Skip links

Optimize Content to Search Intent

SEO remains one of the most effective strategies to bring quality traffic to your website. You might already know that Google uses over 200 ranking factors in their algorithm. While we make educated guesses at what they are, a few are obvious. Good content remains high on the list but what exactly does Google consider to be “good content”? The website and blog content should be optimized for search intent. That means understanding what people are really looking for when they type in search keywords.

Google Stats

Here are a few Google statistics to underscore the importance of investing in SEO and revisiting your content strategy

  1. 67,000 searches are performed on Google every second of every day.
  2. 93% of digital, online experiences start with a search engine.
  3. 46% of all Google searches are local.
  4. 95% of all searchers click on one of the links in the first SERP.
  5. Search traffic converts 10x better than social media traffic (on desktop).
  6. The first position on SERP collects around 30% of the clicks. Second gets 15%; third gets 10%. By the time you get to the ninth and tenth positions, click-through-rates have fallen to about 2%.

It’s important to constantly think about the search intent of your potential customers. What drives them to your website. Let’s explore user search intent and find out how we can use this complex system to help improve your website’s ranking.

Knowing the intention of your audience, and potential customers mean you’ll be able to plan ahead and pick keywords that will make them more likely to find your site while searching online. Keyword research begins with looking for keywords that have good volume, or possibly long-tail variations that are easier to rank for and also looking at the level of commercial intent behind each keyword. Commercial intent is key as it represents how far along a potential customer is in making a purchase decision. The level of intent modifies how you should target that specific keyword.

3 Target Search QueriesStages of Search Intent

  1. Navigational
  2. Informational
  3. Transactional

Let’s explore the three types of search queries are and how you can target them with your site content.

Optimizing your website for specific keywords and creating relevant content is not enough on its own. Therefore you will need to offer further context. If you can tap into the psychology of why someone is searching for something specific, you’ll have a far better chance of attracting interested searchers.

Understanding the different kinds of search intent will give you a good insight to start creating for your audience, based on the psychology behind their searches. Try to put yourself in the shoes of a customer. What kind of questions would you have about the niche you cover (prior to finding your site.) Most importantly, try to think about what kind of content you can develop that will help answer those questions.

When you begin to focus your content, your site has a much better shot at ranking higher in search results. Therefore when you develop content that answers the specific need or question behind the search, your content will start to rank for more specific keywords and phrases. This will increase your targeted traffic and conversions.

Create a clear picture of what your customer is searching for and how your service (or product) meets that need. Then create your buyer personas of the different people that might be interested in your business and the range of search queries they might be using to find you.

Navigational Search

A Navigational search is a branded search. A consumer is already aware of the company they’re searching for. For example, in a navigational search, instead of typing ‘braces for teeth’ someone might simply type ‘Invisalign’.

It’s safe to assume that they’re already well acquainted with your brand. For these searchers, create landing pages with descriptive product or service information. Optimize your homepage with general company detail around what you do and who you do it for. Include this information in the page title, subheadings, and metadata. This is information Google will crawl in determining whether the website is relevant to the search.

You don’t stand much of a chance targeting a navigational query. The user has an exact site in mind and if you’re not that site, you’re not relevant to their needs.

Informational Search

Informational search queries cover a broad topic (e.g., New York or cars) for which there may be thousands of relevant results. When someone enters an informational search query they’re looking for information – hence the name. They are probably not looking for a specific site, as in a navigational query, and they are not looking to make a commercial transaction. The user is looking for the answer to a question.

To optimize pages for informational intent, place the specific question you are addressing strategically into areas like metadata and blog titles. Also, answer the question within the content. Content associated with informational intent can be tutorials, blogs or how-to guides.

TraTransactional Search

Transactional searches are when the searcher is actively looking to complete an action, such as buying a product. More often than not they’ll just type in the exact product name they’re looking to buy (“MacBook”) or be generic (“laptop”).  They may include terms like “buy,” “purchase,” or “order” and infer that the searcher is considering making a purchase in the near future. Many local searches (such as “Brooklyn wine shop”) are transactional as well.

Transactional landing pages are designed to keep the potential buyer focused using images, a prominent call-to-action and/or an easy way to complete their purchase. Commercial intent keywords are only relevant to transactional searches. Keywords can be considered “signals” from prospective customers therefore keywords with commercial intent are the most promising.

Vertical Searches

Vertical searches are a subset of transactional search queries. They represent people looking to make a transaction in a specific industry. These include local searches, restaurant searches, hotel searches, flight searches, etc.

There is no reason not to target transactional queries with organic content, like optimized product pages and local SEO strategies.

With a Commercial intent search, the user knows what kind of product they want. They are shopping and comparing brands, searching for the product that closely matches their needs. Commercial search intent could also include looking for consumer reviews. To rank for these search queries, include in-depth product specifications and service descriptions. Create content useful and of value to the consumer like a product comparison.


In 2020 search intent continues to be a key factor in search optimization. Creating content that has specifically been optimized to provide an answer to certain kinds of search intent increases click-through-rates since your metadata has already gone some way to telling the user that you are the answer to their question. Having highly relevant content on your website will increase engagement and the time spent on the pages. This will decrease bounce rates and improve the overall user experience. The conversion of site visitors will also rise.

Taking the time to explore your audience and their intent. Do everything you can to solve their problems with stellar content and smart SEO keywords, and you’ll find that getting to that first page of Google for a search relevant to your business is possible.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: