How Search Intent Can Help Transform Your Conversion Rates

Understanding search intent is more important than the volume of keywords you use in your content. Search engine optimization done with search intent in mind helps rank for target keywords and generate positive ROI. 

It all boils down to understanding what the user is searching for. One user may be looking for more information while the other is ready to make a purchase.

Understanding what makes the difference between these two and providing them with what they need will facilitate the success of your SEO strategy and content creation efforts. A simple, focused approach can increase conversion rates by 5% on average.

What Is Search Intent?

Search intent represents what the user is likely to do when making a certain search. It is the reasoning behind the search query that a user enters into the search engine. Why is the user searching for that specific keyword?

Using the search intent approach to analyze keywords enables you to develop an SEO strategy that drives up results and creates a higher-performing SEM campaign. It helps you create content and landing pages that meet users’ needs, answer their questions and get them to their desired destination on a webpage.

There are four types of search intent. Understanding each one of them will enable you to navigate SEO and create a good SEM strategy that will increase your visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs) and improve your conversion rates. They are:

Informational Search Intent

These describe searches made by people who ask questions in order to get information about a brand, product, or service. They range from ‘how-to’ articles to finding directions, to getting to know how to use a certain product. These searches are not made with the intention of making a purchase.

To transform your conversion rates, make your content simple and easy to skim through by users. Create high-quality content that covers the topic in question in great depth. 

Use small paragraphs that are packed with valuable content for you to stand a chance of getting featured snippets on Google. Your content must be well researched and relevant for you to have better conversion rates.

Some content that fits under this definition includes how-to guides, tips for doing a certain thing or using a product, or checklists that a user can utilize to perform a certain activity. Whatever it is, just make sure it is relevant to your visitors.

Once you have captured users’ attention, offer them something in exchange for their personal details. This is a large part of lead generation that will allow you to market your products or services to the user at a later date

Navigational Search Intent

Navigational keywords are run by users who are looking for a specific website or webpage. These searchers are likely to include the brand name in their search query alongside whatever it is they are looking for from that brand. 

That means you have to rank for a term associated with your own brand, which is much easier than ranking for a set of broad keywords.

Competitors targeting your brand name for their SEM campaigns are not uncommon, however. They usually do this by bidding on branded keywords in Google Ads. You can combat this by making your own bids and creating ads for your own branded keywords. 

Consequently, it is highly likely that the brand they are looking for will get the highest number of clicks because it is the most relevant to their query.

You should ensure that navigational searchers do not get distracted by competitor offers by bidding on your own branded keywords. Ensure that each page is well linked with the other pages on your website.

To maximize users’ navigational search intent, optimize the metadata – titles and descriptions – of your homepages and product pages to make navigation through your website easy. 

Optimize all your web pages to have them earn their place on Google’s SERPs. Anytime a user conducts a navigational search specific to your brand, your website should appear at the top of the SERP.

Commercial Search Intent

These keywords form part of search queries made by a user who is interested in making a purchase. Such keywords require content aimed at providing product specs and comparison. 

Aim at giving your potential clients as much information concerning your product or service as possible.

Before making a purchase, especially of a high-ticket item, potential customers usually conduct extensive research. You should take this opportunity to make the journey easier for them, and hopefully get a return in the end.

Users make commercial investigation searches by searching for as many alternative products as they can, or asking questions about products and services, or seeking comparisons of various similar products.

For instance, a user may make a search such as “What’s the best camera for making videos?”. For such queries, provide detailed content in the form of long-form reviews about the product in such an intuitive manner that the visitors are drawn to your product pages for conversion.

The content may include, case studies and infographics that highlight the uses and benefits of your product. Make sure to list out the features and benefits of the products in a neat and efficient way. Demonstrate to users how they can utilize these features to better their everyday lives.

For searches based on comparison, provide vivid and in-depth comparison content that highlights the major similarities and differences of the products in question. If you are making a comparison to a rival product, highlight your product’s strengths over the other product without disparaging your competitors or their products.

If your content is well articulated, this will help drastically improve conversion rates and traffic stats.

Transactional Search Intent

Transactional keyword searches are made by users who are ready to make a purchase. They have a high commercial intent that is likely to generate a positive ROI, making it the most appealing to SEM marketers

For these keyword searches, users attach words like ‘sale’ and ‘price’ to find products that best fit certain specifications.

To increase your chances of being ranked, attach prices to the reviews you provide on your web pages. Users will always gauge the price of your product vis-á-vis its features. They want quality for their money. Make it easy for them to make this assessment by providing product reviews alongside the price.

Make sure for high-ticket items to include some long-form content to help the products rank better in search engines.

It’s also extremely important to make the checkout process easy and quick. Don’t overload the customer with large signup forms, confusing navigation elements, or pop-ups.

The Bottom Line

Intent is a large part of proper keyword research and targeting in SEO. Therefore, you have to focus on creating intent-based content if you want to transform your conversions. You need to understand the various types of search intent and how to optimize your content for each.

Informational searches, for instance, are made with the hope of finding information-packed content that includes ‘how-to’ articles and product tips. Transactional keyword searches, on the other hand, have a very high commercial intent.

You have to provide information that appeals to a prospective buyer such as product pricing and specs. Optimizing your web pages with a specific search intent in mind will boost your SEM and conversion rates.

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Liam Abbott
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