Telescope & compass on a nautical map


Do you know your audience’s search intent?


When creating content for your website you want to deliver answers to the questions being searched by your audience. Google and Bing have become adept at determining people’s search intent so that a web page that most closely matches a search term or search intent in a query is going to rank higher with the search engines. Matching intent is more important than exact keywords so it is important to know your audience’s search intent and meet those needs. In other words, having a page that is full of a chosen keyword but thin on content will not rank well.

People now expect their phones to deliver the sort of advice formally sought from friends. You want to think about your audience and the devices they use and deliver information and advice relevant to their needs.Fortunately, people have learned that by being more specific in how they search, they can more quickly get to the information they’re after.


Types of search intent


Informational intent is the most common in searches. People have specific questions and want to know more about a topic. This is the time to deliver information about what your service or product offers. If people have the intention to buy in the near future but are still undecided they’ll do their research on the web. These people need more time and convincing before they will make their purchase. According to Google, mobile searches for “best” are up 80% in the past two years. For example, if someone is looking for “best refrigeration for a boat” consider creating an article on the best brands or types of refrigeration for particular boats.

Navigational intent is when people are trying to go somewhere on the web like a particular website. Trying to rank for your competitor’s name may deliver your page in the search results but if someone is searching for a specific company they are more likely to click on the site they were trying to reach.

Transactional intent is used by people wanting to do something like make a purchase, sign up, register, download, etc. If someone is looking to buy they are browsing to find the best purchase. If someone is searching for a specific product, they are possibly ready to buy.


Writing with search intent in mind


When creating content, you want to write for the terms people are searching for as well as their search intent. Be informational and answer the questions people are asking and optimize your product pages to be found by those who are ready to buy.

Before you begin writing do your research. Decide on your topic or keyword you want to rank for and do a Google search to see what queries come up.

Screen shot of Google's search box with results for marine refrigerator

For this example, I started typing marine refrigeration and Google gave me a drop-down menu of topics people are searching for.

In addition, Google offers related search topics if you scroll down the page.

Screen shot of Google's related searches for marine refrigerator

Another free tool is LSI Graph, which will suggest related phrases and words to your topic. LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing which is Google’s way of understanding the intent of your page or article by the synonyms or related words/phrases you are using.

You can now define your topic and keywords based on what people are actively searching for in Google. Keep in mind what searchers are trying to accomplish when they search for those keywords – I want to…, How do I…, What is…, Model types for…, Where do I buy…

Decide on your headline and sub-headline and then start writing.

Write for your audience! Your content should be easy to consume on any device. Write a great article or product description and then see where the appropriate keywords, synonyms and search terms fit.

Intent matching matters a lot more in 2018 than exact keyword matching. – MOZ

Want to discuss your website’s SEO and how to improve your search engine ranking with better content? Contact us for a consultation.


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