When working on your SEO and optimising your website, the focus tends to be on keywords, measuring how high you appear in the rankings and the number of onsite conversions they generate. It’s often seen as a numbers game. The more people you get coming into your site, the more business you are likely to get. What seems to be less of a focus is understanding User Intent.
In this article, we take a closer look at what User Intent is and why it can make a huge difference to the quality of engagement you get when people visit your website.
What is User Intent?
User Intent is what your visitor is really, really looking for when they enter a search term. This might seem obvious at first glance but it’s quite nuanced and something which search engines like Google spend a lot of time on developing. You can split intent into two different behaviours:
- The person is searching for something specific (a particular product or information) relating to the keyword they have entered.
- The person is searching for general information about a topic or item.
The job of the search engine is to decide what that person is looking for and provide the best match. This is not as easy as it sounds. For example, if someone types ‘Apple’ into a search engine, they could be trying to find the company or its products or simply want to find out more information about the fruit.
Google handles this kind of query in several ways. First, they’ll look at what the dominant interpretation is. In this case, most results for a single entry of ‘Apple’ will come up with more hits for Apple.com.
In other cases, however, the intent may not be so obvious and a mix of different results will be displayed on the page.
Location can also make a difference when it comes to intent. If someone types ‘Tesco’ into the search box, Google will assume that someone is looking for a local store and come up with listing for these.
Queries may also be divided into three different types:
- ‘Do’ queries mean that searchers are looking to complete an action, for example, buy a product or hire a service.
- A ‘know’ query means that users are looking to gain some extra knowledge, perhaps how to use a product or develop a skill.
- A ‘go’ query is navigational, for example where someone wants to visit a certain brand website.
What Does User Intent Mean for Your Website?
Understanding User Intent is important for the success of your website rankings. It also makes creating content that matches closely what the user is looking for much easier. That means clear keyword choices and ensuring your content gives an individual what they want once they get to your site.
This is certainly true of landing pages which usually revolve around a keyword combination or PPC ad. It must be specific and get the customer to the next stage of the buying process. It’s just as true for your main website pages, your blog posts and other content.
User Intent should help define your content strategy whether you are developing a website or producing a blog post. Understanding what your audience is looking for means you are better placed to produce content that is relevant and helpful. It also means that your content is likely to be recognised by Google as relevant to search queries made and show up higher in the rankings.
Can We Help?
At The Last Hurdle we work with our clients as a member of their team, whether we become your outsourced Digital Marketing Manager or whether we assist your existing marketing team to make the most of the businesses online collateral. No two client’s requirements are the same, therefore the service we provide is specific to each client. To arrange an initial consultation call 01604 654545 or email firstname.lastname@example.org