What do you, as a regular Internet user, want? What are you looking for, and what are your intentions with the world wide web? User intent is the main goal we have in our minds when looking at an empty search bar.
Whether commercial, informational, navigational, or transactional, user intent has become the backbone of a quality SEO strategy. Subsequently, content marketing is directly related to the “typings” of your audience.
However, what people search matters more than we thought initially. And what they really want might be even more crucial. This is precisely why this article focuses on everything you need to know about user intent.
Get inside your audience’s head, be aware of their queries even before they know them.
As we’ve said, user or search intent is the main goal a user has before typing anything in a search engine. If we understand user intent, we are one step closer to a refined, modern-day SEO strategy.
To put it simply, if user intent is satisfied, Google will award you for it. Ultimately, Google’s main goal is to please its users, thus underlining the importance of dedicating a big part of your SEO approach to user intent. Another proof of its significance is Google’s latest edition of the Quality Rater Guidelines, which suggests a fixation on search intent.
Do not get us wrong! Backlinks and other conventional Google ranking signals still carry significant weight. However, if your pages do not comply with search intent, they will not rank.
How Does User Intent Impact SERP and page rankings?
Google’s idea is to provide an optimal search experience to all of its users. This is done by fast access to the content that they want and need. Subsequently, this impacts how the search engine defines the SERP layout and how the websites get ranked on the results page.
When you search for something specific, Google displays different content types, including local 3-packs, videos, featured pieces, images, and carousels. Google and its ranking factors are influenced by user intent. Let’s look at an example of site speed. Quicker websites are given the advantage thanks to the search algorithm because, ultimately, that is what the end-user wants to experience.
Another good example is the fact that the human brain processes imaging faster rather than text. When including images with textual content, this elicits a positive user response. This is how we know that images containing alt text are beneficial for SEO. After reviewing all of these factors briefly, we can easily conclude that prioritizing user intentions and needs an absolute SEO must!
People Search: Optimize Content for User Intent
Once we’ve deducted the importance of getting inside your audience’s head, the next step is to optimize content accordingly. A few key steps need to be taken:
- Double-check if queries direct users to helpful pages. For instance, purchase queries should direct to product pages.
- Utilize available technology to track user behavior. Use tracking tools to look at the user habits while they move through content and monitor micro-moments to get an idea of how customers interact with the website materials.
- Use features that give you further knowledge of your audience. This way you can target them more accurately. The content you create from then on can be more aligned with user intent.
- Pay attention to meta descriptions and title tags on pages. This gives users a better insight into what they see on the page, which can help you better target the right visitors.
- Constantly monitor dwell time. Contrary to popular marketer beliefs, bounce rates are not the best indicators of engagement. Dwell time represents the time a user spends on your page and better indicates how well the user’s needs were met.
- Think of the customer who might look for rapid information on specific topics. You can help these visitors by creating a Q&A section on some of your pages. In turn, this can help you earn positions with Quick Answers on Google.
- Optimize content based on data. Data should be your leading guide through the content creation process. It can tell what topics to focus on or your niche audience, the intention of the users you are targeting, and how well you answer to user intent.
To summarize, listening to your audience and knowing what they want even before they do is a true art form. Ultimately, this might decide whether your SEO strategy works or not. User intent seems to have become the bedrock of modern content marketing.
Despite the fact that technology moves at the speed of light, along with the best practices, in the long run, they meet up around the same goal; the understanding of what people search and what the users want so that the search engine can give it to them. Companies and brands that have this in mind while working should find it easier to rank and develop traffic while enhancing the overall website and business success.