Search intent is certainly nothing new, but with 50 per cent of all searches featuring four plus words, consumers are becoming increasingly specific about what they want to find. Every query entered into a search engine today will have some kind of intent behind it and it’s capturing this that can help enhance and enrich our websites.
So, how exactly do we go about that?
What Exactly Is Search Intent?
As we mentioned before, any search made on Google, Yahoo, Bing etc. will be made with a goal in mind:
Users looking to learn something will want a specific answer to a question, e.g. how to do something, where to find something.
Those looking to buy/do something will be looking to make a transaction, whether it’s a purchase, or signing up for a service.
Those looking to not buy something will be looking for freebies, discounts or anything that can reduce costs.
Users looking to navigate somewhere will be looking for a specific place, usually a webpage like Facebook, Twitter or Amazon.
Optimisation Depends On The Intent
Adapting your website depends on the type of intent – your landing pages will differ drastically depending on what the user is looking for.
Users with transactional intent will want just enough information about the quality of a product and an easy way to make the purchase. For us as marketers, this means all of our product pages need to have a clear ‘add to cart’ button to guide visitors along the conversion funnel.
Those looking to avoid buying something, however, can be turned off by a landing page that features a high volume of ‘buy now’ CTAs. Content that’s enriched with keywords such as ‘affordable’ and ‘sale’, however, could gear them towards that final conversion.
Informational search intent, however, is a different story. With 80 per cent of all queries being informational, it’s easy to capture this kind of intent if you do it properly. Those with an e-commerce business could capture both transactional and informational intent by creating a page that features enough information about a product to appease the search query.
As a result, that informational query could become a lead, potentially leading to a sale in the future.
Why You Need To Start Paying Attention
If there’s one thing we know about Google, it’s that it’s always looking for ways to improve user experience. What appeases everyday users, however, can completely change how we work as marketers.
Take the Hummingbird update, for example – back in 2013, Google was fighting hard to improve the relevancy of search results, and so this update was born to carefully calculate what a user was looking for, simply by analysing their query.
2015’s RankBrain update only refined this further. Using machine learning, Google could provide users with the most relevant search results yet. The more recent March broad core update, however, has seen an even stronger focus on relevancy that’s shaking up the SERPs as we speak.
“Understanding your audience, what they want and how you can capture this in your marketing is key to relevant targeting but with Google’s algorithm constantly changing, it’s no longer as simple as just producing a website. You have to keep things fresh, changing the content and design depending on consumer demand and how your industry is operating at any one time. Owning a website is a full-time job, but the success when you get it right is unrivalled.” Ben Austin, CEO, Absolute Digital Media
You can find out more about optimising for search intent by reading the full article, here.