How to Improve Conversion Rates by Optimizing Search Intent by@olujinmi

How to Improve Conversion Rates by Optimizing Search Intent

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Olujinmi Oluwatoni HackerNoon profile picture

Olujinmi Oluwatoni

I help businesses smash their ROI goals by offering strategic guidance on content development and optimization.

Today, content creators need to be able to create content that resonates with the search intent of their audience in order to drive them towards the desired action.

According to a Google survey, 51% of smartphone users have purchased from a brand other than intended because they received relevant information from a competitor.

If you're looking to improve your conversions, intent-based content is a key strategy.

Over the years, Google has refined its algorithm to better understand what users are searching for. When it comes to page rankings, Google strives to give preference to those that closely match a user's query and intention when searching. Consequently, you must ensure that your article or page reflects your audience's search intent.

 By understanding search intent, you can craft your content in a way that speaks directly to their needs and interests. This approach can help drive more leads and ultimately increase your conversion rate.

This guide will help you understand how to increase conversions by optimizing search intent. Let's get right into it!

What is Search Intent?

Search intent is the purpose behind a search query.

For example, the intent behind searching "content management software" is different from searching "best content management software," "how to use content management software," or "HubSpot CMS."

When creating content for your website or blog, you want to make sure that your users are getting what they came for. This means understanding their needs and intentions and then delivering on that information in an engaging way.

Creating content that is more tailored to their needs will help you create more engaging and relevant content and help you increase conversions.

Why focus on Search Intent?

Here are a few benefits of understanding user intent:

Helps You Tailor Content to Your Customers Better

If you understand the user's intent, you can tailor your content better for your audience. This means that you can provide them with the content they need and want right when they need it. You should also tailor your content to match the stage of the customer's journey that they are currently in. This will help you create a more consistent experience for your customers, ultimately leading to higher conversion rates.

Improves Rankings

If you want to be successful in SEO and content today, you need to incorporate search intent into your strategy.

Ultimately, Google's primary purpose is to satisfy the searcher's intent. The latest Google search evaluator guidelines emphasize user intent and experience. By focusing on the search intent and not simply keywords, you're positioning yourself to rank high on search engines.

Increases Conversion Rate

People are much more likely to convert when you can help them achieve their goals faster and with less effort.

Intent-based content can improve your conversions because it allows you to connect with your customers on a deeper level. By understanding their goals, you can create content that is more relevant and helpful to them. This will ultimately lead to higher conversions.

Improves Customer Loyalty and Trust

Creating content based on intent and solving customers' problems helps customers feel like you're listening to them, and it also shows that you're invested in helping them succeed.

Types of User Intent

Informational Intent

Users with informational intent are only interested in getting helpful information about a specific topic or product. How to, Why, best strategies, guides, and step-by-step methods are some of the most used modifiers. About 80% of all searches are based on informational intent. Long-form blog posts, infographics, checklists, and FAQs solve for informational intent.

Readers with informative intent are further along in a sales funnel and might not yet be ready to buy. As a result, you'll need to adopt a new strategy that focuses on providing value to your audience rather than pushing products. The most effective way to make use of this traffic is to get as much as possible on your email list. As a result, when they're ready to buy something, you'll be the first company they think of.

Examples of Informational Intent:

  • What is link building?

  • Best strategies for blogging

  • How to bake cakes

  • Guide to freelance writing

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Transactional Intent

Users with transactional intent are motivated by the desire to make a purchase. They use branded keywords in their queries. At this stage, the user is not researching information about the product but looking for where to buy it.

Create content that focuses on your offerings. Keywords with a transactional intent contain terms like buy, discount, coupons, shipping, etc.

This type of inquiry comes from a buyer at the bottom of the sales funnel and they are great candidates for conversion.

Examples of Transactional Intent:

  • Buy Apple iPhone
  • Shop Gucci bags
  • Pizza hut coupons
  • Grammarly premium pricing

Commercial Intent

Commercial search intent is a cross between informational and transactional search intent. In other words, these are the keywords that your target audience searches for before making a buy choice. Contents such as reviews, case studies, product recommendations, technical specifications, and free trials solve for commercial intent.

Examples of Commercial Intent:

  • Semrush vs. Ahrefs
  • Best WordPress hosting services
  • Adidas reviews
  • Cheapest hotels in London

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Navigational Intent

Users with navigational intent want to find a specific page, website, or resource. Writing content for navigational purposes is an excellent approach to attracting high-value visitors to your website. However, it is only relevant when a person intends to visit your site. For example, the search query "eBay store" refers to a specific web address for eBay's online shopping site. Landing pages, webinars, product demo videos, product and service lists and case studies satisfy navigational intent.

Examples of Navigational Intent:

  • Nike running shoes

  • Moz tool

  • Walmart store

  • Airbnb

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How to Identify Search Intent

Here are some ways to identify search intent:

Study the SERPs Results

Most times, the keyword itself is usually sufficient to reveal Search Intent.

For instance, a term like " Buy Nike Shoes" is clearly a transactional one. And, it's easy to see the informational intent behind the search, "How to do push-ups."

However, it's still a good idea to check out the pages that are already ranking for the phrase.

