A Quick Guide to Search Intent and Optimizing Your Website For It

June 18, 2019

When it comes to the customer journey online, there are a few different stages that they go through before making a purchase.

Here are the buying stages:

  • Awareness: The customer becomes aware of a problem or need

  • Interest: They seek out information to find a solution

  • Consideration: They evaluate specific products or services

  • Purchase: They make a decision on what to buy

Their search queries will be very different depending on which stage of the buying process they’re in. If you want to increase your chances of getting new customers, you need to make sure that your business and website are in front of potential customers from the time they start researching to the point where they’re ready to press the “Buy Now” or “Add to Cart” button.

So, how do you determine what kind of content you need to produce to appear at the different stages of the buying cycle?

Using Search Intent for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

When Andrei Broder initially coined the term back in 2002, search intent was broken down into three distinct types: 

  • Informative Searches (Know)

  • Transactional Searches (Do)

  • Navigational Searches (Go)

Informative Searches

Informative searches are likely to be done by people who want to learn more about a particular subject, but are not ready to convert.

Examples of this type of search:

“What is SEO?”

“How do I create a Facebook page?”

“Social media cover photo sizes”

Although the likelihood for conversion at this point in the searcher’s journey is minimal, these are queries that you want to be ranking for. That’s because this sort of content on your website gives you the opportunity to introduce your business to the customer at the start of their journey.

This type of content is also great for showing up in Google’s featured snippets and gaining extra organic traffic while still helping potential customers.

Transactional Searches

Transactional searches are typically done when a user is close to making a purchase.

Here are some examples:

“Best [insert product] under $500”

“Orlando internet marketing company”

“Buy [insert brand] car”

Transactional searches are crucial for businesses and should take precedence over information searches when you’re first starting to optimize your website.

Navigational Searches

Navigational searches are the simplest to explain and require little optimization.

These searches are used when there is a destination in mind (usually a well-known brand or website). There really is only one search term that they require – your website.

How Does Search Intent Help With Google?

Knowing how these searches are broken down helps you to create content that puts you in front of the consumer at all stages of their purchasing cycle.

Keywords are no longer just simple, one-word searches in Google. Search terms are now more involved and can sometimes even be full sentences. By focusing on the search intent, you can narrow down the focus of your website and ensure your customers have a path to go down that ends with a sale.

If you’re interested in learning how Sales & Marketing Technologies can help your business thrive, call us today at (407) 682-2222 for a free strategy session.

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