What To Do With User Intent In Keyword And Content SEO
We all try to keep up with Google’s algorithm updates, right!
But, do you know that Google makes about 500 to 600 changes in search algorithms every year?!
Well, that makes it really hard to satisfy Google.
But thankfully, there is a common ground of all the small and big algorithm changes that Google makes. That is to satisfy user intent with the results on SERPs.
Google updates its techniques of understanding the demand of people. And then, it tries to match those demands in the search results.
So, user intent SEO is that one weapon, which you can use to target every search algorithm.
While doing that, you need to set aside your love for numbers and think about actual people. A general user doesn’t know about keywords, he or she looks for answers only. So, you can’t understand people by looking at the ‘search volume’ of a keyword. You need to find the intent behind that keyword.
What is user intent?
Many online marketing experts have used their own words to define user intent. Neil Patel says that there are three types of search queries-
However, I like to keep it simpler for myself. My idea of query classification says that people either want to know something or they want to buy something.
So, when I am judging user intent, I classify it under these two categories.
- Know something
- Buy something
Then, I think about three questions under each category of queries-
- What does a user want to know?
- Why does a user want to know that information?
- How does a user want to know that information?
- What does a user want to buy?
- Why does a user want to buy that product?
- How does a user want to buy that product?
The type of information can take different forms and the product can turn into a service. But the questions stay the same.
Finding the answers to what, why and how gives you a clear picture of the user intent SEO.
1. SERP analysis for user intent SEO
Search Engine Result Pages or SERPs of Google give you a perfect platform to understand user intent SEO. Analyzing the first page of a search result can improve your ability to target correct intention for a particular query.
Why use SERPs to understand the intent behind keywords?
Google’s RankBrain is definitely one of the greatest AI that designs SERPs according to the query intent. So, Google is doing half of the job for you. All you need to do is analyze the SERPs for the ‘know’ and ‘buy’ search intent and answer the associated questions.
If I search for “Dance songs” on Google, it gives me the following result.
It is clear that the user intent for this keyword comes under ‘Know’ category. Now, I need to answer my three golden questions.
Users want to know about dance songs, popular dance songs, and dance songs list.
The dominating results seem like users desire songs for wedding, parties, and celebrations.
Most of the content types are in video form. So, video content is how they want to consume this information.
With this clarity, now I can create content that clearly targets the users of this keyword intent.
Hence, SERPs can help you understand the content types that match with the Google intent for a query. You can analyze the variety of content pieces present in the first SERP and learn about the dominating Google search intent for that keyword.
2. Deciphering user intent of keywords
Despite having a great search volume, a keyword can prove to be useless for your business. It is the keyword intent that provides success to your content strategy. User intent SEO helps you identify keywords that are actually suited for your business.
When conducting keyword research, you come across three major types of keywords-
- Broad keywords
- Specific keywords
- Micro-specific keywords
A car finance service provider has three popular keyword options.
1. Car loan (Broad)
2. Best car loan in Sydney (Specific)
3. Auto loans for people with bad credit in Sydney (Micro-specific)
The broad keywords usually contain multiple types of user intent in them. The keyword “car loan” includes the car loan buying intent, but you are still unaware of various other factors associated with it. However, the package of multiple intentions makes broad keywords more popular and competitive in search engines.
On the other hand, the specific and micro-specific keywords provide a clear knowledge of user intention. This is why using long tail keywords seems less difficult for businesses. But they attract a specific group of target market only.
Now, your ability to successfully target a keyword depends on the size of your business, the goals you have in mind and the authority you hold in your digital market. Hence, it becomes important to categorize keywords according to their intents before targeting them.
Further reading resource:
3. Using keyword variants of similar user intent in one web page
While teaching how to write for SEO, Rand Fishkin of Moz explains how targeting similar keywords in different pages has become outdated. Modern SEO best practices involve using multiple keywords with similar user intent in one web page.
Why target keyword variants in one web page?
Google focuses on the context and the comprehensiveness of a content when evaluating the importance of a web page. So, intent based search optimization seems more logical to receive successful rankings and conversion rates.
Search engines judge the comprehensiveness of your content by looking at the keyword variants you have used. So, if you have relevant keywords with broad, specific and micro-specific user intent, use them together in one content.
