The 4 Types of Search Intent (And Why It’s Important to Understand Each)

Should you rank for the keyword you want?

Well, that depends.

And fortunately, we’ll help you understand what that depends on.

Take a minute to learn about the four different kinds of search intent and why you’d target each:

  1. Informational Intent

Yep. This is the most common reason someone uses the web.

Searchers simply have a question. They want an answer.

These keywords have the largest search volume.

On your website, you target these types of searches with blog posts. You don’t want to sell yet.

For now, you just want to earn attention by being the best resource on the search (in comparison to all others).

  1. Navigational Intent

People search this way when they already have familiarity with your company.

They search this way to find a page that they can’t find by navigating manually.

They might search for your home page, a product or service page, or a contact page.

While you want to optimize for these searches just in case, you first should focus on making your own site so easy to navigate (and even to search from your site itself) such that people don’t need to do this kind of search.

  1. Commercial Intent

Despite the name, these searches don’t have 100% purchase intent. Instead, customers need a little bit more information before they finally feel ready to purchase.

Informational pages, like reports or blog posts, in addition to sales pages discussing your services, may be just the key needed to turn a visitor into a paying customer.

  1. Transactional Intent

At this point, searchers have 100% purchase intent. These searches focus on finding products or services that ask for the sale directly and immediately.

A transactional intent search for a product could be something like “Warby Parker men’s eyeglasses.”

However, an informational intent search for the same product could be “eyeglasses for men.” With that search, a consumer would likely be comparing and evaluating options.

For a service, a transactional intent search might be “North Texas Foot & Ankle podiatrist.” A search like that reveals the customer knows the company and wants to buy.

Commercial intent might look like this: “Dallas podiatrist.” Here, the customer will likely look at Google reviews, blog posts, and Facebook pages (and the reviews on those) to compare options and make a decision.

Where Should Your Page Rank?

Now that you understand the different types of pages, you can make decisions on how to construct the page so it meets the customer where they’re at psychologically.

Ask someone to buy when they search using an informational intent keyword phrase, and they get turned off and leave.

Give them the information they want – the very best you can offer – and they gain interest.

So, you have to look at each phrase you optimize your website for, and consider: what does the searcher really want when they enter that phrase?

It’s a never-ending process.

But it’s one worth mastering because you sell more when you optimize your site for machines and searchers.

 

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