Focus Your SEO on Search Intent
User intent is not a new concept in SEO but it is probably true to say that it is a neglected component of many SEO campaigns.
The why behind a user’s search query is known as search intent. In other words, why did the individual conduct this search? Do they wish to gain knowledge? Are they looking to buy something? Or are they looking for a specific website?
Search Intent is many times an oversight by content creators, but SEO and content strategies must work hand in hand. Searches on Google and other search engines are based on a need or an intention. This could be a search for information, resources, product reviews, problem solving and many other things. Content which closely relates to such a need or intention has a much higher chance of being found by the user.
Because of this, SEO and a content strategy must by be synergized. Content which contains keywords and theme-related words and phrases that match a user’s search intent will rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This in turn will yield improved conversions, clicks, leads and sales.
What is Search Intent?
This is not a precise science although there are online tools that you can use. If you look at user intent as the pursuit of fulfilling a need you will see why content strategy is a corner stone of any SEO campaign.
The content you produce must contain keywords, words and phrases that closely match the search intent users express with the search phrases they enter into a search engine. The question then is how you can find these keywords and phrases? Here are some suggestions you can try.
- As a start, figure out what your target market is looking for.
- Use online tools like Alexa.com and Google Analytics to find which search phrases drive traffic to your site.
- Use Alexa.com to discover which keywords drive traffic to your competitor’s site.
- Enter these keywords into Google’s Keyword Planner tool and find keyword and phrases which relate to the keywords you have found.
- Evaluate specific search intents expressed as conditional search phrases. These could be long-tail search phrases conditioned with phrases like “free”, “cheap”,“home-based”, “do it myself’, “high-quality”, “easy-to-use”, “on-site”, “guaranteed”, “self-administered”, “highly recommended” and many more.
- Location based search phrases also express an immediate intention.
- Evaluate live examples of what search phrases people enter into search engines.
How to Implement User Intent into your SEO strategy
When planning your SEO and content strategy, focus on thinking like a user, not an SEO professional.
- Create content designed to meet the needs of users in your target market. Such content will connect with your prospective clients.
- Analyze popular search terms and build them up with conditional phrases to turn them into long-tail phrases as illustrated above.
- Incorporate search phrases which express a user’s need or intent into your content.
A synergized SEO and content strategy that satisfies user intent will produce better conversion, trust, click-throughs and help to build your reputation as an authority.