What Is Search Intent & How To Use It for Your Marketing

Ravi Davda Rockstar Marketing CEO

Written by Ravi

Apr 4, 2023

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Search algorithms develop every day to provide users with more precise results. Some people think that Google knows about their desires more than they do. In fact, the algorithm is good at guessing your true intention when you search for something. So before you buy valid links leading to your site, take care of this optimisation aspect.

At its core, the intent is simply the reason to open the browser and search for something. It can be a desire to learn more about a particular topic, find a specific web resource, buy something, or do something else. If we know the visitors’ wishes, we can make pages that better suits the user’s needs and increases our chances of ranking higher among the competitors.

Why does it matter?

Imagine the user who types the words “sports centre.” What does it mean? The user may need information about gyms nearby. Or maybe they want to open a sports centre and Google the opportunities. The user can also search for translation or word meaning. So, the person from our example needs different results in different cases. And to reach the target audience, you must know how to use such a tool as user search intent to attract customers.

Thus, there are two critical reasons for the importance of analysing this factor:

  1. Improved rankings on the Internet. The algorithm is designed to provide the most relevant results for a given search term. Creating content matching a particular query’s search intent makes you more likely to rank higher in search results
  2. Improvement of user experience. When you provide content matching a particular query’s search intent, you improve the user experience. This can increase engagement, conversions, and your site’s overall reputation

Types of intent

Generally speaking, we can divide the intents into three large groups. People try to find an informational product, such as a book, movie, or guide. They may want to buy some product or find a specific geolocation. Thus, we have three types of requests:

  • informational;
  • commercial;
  • navigational.

Let’s take a closer look at each group.


The Internet is a great place to find something interesting. The goal of such a request is obtaining new data or entertainment. You can see the result of the information search on this page. Users read the text or watch the video and usually leave the page. That’s why owners of commercial websites may consider this type of visitor useless.


Users with this intent want to buy a particular product and look for a deal. They can compare several resources or goods on one page. The final result of this search request is a purchase. Such requests often include region specifications. If you want to track search intent of this type, carefully analyse the keys people type on Google to get relevant SERP.


This request aims to find a particular object’s location in physical or digital space. So, people may look for your physical address or your official website. Optimising this type of request includes filling in the contact section on your resources. You also must confirm that people can easily find your site and won’t go to your competitors.

How to define search intent

User intentions are as quantifiable as any other metric. Here are some ways to help you understand the needs of your visitors:

  1. Keyword analysis. You can better understand the keys used in a particular query’s search intent. For example, if the word is related to a commercial search, you know the user will likely want to purchase
  2. Analysis of results. Look at the top pages for a particular query and figure out what they have in common. This can give you an idea of what search algorithms consider significant for a given question and, therefore, the aim behind that query
  3. Understanding the way the user comes to this request. Consider the path the user takes from start to finish. What do they need, and what steps do they need to take to get it? You can better select the materials matching their goal by analysing the user journey

How to use intent

Intent-based optimisation is beneficial for boosting the performance of an online resource. Read interesting facts about the effectiveness of backlinks in the blog articles and other traffic sources, and you will understand that links alone are not enough. Good news! User intent analysis doesn’t require customers’ content or additional investment. What is the best SEO tactic in case of intent:

  1. First, analyse your resource. What intentions bring visitors to you? What is the end goal of your site? Examine if your materials lead to the goals when you answer these questions. One resource can contain materials of all types. This is entirely normal. However, usually one of them is predominant
  2. Optimise all materials according to requests. For instance, the articles the user receives on a data request should answer questions and provide answers or knowledge. Geolocation queries provide specific address information, while commercial queries lead to your product catalog
  3. Pay attention to qualifying words. Remember our example with the sports centre? You can provide coverage for all queries using this key with different instantiations. Be sure to use synonyms and other wording. This way, you reach the maximum number of users
  4. An important feature of requests for answers is the brevity of a possible answer. Google understands this feature and often provides the correct data on the first page. The users do not need to go to the site. They immediately see the information he needs
  5. Think whether it is wise for you to include such information. It will not increase traffic and will not attract buyers. However, it can positively impact the ranking of the resource and its reliability

Remember that your business depends on people. You must understand their intentions to make a truly successful project. When drawing up a content plan, rely on users’ intentions in the first place. If your pages meet the audience’s needs, you will get good rankings and high traffic.

Content optimisation for different intent types

Each type of intent requires tailoring your content accordingly. One site can use the content for one type of request. However, it is better to consider all options.

Information requests

Providing comprehensive, informative, and well-researched content is essential for a search with informational purposes. Be sure to thoroughly answer the user’s questions and provide matchable resources for further reading. Use headings, subheadings, bullet points, and other formatting techniques to make content accessible to digest

For example, if a user searches for “the best coffee shops in NY”, they are most likely looking for a list of the best coffee shops in New York. Your content should include a complete list of coffee shops, including their location, specialty, and customer reviews.

Navigational requests

For navigational purposes, it is vital to have a clear and well-organized site structure. Ensure your site is easy to navigate and that users can easily find the necessary information. Use descriptive and keyword-rich URLs, meta descriptions, and page titles.

For example, if users search for “site XXX,” they need a particular site and are not interested in competitors. Your site should be easily recognizable and available in search results. Be sure to use a clear and descriptive site name and URL.

Commercial requests

For this intent, providing a clear call to action (CTA) and making the buying process as easy and hassle-free as possible is essential. Use high-quality images, product descriptions, and customer reviews to help the user make an informed decision.

For example, if a user searches for “buy Nike sneakers,” they most likely want to make a purchase. Your website should have a clear and prominent Buy button, and the buying process should be straightforward. Be sure to provide detailed product information, high-quality images, and customer reviews to help the user make an informed decision.

It is also essential to provide detailed product information and comparative analysis. Be sure to highlight the features and benefits of your products or services and provide transparent pricing information. Use case studies, testimonials, and other persuasive techniques to inspire user confidence.

For example, users searching for “Nike vs. Adidas sneakers” will likely compare different products before purchasing. Your content should include a detailed comparison of the features and benefits of Nike vs. Adidas running shoes, including pricing information and customer reviews. Use persuasive techniques like case studies and testimonials to build user confidence and encourage them to purchase.


You can argue for a long time about what is more important in SEO optimisation: the reaction of visitors or robots. Ultimately, you work with real clients, not robots. What is the point of attracting traffic if visitors immediately leave your resource? Make sure that the data on the pages meet the needs of users. It will positively affect rankings and make a good impression on visitors. Thus, the introduction of intent work kills two birds with one stone. 

Users will find your site easily and get everything they need. So pay attention to this tremendously effective optimisation tool. Its implementation does not require a serious investment of time and effort.

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