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What Is Search Intent, Pt. II

Picture of cartoon laptop with search bar

Posted on 10/30/2018 at 09:30 AM

In the first installment of “What is Search Intent?” we defined terms and discussed what kinds of searches users are conducting. In Part II, we will take a closer look at user searches as they relate to building an audience, generating traffic, and acquiring customers. 

We All Have To Start Somewhere

Targeting informational searchers will likely gain traffic from people looking for free information, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. When you are providing timely answers for new and trending questions and are consistently providing quality answers, you’ll have new and returning users accessing your site. In this way, you can establish a channel for acquiring users who may become future customers.  

How Can You Predict a User’s Search Behavior?

Simply stated, if a user is behaving like a customer, it’s because they are a customer. So why not help answer a user’s question before they know what they want to ask? If you can anticipate the wording of a specific search, then it’s beneficial for everyone.  

There are specific modifiers you can hone in on if you’re looking to get the attention of a user. Once you understand how these modifiers are being used in searches, you can implement keywords to attract users conducting specific searches. For example:

•    Commercial – review, online, shop
•    Transactional – buy, cheap, cost, price
•    Local – Minneapolis, Kansas City

Once you discover which transactional keywords are related to your site, you’ll be able to generate the Return on Investment to keep you competitive. 

Make FAQs Work for You

After taking great strides to bring users to your site, you don’t want a user to “bounce” (i.e. leave without interacting with your site). One simple, yet often overlooked solution is to add a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) module. Users have come to expect this. By clicking a FAQ button, the user knows they’ll be able to find a general overview of your company’s products or services as well as information on more specific questions. This is also a fantastic way to optimize your content for search engines. So do yourself and your potential customers a favor by providing answers quickly and simply without forcing the user to contact you. 

Importance of Intent in Organic Searches

Identifying user intent is crucial to your success in the realm of organic searches. However, there are times when search intent is less relevant. It’s equally important to consider this information so that you don’t spend a lot of time optimizing content for searches that won’t gain you any ground. Sometimes, negative keywords can help separate you from the competition by focusing on a group of users who might be getting caught in a loop of bad information.  

So, if you’re focused on generating more organic searches, the best approach is to consider a user’s search intent.

The Path of the Customer is Not Always Linear

Put yourself in the shoes (or fingertips) of a potential customer. A user conducting commercial or transactional searches might know what they’re looking. However, if they become aware of new information, then you’ll be able to add a layer of contemplation for the potential customer. When consideration of a purchase tilts in your favor (through optimization, anticipation, and strategic advertising) the likelihood of a user becoming a customer will increase in your favor.   

Simply stated: give users what they want. It’s the best way to make sure they’ll be back for more.  
 

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