There is no doubt that the first-page results have passed Google's test of user intent.

Every piece of information in the SERPs tells us something about the searcher's intent. Keep an eye out for:

  • Featured Snippets
  • Organic listings
  • Knowledge Graphs
  • Shopping results
  • Frequently asked questions
  • People also ask about section
  • Paid Ads

Some SERP features appear frequently or less frequently depending on the searcher's intention. That means we can utilize SERP features' existence (or absence) to infer a query's search intent.

Make a list of the primary keywords and phrases you want to target when creating your content, product, or service. After that, have a look at the top results.

The top results on the first page of search results typically closely reflect the searcher's intention.

If the top results reveal links to a company's website, Twitter feed, LinkedIn page, or Google Ads, Google has likely judged that the intent is navigational.

For example, when you search "Airbnb" on Google, here's what you'll get:

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The results reveal a navigational intent since it is targeted to a specific website.

Featured snippets and knowledge-based results appear more frequently for informational inquiries. So, If I were looking for terms with informational intent, I could be on the lookout for SERPs with featured snippets, knowledge graphs, "people also ask" boxes, etc.

For instance, this search result for how to improve customer experience reveals an informational intent.

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Commercial intent is indicated when the top results are product reviews, comparisons of similar products, and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs).

For instance, Google's result for best customer feedback strategies reveals that the search intent is commercial.

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Transactional intent is revealed when the top results are shopping results, store lists, and booking tools. Take a look at the results for the search query "Gucci bags".

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The results reveal that the search intent is purely transactional.

One way to narrow down the search for transactional or commercial keywords is to include just those that have shopping-related SERP terms in them. At the same time, you include information-related search terms for the ones with informational intent.

Conduct User Surveys

One way to learn about user intent is to ask them directly. Gathering feedback from your users about their experiences with your product or service can give you valuable insights into how to improve it. For example, you could run a survey asking readers what topics they would like you to cover in your blog posts. This information can help you focus your writing on topics of interest to your audience.

Feedback can also come in comments on your blog posts, ratings, reviews, or social media interactions. By paying attention to user feedback, you can ensure that your content is consistent with your audiences' expectations and interests.

Observation and Analytics

Tracking your high-performing content pieces can also help you determine which ones are most relevant to your audience.

Google Analytics helps you know your top-performing keywords to get a sense of where you stand and where your content doesn't meet the needs of your target audience.

Your bounce rate is a crucial measure to watch here. High bounce rates may suggest that your content isn't meeting the searchers' needs. If a single page on your site has a higher-than-average bounce rate, this indicates a problem with the search intent.

Follow Industry Trends

Finally, it's essential to keep up with trends in your industry. Doing so will help you avoid writing content that is outdated or irrelevant. If you're able to track user behavior over time, you'll be able to see trends and patterns that will help you create better content.

How to Optimize Informational Intent

The best way to rank well for an informational query in a search engine like Google is to create high-quality content that people are looking for. Here are some tips:

  • Create comprehensive guides that address many of the queries of potential users.
  • Use the appropriate medium, such as lists, videos, images, infographics, tables, and so on, to answer the queries.
  • Ensure that your information is both interesting and valuable to the reader.
  • Create eBooks, checklists, templates, and more!

How to Optimize Transactional Intent

The best way to optimize for transactional intent is to make it easy for searchers to convert. You can follow the following tips:

  • Include terms that convey a sense of transaction in your copy: "Buy" and "Purchase" are examples of transactional words.
  • You should prominently display your product or service name across your web pages.
  • Place eye-catching CTAs around the page.
  • Use words and images that can elicit an emotional response from your audience.

How to Optimize Commercial Intent

Searchers with commercial intent should see why they should choose your product or service over your competitors. Here are some tips:

  • The title and headings should include commercial search phrases. "Top," "best," "review," "cheap," and "versus." are some examples.
  • Compare your product with a competitor's or describe your pricing and features using eye-catching visuals.
  • Use CTAs to lead the reader to take the next steps. You may encourage them to join your newsletter or download an ebook/checklist template or give them a free trial of your product.

How to Optimize Navigational Intent

Your content should be optimized for navigational intent so that visitors can easily locate your website when they search for your company. Here are some tips:

  • Your products and services should have landing pages with intriguing copy.
  • Include your brand and services in prominent areas such as the page title, meta description, and headings. This will help you rank well across all of your pages.
  • It is important to keep your business name and contact information (such as your office address, phone number, and mailbox) up-to-date across your internet platforms.
  • In order to have your knowledge panel, try to be featured on Google's Knowledge Graph.

Conclusion

An excellent conversion optimization strategy begins with a clear understanding of what people search for. Conversion optimization is doomed to fail if user intent isn't properly addressed.

However, it is important to note that search intent can shift over time. It's possible that your content meets search intent now but does not meet it in the future. Consequently, it's necessary to periodically re-examine your content to make sure it still fulfils the search intent.

Olujinmi Oluwatoni HackerNoon profile picture
by Olujinmi Oluwatoni @olujinmi.I help businesses smash their ROI goals by offering strategic guidance on content development and optimization.
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