Different Ways to Understand User Intent

According to a statistical data, there are about 4 billion searches made on search engines every day. It means that there are 4 billion instances when people make search on internet with a need. So, the businesses which are succeeding on internet are the ones that answer those questions.

So, when you talk about need, you need to understand what a need really is. It is not about something that you offer but it’s more about something that has the capability to give answer to the user’s question.

If you want to engage customers with your brand, you need to make sure that you have proper understanding of what those people are looking for. In other words, you will have to understand user intent. Hence, it’s not the keyword that comes into the minds of searchers, except the ones who understand how search engines work. Instead, they have a question or intent in mind.

What user intent really is?

The true meaning user intent can be stated as a purpose that drives users to make internet searches in order to find solutions to what they need. While best practices of SEO mainly focus keyword targeting, this has to change as the focus should be shifted to intent targeting. According to Neil Patel who is the co-founder of Crazy Egg, “There’s no such thing as people typing in random queries without a reason for typing in those queries. A searcher must have intent.”

With that said, it is worth mentioning the types of intents at different stages of a buying cycle.

  • Navigational: This step involves the process of searching for something specific.
  • Informational: In this step, user basically tends to gather information about the type of item he/she has been searching.
  • Transactional: User in convinced about something and is ready to make a purchase.

If you are able to answer users from above three categories effectively, you are certainly going to get success. A few tips would be helpful for you in this regard.

  1. Keyword targeting is important but targeting user intent has emerged as even more important requirement for bringing more people on board. For instance, you can consider targeting ‘best mattress for kids’ rather simply targeting ‘mattress’. The former query represents intent while the latter one is just a plain keyword.
  2. People who are in the initial stage of buying cycle generally have quite different requirements as compared to the ones in later stages. Therefore, you will need to identify the types of queries in order to determine what stage a specific user is at.
  3. You cannot get complete information from queries if you want to know what your customers really want. To do this, you will have to look at the preferences, searching habits and the time at which searches are made. Creating buyer persona can truly be helpful here.
  4. If you are still unable determine what your users are looking for, you can simply ask them. Your source pages can contain polls and simple questionnaire that can let the customers explain what they specifically require.


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