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What is search intent and why is it important?

blog - search intent

Over the years, Google has become more and more able to determine the search intent of its users.

As Google wants to give its users exactly what they are looking for quickly, it has placed high importance on getting the intent correct. For example if someone is looking to purchase Google wants to show ecommerce sites so that the user gets to purchase quickly.

4 types of search intent

There are a few distinct types of search intent:

Informational intent

First, there is informational intent. Lots of searches on the internet are of people looking for information. Information about the weather for example or answers to specific questions. In this case, people have a specific question or want to know more about a certain topic. The importance of this has become apparent with the rise of rich snippets where Google tries to provide the answer without you even going to another website.

Navigational intent

The second type of search intent is called navigational intent. People with this intent try to get to a specific website. People who search for Facebook are usually on their way to the Facebook website.

Transactional intent

The third type of search intent is the transactional intent. Lots of people buy stuff on the internet and browse the web to find the best purchase. People who have the intention to buy are searching with a transactional intent.

Commercial investigation

Some people have the intention to buy in the (near) future, but use the web to do their research. What washing machine would be best? Which SEO plugin is the most helpful? These people also have transactional intent but will need some more time and convincing. This is also the intent which B2B companies will often fulfil. These types of search intents are usually called commercial investigating intents.

How does this affect your SEO?

The reason for understanding searcher intent is important because you need to meet it to rank highly. For example, if you were previously ranking for a transitional intent keyword and have seen a drop, you need to ask yourself whether you fulfil the search intent. If you do not have an ecommerce site then the answer will likely be no.

With this focus on search intent getting above ecommerce sites will be difficult. So you need to either adapt your offering or refocus on ranking for the search results that you satisfy.

Being aware of informational intent can impact the way you write content. By looking at the questions people ask in your target market you can look to answer these queries and win in search engines as a result.

To find out how we can help you with search intent and ranking highly on google, give us a call today!