One of the reasons that content marketing has such a big impact is because it provides value to users, usually without asking them for anything in return. It’s not often that you can get anything for free from companies, but this is exactly what you get with blogs, podcasts, and other types of content. To get the most out of your content marketing efforts, you have to ensure that the content you’re creating will be beneficial for users. While this can mean knowing what terms and topics users are searching for, it also means understanding user intent. This can also be referred to as search intent, and it’s the reason behind why a person is searching for something.
Why is User Intent Important?
As content marketing is all about giving users information they need and want, it’s important to know as much about them as possible to know what to provide to them. The more you understand your audience, the better you can serve them, which leads to more conversions later on. User intent tells you more about a user’s searches than simply the keyword they’re searching. By getting information regarding why they’re searching for something, rather than just what they’re searching for, you can create content that meets their needs best.
People are at all different stages when they turn to search engines for guidance. Because of this, you can’t create one piece of content that will be perfect for every person. Instead, content has to be tailored to fit the needs of a particular audience if you want to get the most out of it. If users look at your content, only for it to not address their needs correctly, it’s a wasted opportunity. When you don’t keep user intent in mind when creating content, users are likely to leave if they realize it’s not what they’re looking for, which can hurt your bounce rate and affect your SEO.
Not only do users want the best results for their inquiries, but search engines do too. Search engine algorithms are designed to help provide users with the best results for their searches. Naturally, the best results are those that understand the real meaning behind the keywords. If your content doesn’t match what users want to see, search engines will know and likely won’t rank you highly for these keywords. The more relevant your content is, the better chances you have of improving how your website ranks.
Types of User Intent
Google gets over 5 billion searches per day, so it might seem like there are many different types of user intent that you need to plan for. However, that’s actually not true. Out of all these searches, most digital marketers agree that there are four types of user intent that they can fall into.
Many of us look for information through search engines every day. Informational user intent is very straightforward – it refers to users who are simply looking for information to learn something. Maybe there’s a topic you want to learn more about or have a question you want a quick answer for. This could be something along the lines of searching “why is digital marketing important?” These searches likely aren’t looking for a particular business or want to be sold to just yet.
Of course, shopping online is extremely popular, so many searches are geared towards buying something. When a user searches for something with the intention of making a purchase, it’s considered transactional intent. A transactional search may include terms like “buy” or include the exact name of a product or service. Transactional intent doesn’t only have to mean that a user is ready to buy something, it can mean they’re ready to take any action, like sign up for a service online. Whatever the action may be, transactional intent shows that a user has likely already made their mind on a product or service and is ready to take the final steps.
Commercial intent might sound the same as transactional, but it is slightly different. While users with transaction intent are ready to take an action, those searching with commercial intent aren’t quite there yet. Commercial intent means that a user is trying to decide on an action to take, but they need to do a little more research first. Users in the commercial intent stage are still trying to figure out what all their options are before moving any further. This can include people searching “best of” lists and reviews of the product or service they’re interested in.
Users searching with navigational intent have a certain business or website in mind. For example, looking up “ENX2 Marketing” is a navigational search, because you want results that take you to our company. Since people are looking up the name of your business, there’s a good chance that your website will be the one ranking highly for it.
How Do You Determine User Intent?
Knowing the intent behind a search term is simple if you use SEMrush for keyword research. This will tell you exactly what the search intent behind a keyword is. However, you don’t always need tools to determine what a user’s intent is. Often, you can take the time to figure this out on your own by looking at the content that already ranks for a keyword. Sometimes, you can tell by just the search term itself. If you stop to think about why a person is searching for a particular term, you could start to understand what your audience needs a little better. When you’re aware of the types of user intent, it can become easier to pick up on what content fits each one best. Keeping your audience in mind when creating content is always a best practice that you should follow.
Get the Content Users Are Looking For
Understanding how websites rank the way they do and improving the way yours ranks takes a lot of work. Most businesses can’t do this on their own, which is why they come to ENX2 Marketing. With our digital marketing services, we can help ensure your content matches what users in your niche need and everything else you need to bring in new business.
Learn more about how we can help you by contacting our agency today!