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Search Intent

Search intent, also known as user intent or keyword intent, refers to the underlying goal or purpose a user has in mind when entering a query into a search engine.

Understanding and catering to search intent is vital for SEO, as search engines prioritize content that best satisfies users’ needs.

There are four main types of search intent: informational, navigational, transactional, and commercial investigation.

Informational Intent

Users seek to acquire knowledge or find answers to specific questions. Informational queries can range from simple facts to complex topics. Examples include:

  • “What is SEO?”
  • “How to bake a cake”
  • “Symptoms of the flu”

Content that caters to informational intent includes blog posts, guides, tutorials, and FAQ pages.

Navigational Intent

Users want to access a specific website or webpage directly. These queries typically include brand names or exact webpage titles. Examples include:

  • “Facebook login”
  • “YouTube trending”
  • “Amazon customer service”

To optimize for navigational intent, ensure your website has clear, user-friendly navigation and proper indexing.

Transactional Intent

Users intend to complete a purchase or perform a specific action online. Transactional queries often include terms like “buy,” “discount,” or “free shipping.” Examples include:

  • “iPhone 13 for sale”
  • “Buy running shoes online”
  • “Netflix subscription”

E-commerce websites, product pages, and service pages target transactional intent. Optimizing for transactional intent involves offering clear calls-to-action, secure payment options, and persuasive copy.

Commercial Investigation Intent

Users want to compare products or services before making a purchase decision. Commercial investigation queries often include terms like “best,” “top,” or “review.” Examples include:

  • “Best smartphones 2023”
  • “Top digital marketing agencies”
  • “Canon vs. Nikon cameras”

Content that addresses commercial investigation intent includes comparison articles, product reviews, and best-of lists.

How to optimise your content

  1. Conduct keyword research to identify the intent behind popular search queries in your niche.
  2. Create content that directly addresses the identified search intent.
  3. Optimize your content with relevant keywords, headings, and meta tags.
  4. Monitor user engagement and adjust your content strategy based on performance metrics.

For more information on search intent and optimizing content, check out the following resources: