By Henrik Sandberg, Online Media Specialist
How do you exploit knowledge of search intentions to create targeted SEO content in 2019?
In the last couple of years, Google has become better at recognizing the user's search intentions, and that is now shown in the search results. If you want to enhance your websites relevance and visibility, you need to create content that answers the user's search intentions, and not "just" answer search words.
Behind every Google search, there is a search intention. The users are each looking for something when they make a search on the internet – the answer to their issue, information about available services, or a website with a product they need. If you want your company to be discovered by users on the internet in 2019, you need to optimize your content to the user's search intentions.
Searches – the words and sentences that people write in the search box are usually divided into 3 different types of searches or intentions:
- Navigation searches
- Information searches
- Transaction searches.
When it comes to SEO, there has been a tendency for many years to talk more about search words than search intentions. But we need to talk about search intentions now. Let us give you a more detailed description of the three different types of searches and explain to you how to target them with the content on your website.
A navigation search is a search that is typed to find a specific website. A user can e.g. type YouTube in Googles search box to find the YouTube page instead of typing the web address in the browsers address box. Facebook and YouTube are the two most used searches on Google, and these are both navigation searches.
How do you target for navigations searches? The chances for you to optimize for a navigation search is small unless of course, you own the website that the user searches for. Navigation searches have obvious search intentions – the user has a specific website in mind, and if you don't own this site, you are not relevant to their needs. Google describes this type of search as go query, and they even reduced the total number of results on the first page from 10 to 7 results (and sometimes only 6 results). This has caused an overall decline of 5.5 % in organic results on the first page. Googles thought is that it is not necessary to show 10 results on the first page.
Tip: Try to search for your brand or company. If a user searches for your brand or company name, your website will ideally be shown in the top of the organic results and in the paid results. In many cases, it is worth buying the search word even though you already rank organically for it because your total profit will be more significant. Brand search words in Google Ads tend to create both clicks and conversions.
Information searches are searches that cover a broad subject such as Denmark or trucks for which there can be thousands of relevant results. When someone types an informative search request on Google, the user search for information – thus the name. They are probably not searching for any specific website as with a navigation search, and they don't want to buy anything at the moment. They either want the answer to a question or to collect information about a subject.
How can you target these information searches? The best way to do it is with high-quality SEO content that provides useful information and is relevant to the search. E.g. Wikipedia offers basic information about many different subjects. That is why Wikipedia is placed on the first page in about half of all information searches.
Below you will find some of the ways to target the traffic that leads to your website through organic searches:
- Write blog posts with tips that will be useful for your potential customers. E.g. if you are a PR consultant, it can be a great idea to write a blog post about how to write a press release.
- Make a video which is relevant to your company. E.g. a website that writes about improvements in the home could make a video about how to build a wooden house.
- Write a specified step by step guidance that highlights a process which is relevant to your company.
- Design an infographic that explains a concept.
There are many ways to address information searches. The goal is to place yourself as a credible, authoritative source for information. If you can answer a user's question, he/she will be more prone to associate you in positive ways in the future. That is great when they are about to purchase new things. At the same time, you provide great SEO value. You will get more visitors on your website. You will get more targeted content on your site. You can get internal links for your category pages. All of which are great for your SEO.
When the users do information searches, they often use search terms like how, what is, best ways to, alternatives, guide, whitepaper, studies, the best, top, etc.
Transaction searches (or buying searches)
Transaction searches typical include brand and product names such as Samsung Galaxy S10 or a more generic name as coffee machine or include expressions as purchase or order. With these searches, the user will make a purchase in the nearest future. Many local searches such as Aarhus Vinbutik are transaction searches too. It is during transaction searches you will find local searches, restaurant searches, hotel searches, flight searches, etc.
How can you optimize for transaction searches? There is actually no reason to target your transaction searches with organic content, but you should consider using PPC as Google Ads to target these search words – because:
- It is this type of search that provides the highest ROI in Google Ads. If people want to buy a specific item or product, paid ads are as good as organic searches.
- Paid ads take a lot of the visible space on top of Google's result page. If you want to be visible on the top of the page, you should be considering using Google Ads.
- With Google Shopping, Google offers you to include a picture of your product. The opportunities in the organic results are more limited and less verifiable.
- People click on paid results twice as much as the organic results when it comes to intentions of purchases. This is probably because sponsored results take a lot of screen space on these types of searches and because the new ad forms are eye-catchy.
These are some of the reasons why we recommend you use Google Ads for transaction searches. It is a scalable and cost-effective way to generate leads and sale. Users who do transaction searches often use search terms like purchase, compare, deal, discount, download, shipping, review, brand names, product, service, free trial, etc.
Heyday is always ready to help you find your clients search intentions and advice you on how to secure your SEO in the future.
Read more about SEO.