SEO is constantly changing. As technology evolves and algorithms update, tactics and strategies need to change with them. It is one of the main reasons you should consider hiring an SEO agency if you are serious about getting better rankings.
One of the biggest changes in recent years has been the way in which search engines view the intent of searchers. As search engines become more advanced, they are becoming a heck of a lot better at understanding exactly what users are trying to get out of their searches — whether that is buying a product, learning more about a subject or finding a simple answer to their question. It’s such a big change, and such an important one, that it is important business owners understand intent so that they can optimize their search strategy with it in mind.
What is searcher intent?
Searcher intent is the why behind the search phrase that is being used. It is the outcome that they are hoping to achieve. For most searchers, this will be informational, commercial or transactional. If you can categorize your keywords into these three categories, it can help you to understand which pages should be appearing for each keyword.
Informational intent is people seeking answers to a question or a topic. These are the most common and will typically have the highest volume.
Transactional intent is when the searcher is looking to make a purchase. They know what they want to buy and they are looking for a place to buy it from. In some cases, they may even know who they want to buy it from, too.
Commercial intent is a hybrid of transactional and informational. The searcher is thinking about making a purchase but wants more information around a product or service before committing. Think of it as the consumer research phase.
Optimizing for intent
Now that you have categorized your keywords into different searcher intents, it is time to start optimizing your pages for those intents. This should start by analyzing the current result pages in Google for these terms. What are the pages that are showing up highest? Are they blogs? Product pages? directories?
If the content showing in Google doesn’t match the content that you want to rank, the chances are that you are going to have to create a new page. At the same time, if the content does match your page, there is a good chance you can rank and you should invest time into making that page as good as possible.
You should also use intent to optimize your on-page SEO and your call to actions. If users want information, make sure that your heading tags are questions. If they want to make a purchase, make sure that your CTAs reflect this. You can also use internal linking to help the user find more information if that’s what they are looking for, or more products if they want to buy.
Understanding intent is crucial if you want to make your website be as useful and high-ranking as possible.