Intentions are vital to our survival and success in this world. Intention means having some idea, plan, or purpose of doing or achieving something. Intentions are an essential aspect of human intelligence and mostly responsible for the diversity in human behavior.
Intentions guide all actions of human beings. Every second search engines receive millions of queries from people all around the globe. In doing so, they have different intentions, purpose, aim, goal, or target. The main motive of Google is to satisfy the queries of people. Most importantly, marketers have to fathom the requirements of potential customers and the ways and means to target them.
For Brick and mortar stores understanding the intent is easy, as a customer entering the aisle, outrightly expresses his requirement. But for digital merchandise, intentions need to be predicted based on the past expression of key preferences.
What is intent research?
Intent research is the study of individuals or organizations and the processes consumers use to search, select, and use the goods and services to satisfy their needs. This involves analyzing the mind of your target audiences. Once you understand their psyche, you can create content and offer solutions that meet the requirements of potential buyers. Researching intent will improve your conversion rates and improve your website metrics.
The concept of user intent research focuses on understanding the motive behind a particular search term. For example, the search term ‘Saturn’ can be used to imply two different contexts:-
One is a planet, and the other is a car. So you cannot just rely on keywords. You have to research the reason or intention of using the term.
It is imperative for search engines and marketers to understand consumer behavior to survive and succeed in the competitive world of marketing.
Organic searches are vital sources of traffic to your website. Google, today assesses as many as 200 factors before ranking sites. Earlier stuffing your websites with the most relevant keywords was enough to boost your rankings on the search engine.
Some of the factors now considered by Google in ranking sites are:
- How user-friendly is your site?
- Does your site engage the attention of potential customers?
- Does your site satisfy search queries?
- How lengthy, original, and relevant is your content?
Google algorithm, RankBrain assesses the websites based on the keyword combinations used, user experience signals and intent analysis, rather than just the exact phrasing of searches.
How is intent research helpful to attract the right traffic?
It is essential to align your customer intent along with your SEO strategy.
Intent research helps you understand the reason behind a search query. These reasons are broadly of three main types:
- To enlighten themselves about something: Shoppers are willing to buy a more specific item. In an online search, Google makes an assumption based on the keyword. Here searches are made to find some piece of information, and a visitor may or may not buy something. They are said to have informational intent.
- Search for a specific product or service: Shoppers that have a known commodity in mind they wish to buy, and they came to buy just that. There is only one answer to his query in an online search. Searchers search with an intent to purchase online, and so they search for products and services. These are the kind of shoppers that know exactly what they want to buy and click with an intent to purchase. They are said to have Navigational Intent.
- Search to make a purchase: Shoppers searching for the best deals and offers to make online purchases. These searches generally end up in making a purchase. However, the users are making this search to find the best deal for themselves. They are set to have Commercial Intent.
We all fall into one of the categories mentioned above at some time in our daily lives.
Your content has to be optimized for each of the categories mentioned above. This will help you attract relevant buyers to your site.
In doing so, you have to research the intent of a visitor. If you offer Navigational content to a visitor willing to make a purchase, he will get irritated and leave your website. Similarly, if you provide window shopping content to visitors having Commercial intent, it will be an unnerving experience for them, resulting in zero conversions! Imagine yourself visiting a restaurant with a fervor fo Chinese cuisine, and the staff happens to serve you with Lebanese cuisine! What would you do then? You would quit the restaurant on a fiery note, never to revisit!!!
So researching intent is critical to be able to serve the right kind of content to the right audiences. Intent research thus helps in boosting traffic and conversion rates.
What are the tools for discovering user intent?
Google offers simple tools to help discover the intent of online searches:
Google’s Also Ask tool:
Having got your keyword, Google’s People Also Ask function helps find the most relevant questions related to it. You can also research the related queries offering more in-depth information about the intent of users.
When you scroll down the Search Engine Result Pages, related searches occur at the bottom, giving you more suggestions about the intent of the search made.
Answer the Public tool:
The who, what, when, and how queries are all answered by this tool. You type the name of your organization, and you get all the details. Such questions give an insight into user intentions for searching for a particular product or service.
Type in the keyword to view the search volume and competition sought after the keyword. You can also see the queries put forward by people related to the keyword and hence the intentions behind them.
It helps you monitor any occurrences or mentions of your business anywhere on the web. You can thus answer related questions people are asking about your business and the reasons why they want to connect with you.
What strategies can help you research user intent?
You can also research user intent in the following ways:
Analyze the questions people ask on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter pages. This helps you frame relevant content for your visitors.
Execute polls and focus groups:
Ask questions related to the weak points in your sales funnel and invite suggestions for improvement.
Pay attention to customer service calls:
Always take note of the recorded customer calls to discover the experiences of users with your product or service. Take negative feedback issues in your stride and work on improving them.
Include an automated chatbox on your website:
An automated chatbox to answer simple questions of visitors offers you with enriching information for your content.
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes:
Always imagine yourself as a visitor searching for a particular product or service. What is the course of the journey you will take from an initial query to ending up making the final purchase?
Understanding the intent of your customers and the kind of information sought by them, you can tailor your entire SEO strategy to their requirements. Having done this, the rest of the SEO becomes a cakewalk. Remember, only an intent-based SEO strategy can help boost your website traffic.