User search intent is the main reason a user runs a specific search query. In other words, user search intent represents what a user means to know when searching.
User search intent matters because search engines are always looking to optimize the user experience. Search engines want users to find the answer to their search query as fast as possible. When a user searches for a specific term and finds irrelevant information, the search engine receives a signal back informing that the intent is likely mismatched. Their algorithm looks at countless data points like time spent on site, click-through rates, bounce rates, and more to check if the content is truly useful to readers.
The search engine giant, Google had emphasized the importance of the user search intent in their Intent Report. They have also states their mission is to “Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
A good content strategy takes user search intent into account and tackles a topic in a way that optimizes the content for multiple types of searches and keeps the pages’ ranks high in a search engine’s search results. This will directly scale the website traffic thus helps to grow the business.
Creating content that aligns with user search intent is very critical if you want to rank up in search engines. Please always keep in mind that “Relevance” is the foundation of SEO success, followed by user satisfaction.
User search Intents are classified commonly into four types, such as informational, commercial, navigational and transactional. As it turns out, 99% of all search terms fall under the above four user search intent categories. Let us examine each of these categories to understand better.
Informational are searches from users looking for information. These are one of the most common user search intents. This could be in the form of a how-to guide, a recipe or a definition and users can look for answers to an infinite number of questions. It can be in the form of questions or just by something like ‘Joe Biden’ to gather information about Joe Biden.
Commercial are investigations about specific products or services that users usually do to evaluate and firm up the purchase. This type of search usually happens to post the informational stage of research and has narrowed the focus to a few different options. Users are most likely looking for reviews and comparisons to find the best solution for them. These searches often include non-branded terms such as “best restaurant near me” or “cheap hotels in Dubai” etc.
Navigational searches are where users are looking for a specific website but often it is easier to run a quick search in Google than to type out the URL or unsure of the exact URL. Navigational searches aren’t always just brand or website names. If someone searches for “Galaxy Z Fold3 5G Souq,” it can also consider as a navigational search, despite the searcher is looking for a specific product and have decided where to buy it.
Transactional is the searcher looking to make purchase of a specific product or service or subscription but hasn’t yet decided where to buy it from. Here users are no longer researching the product. The transactional searches would be like “buy laptop”. It’s clear from their language that they’re looking to make a purchase and no longer looking for information.
We can consider keyword modifiers to determine user search intent as it can be helpful indicators for user search intent. The filter features of the keyword research tools will be most useful to filter terms that include certain modifiers or phrases. Luckily there are a wide range of trusted keyword research tools are available currently.
SERP Research: Another way to determine user search intent is to research the SERPs. Type in the keyword you’re targeting into the search bar and see what your search engine suggests.
It is inferred from the above points that a relevant user intent content is indispensable for improved search engine ranking.