the new Apple Macbook Pro worth the money?”
With this kind of search, the user has a product in mind, and they are actively researching about it. They are potentially in a buying mood, but could also just be “browsing around” for the best deal. Keywords with commercial research intent are some of the most lucrative you will ever come across. For example, you could rank for your own products keywords (or your competitors) and tell visitors why they should choose you.
BuyingExample Query: “Quick pizza delivery in Hampstead, London”
This is the holy grail of search intent. These are users who are looking to make a transaction of some kind with the results of their search. They have their credit cards in hand and are ready to splash some cash.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why these searches are the most valuable, and as a result - they are some of the most competitive in the world.
So as you can see from these (purposely oversimplified) examples, there are a range of different things people aim to do with their search.
Determining what intent a keyword has enables you to determine what kind of conversions you can expect, and can help you decide how much effort you shuold put into ranking a keyword.
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