Intent: What does it mean & why is it essential for your marketing strategy?

Digital Marketing will get you in the front door of your users. Content that answers their query is what gets you inside.

If you have yet to incorporate the user’s intent into your marketing strategy, or you need to know how to connect the search term to your marketing plan, your competitors will be able to outperform you.

This article will explain intent, why it’s essential in search and marketing, and how to decode users’ plans.

Intent Definition

Merriam-Webster defines intent as a clearly stated or planned purpose.

The key word in the definition is “planned.”

They are finding out the reason for a person to behave in a particular way or do something.

This meaning can be easily translated into marketing.

What is the definition of marketing intent?

When users ask search engines a question, they are expressing their intent.

The search engines then analyze these keywords to provide results that answer users’ questions.

Intent can be used as a marketing term. It is also known as user intent or search intent.

Google’s Hummingbird algorithm and RankBrain, which helps the search engine to match queries to the right search results, have become a crucial part of digital and content marketing.

Imagine that you have spent hours searching on Google but still can’t locate what you are looking for. Frustrating. Google is also frustrated.

The majority of content on the web is geared towards keyword density to rank higher and improve search engine rankings, but it needs to deliver more value.

The introduction of query intention made digital and content marketing rethink strategies and create customer-centric content.

Why is user intent necessary in SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can help you stay ahead of the curve and increase your chances that your target audience will find your content.

Remember that even if your web page is optimized for specific keywords, it will only bring you a new fan, subscriber, or customer if you satisfy their needs.

SEO is all about people. Google’s recent guidelines for website owners are proof of this.

User intent helps you decide:

  • What are the keywords?
  • Your prospects’ needs;
  • Which stage of the buying cycle are they at.

These decisions will resonate with your customers and prospects, regardless of where they are in the buying cycle.

Understanding the Intent Behind Queries

Marketing experts have spent years trying to understand and identify the mechanism behind query intent. Some theories were based on guesses, and others had no scientific basis.

The 2020 Study on Understanding Query Intent by Zhicheng Duo & Jiafeng Guo categorizes these various attempts to understand query intent into two categories:

  1. Placing queries in classes
  2. Subtopics of queries

The keywords are the main factor in classifying users’ questions. Is it asking for directions or location? Does the keyword query suggest the searcher seeks more information about a particular subject?

When a searcher has a specific question, they choose subtopics related to the keyword.

When a visitor from the U.K. enters “football” in a web browser, likely, they will not be familiar with the results.

The search engine is trying to understand what the user is searching for.

Imagine that this person types “football clubs from the English Premier League” in the Google search bar. Because of the keyword “English Premier League,” the results will be more familiar.

Keyword Intent: 4 types

You can now localize keyword intent by using four categories.

Take a look, shall we?

Commercial Intent

When searchers want to buy something, they use keywords with commercial intent. They are looking to make an informed decision by comparing products or services, getting more information, and obtaining additional information.

Reviews, demos, and trials, as well as comparative words, are all keywords that have a commercial intention.

Here is the search result for commercial intent keywords.

Informational Intent

Search engines interpret words such as how, what, and who as informational.

Depending on the end, these keywords are used by users who have just begun their search or purchasing cycle. Content in this category is conversational and easily understood.

This is an example of an informational request.

Transactional Intent

The most valued keywords for transactional search terms are those that are specific.

This type of searcher is done learning about a topic or brand and wants to take action. Call-to-actions are the key to success.

Keywords that convey a transactional intent include but are not restricted to buy, purchase coupons, discounts, and prices.

Navigational Intent

Navigational keywords include brand names, locations, and website addresses.

The searcher tells the engine where they want to go and then asks for directions.

Typing “Rock Content” in the search bar, for example, displays the website, blogs, and social media profiles.

How do you analyze search intent?

It is essential to understand how search engines classify users’ queries before you can optimize your content. This guide will show you how to achieve high rankings on SERPs.

Use these steps to optimize your content for search intent and outrank the competition.

Look over the search results for the keyword.

Google your chosen keyword, and you can browse the results.

Here is a screenshot of Google’s first SERP (search engine results page) for the keyword “digital marketing.”

You can see from the image that people are searching for information about digital marketing, its types, and how to market online.

You can also check the “People Also Ask” section to see the most popular searches. It shows follow-up questions users query for.

Classify the search intent.

Note and classify each blog or article appearing on the keyword’s first SERP result.

You can tell from the screenshot that people are searching for more information about digital marketing. Some people want a quick understanding of the term, while others are willing to take the longer courses.

Keyword modifiers are used to specify the user’s needs.

When you search for a topic, words like guide, tutorial, resource, and how to suggest that the user wants to know more about it.

Search engines analyze words like buy, price and cheap, coupon, order, and order as transactional. The search engine interprets the word as a request for directions if the searcher adds a domain, brand, or website name.

Integrate your findings into your content.

The next step after determining the most common intentions associated with a particular keyword is to decide how you can build your content so that it solves the problems of searchers.

If you have previous content, look at it and determine what’s missing. You may have a specific target audience, but you might target everyone.

It is easier to identify your target audience’s pain points when interacting with them and researching.

Optimize the meta title, meta description, and page headers with descriptive titles and page headers.


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