Understanding Search Intent and Navigating Keywords

Search intent is a key piece of SEO. When using a search engine, users have a goal they are seeking out from the countless pages of websites that come up in the results. Finding what your webpage`s search intent is can help its relevance in search engine algorithms and direct more traffic to your site. In this post, we will explore the four forms of search intent and the importance of keywords for your website. 

Search intent usually takes one of four forms: 

Navigational

Navigational search intent occurs when users are seeking out a specific website to find their information. The search phrase may contain brand names or the name of the website itself. If your site has traffic from navigational searches–this is good! It means your brand is tapping into its target audience and consumers are recognizing your site as a destination versus scrolling through other sites. 

Informational

Informational search intent is the most common out of the four types. This is when the user seeks out specific information but not from a specific source. The websites that are generated from this search have the purpose of providing supplemental information for the user based on the keywords of the search. 

For example, if someone is searching “how to make” and then a recipe, search engines will provide cooking blogs and websites with relevant recipes over a list of restaurants that may have that dish on the menu. 

Informational searches are also why search engines provide different forms of media as results, i.e. Google Images, news, and videos. 

Transactional

Any website that provides products or services would want its audience to fall under the transactional search intent. This is where consumers may search for something along the lines of “buy” and then a product. 

Other pages, like product reviews or blogs, will not show up because they lack transactional quality. Based on the user’s terms, it is clear they are trying to purchase the product over seeking out information. 

Commercial

Commercial intent is often also referred to as consideration intent. This is when consumers search for a general inquiry and are open to multiple solutions or perspectives. The commercial stage is typically before transactional search intents. 

Commercial search intents usually contain words like “best” or “most” and then the desired product or service. For example, in “best laptops 2022”–the search is open-ended and will show the user different options on what “best” may mean for them. 

Search Intent and Keywords

Altogether, the four forms of search intent create an internet user’s journey. Think of it as a funnel– informational search intent creates consumer awareness and narrows down to transactional, where the consumer ultimately takes action and makes a purchase. This does not always have to be the goal of a webpage because not all are for transactional purposes, but can provide an easy roadmap for how to navigate your webpage’s intent. 

In recent years, Google and other search engine algorithms have been able to determine users’ search intent. Using all forms of search intent is a good way to manage your SEO and stay among top-ranked websites on SERPs. Having content that connects with a combination of the four plus keywords will widen the net for audiences.  

Remember that search intent meets people where they are. After catering to your search intent, include relevant keywords. Select keywords that have high search volume, but also pay attention to how they connect with your search intent. A high-volume keyword is only as great as its relevance to the content.  

Seventh Gear Communications can help you navigate important keywords and search intent strategy for your website or help you organize your existing content to fit a more strategic search intent model. To learn more, reach out to us anytime!

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