For instance, keywords “restaurant near me” and “restaurant that delivers near me” don’t require two different web pages. Creating one web page and targeting both the keywords will give you much better results. In fact, you can include other keywords with similar intent and design a comprehensive searcher intent SEO for your web page.
But you need to be exceptionally careful while conducting user intent SEO for one page.
The relevance of the selected keyword variants is extremely important. If you merge irrelevant keywords together, it can make the context of your web page confusing. Not just for search engine bots, but also for your target visitors.
You have to think about your goals with that web page and match those goals with the intent of the searchers.
Here is how you can do it.
For a restaurant web page, local people come under the target market group.
While creating a web page for keyword “restaurant near me”, following keywords become an option:
1. restaurants near me now
2. best restaurants near me
3. places to eat near me
4. Mexican food near me
5. fast food near me
In the above-mentioned 5 keywords, the first 3 clearly match the intent of the core keyword “restaurant near me”. However, if you look at the last two options, they may or may not prove to be the right choice for a restaurant. The selection of last two keywords will depend on whether the restaurant serves Mexican food or fast food. If yes, then, both the keywords can become a great help in making web page comprehensive.
So, it is important to think thoroughly while making a list of keyword variants for your web page.
4. Targeting diverse user intent in overall content strategy
Moving beyond similar search intent SEO, now we are talking about diversifying user intent in content strategy.
An article on Sales Force explains how consumers take different paths to evaluate a business before becoming a customer. Some like to know the features of your product, while others want to understand the services you offer with that product.
A consumer goes through different stages before buying a product or service. These stages become the diverse user intent SEO. Here are all those stages of search intents:
- Becoming aware of a problem.
- Researching the effective solutions possible for that problem.
- Comparing products or services to obtain those solutions.
- Selecting a brand or business for the product or service.
- Purchasing the selected product.
Diverse intent targeting is the key to attract consumers from different stages of buying. This is why you need a combination of product pages, services pages, blogs, reviews, and other forms of content on your website.
The idea should be to present your assistance on different stages of search intent. Hence, when the consumer reaches to the purchasing intent, you become the primary choice for them.
So, if you sell interior design products, help people who are looking for interior design tips, inform about the interior design trends and other relevant content types. This will lead consumers to understand their needs. Then, you can present information about your products and help them buy your interior design products.
In many cases, it is possible to target multiple intents in one web page too. A company called Gravitate used multiple intent targeting for keyword “medical web design”. They presented medical website design ideas on their web page along with their own product. Gravitate’s keyword strategy explains how it is possible to target informational and transactional intents together on one web page.
5. Relevant keywords for content, OR relevant content for keywords
Do you write for keywords? Or,
Do you find keywords that match your content strategy?
These questions make website owners confused whenever they are thinking about search intent optimization.
You might ask why?!
Writing for keywords allows you to find searchers’ intents that are currently popular in your industry. You can conduct keyword research to find trending topics. This is how you can shape your content with user intents that are gaining high visibility.
On the other hand, you can decide your content strategy and then look for the relevant keywords that have similar intent. This path allows you to find keywords that match your content marketing goals.
6. Mapping your conversion strategy with user intent
Every business desires a set of conversions that become the foundation for call-to-action. However, it is important that you don’t just think about business goals in conversion strategy. It also needs to match with the intent of the visitors for successful outcomes.
User intent SEO becomes a great asset when you are designing a conversion strategy for your website. It allows you to create CTAs that engage users at different stages of the search. Using the right emotions in your CTAs, you lead users from SERPs to your web pages. Then from there, you help them with CTAs that match their intention of entering your website.
That is why you need to create CTAs that align with the user intents incorporated in the keyword and content strategy. Analyze the analytics to find out the intent of the queries that bring most of the traffic on your site. Then, modify your conversion strategy to fulfill those intents.
User intent makes things easier!
The whole user intent SEO practice points toward one single idea –optimizing for real people. The idea of search intent optimization leads to relevant keywords and relevant content creation. With that, you obtain the ability to obtain relevant traffic that matches your business goals.
So, always try to find the answers to these following questions while creating keyword and content strategy:
- What do the target users desire?
- What are the hidden intents of keywords?
- Which user intents are relevant to business goals?
- What is the best way to fulfill the intent of the users?
Answer these questions for your business and website, and leverage the techniques mentioned in this article.
How do you incorporate user intent in your keyword and content strategy?! Share your thoughts in the comments.