When the term search engine optimization (SEO) is mentioned, perhaps among the first things that pop in your mind are common on-page SEO strategies such as placing proper HTML tags and other similar metadata, as well as customizing URL structure for beneficial website use. You may also be reminded about off-page SEO tactics that deal with backlink building and social media sharing. Or, on the other hand, if you love numbers that go with optimizing websites and pages for search engine rankings, then metrics such as bounce rate, organic traffic, and click-through rate, maybe your top of mind concepts.
While all these are important and clearly relevant to your business’ search engine optimization goals, there is another aspect of SEO that holds as much influence in your website’s ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Any link building company can tell you about this aspect as a popularly emerging phrase called “user intent”. Highly significant yet sometimes overlooked, user intent is what bridges search engine platforms and the users themselves. If you are to up the ante when it comes to your SEO strategies, learning about user intent should be in your priority list. And when it comes to user intent, here are some things you need to know:
#1. It comes in various forms.
Just as each customer that you will come across with will be unique and varied from another, user intent also comes in various forms. Sometimes called the Do, Know, Go, user intent can be classified into three types. Do stands for the transactional intent of the user. As the name implies, your target user wants to execute an action, or in other words, do something as he utilizes the search engine. This may come in the form of buying a certain product, booking a specific hotel, or acquiring a limited deal. Know, on the other hand, means the user wants to gain knowledge or gather information about a particular subject, which is why it is also called an informational kind of intent or query. Conversely, Go, or what is known as a navigational user intent, simply means your target user wants to be directed to a specific website or location upon hitting the search button.
#2. It influences keyword research.
Being the reason behind the user’s act of typing in a search query, it is no wonder then that user intent has sway over your planned keywords. Definitely, you want to do keyword research the smart way and not just fill out your keyword spreadsheet with a bunch of terms you want your business to rank for. This is where user intent comes in. Your target users are typing keywords in the search bars based on the intent they have in mind. Learning about and predicting user intent can help you and your respective SEO consultants to create effective keyword research strategy.
#3. It guides website content.
In the same manner that user intent drives what keywords your website should target to rank high in the SEO game, it also directs what kind of content your website should have. If you use certain keywords in your title tag as a response to certain user intent, you should also be prepared to have a content related to that query. In other words, user intent can guide you on how to do research for your content strategy. Say you want to target informational user intent, then your site should have content ready to answer your target visitor’s search query. If, on the other hand, your website aims for those who want to transact, your website should be equipped with features that will ultimately lead your customer to a buying process.