What is the Searcher’s Intent?

When doing keyword research you have to ask yourself what is their intent?

When they do a search for ‘bat’ are they referring to the baseball bar or the flying animal?

Although searchers intent is a lot of work it can help you rank for specific niches and bring more traffic and sales to your website.

Why is searchers intent so important?

The search engines are working hard to give you the most relevant searches possible. So, if you are a baseball fan and frequent baseball websites and you do a search for ‘bat’ more than likely (if the search engine is good) it will return baseball equipment sites instead of the flying animals.

How do the search engines do this? By using your search history, what social media sites you liked, shared, bookmarked, and shared. And yes, even the location where you did the search. That is why there is so much concern for internet privacy. But if it was totally private you would have a harder time finding what you want.

Also, if you know of the intent behind the searcher you can provide them for what they are looking for which means more visitors to your website that meet your goals like more sales and donations.

So if you want your website to be close to the top of Google you have to make sure that your keyword phrase and the content it represents matches the intent shown in the SERPs.

Types of Searcher’s Intent

  • Information/Investigation
    • Images (Are they looking for images for their school project?)
    • Videos (Looking for entertainment or how to do something?)
    • News (Keeping up-to-date with what’s going on?)
    • Content (Research for homework, entertainment, or reviews?)
    • Local (Looking for places nearby?)
  • Navigation/Direction
    • Maps (Directions to get from here to there?)
    • Logins (Looking for where to log into a website?)
    • Visits (Looking to go to a particular website, forum, or wiki?)
  • Shopping/Commercial
    • Products (Comparing products? Learning more?)
    • Brand Names (Exploring what people are saying about them?)
  • Transactions
    • Buying (Looking to buy and compare prices?)

At the time of this writing SEMRush was toying around with adding searchers intent to its keyword research tools to help you out.

In Ahrefs Keywords Explorer you can use modifiers to filter your keyword list to narrow down your list for searchers intent.

Information/Investigation searchers intent are looking for information that may or may not help you make that sale depending upon what they are looking for. If they are looking for the number that Brett Favre had on his search it won’t help you too much. But if they are looking for details about a product maybe you can sell that product to them.

Common words used for this intent is how, who, why, what, guide, tutorial, course, resource, tips, idea, learn, and examples.

What you can do: Provide how-to articles for your products, write content on the many uses of your product (baking soda is a good one for this), etc.

Navigation/Direction searchers intent are for people looking how to get somewhere, find a website, or something else.

Common words used for this intent is who, where, and how.

What you can do: Provide website visitors with resources where they can find more information on what you provide or provide it on your website.

Shopping/Commercial searchers intent are for people looking to make an informed decision about a product before buying it by reading reviews, the details on what the product does, which one is the best, and more.

Common words used for this intent is buy, order, price, coupon, cheap, best, review, top, and compare.

What you can do: Provide product reviews, share articles on what your product or service can do, etc.

Transactions searchers intent are for people who are ready to buy and they start doing comparative shopping by comparing prices.

Common words used for this intent are ‘brand name’, ‘service name’, and ‘product name’.

What you can do: Give your website visitors comparisons of your product or service with a competitor’s product or service. Give them reviews on your site and share what other website reviews are saying.

How can you tell what Keyword Phrase Matches which Intent?

Look at the SERPs. Paste the keyword phrase into Google and see what comes up. Is it accurate to what you think it is? Do the websites listed match the intent and your goals for your website? Then use it! (Providing that it is searched for quite often and low in competition).

You can get ideas from the websites listed in the SERPs and how they present their information and help see how the search engine interprets which intent it thinks that keyword phrase is.

“The paid version of this course will give you real-life examples and ideas that you can use to help you out.”

Michael Rock