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What is Search Intent and How to Optimize it?

What is Search Intent and How to Optimize it?
Search Intent: How to Optimize Website Ranking on Google

Search intent is the most basic SEO factor, but unfortunately, many people ignore it. In fact, understanding intentions is the key to winning SEO while satisfying visitors.

If you want to increase your website's ranking on Google, you should pay more attention to keyword search intent. Likewise, if you want to increase your conversion rate. This article will discuss search intent, its effect on SEO, and how to optimize it.


What are Search Intents?

Search intent is the user's motive or purpose in searching for information with specific keywords. Each keyword must have a different intention. Understanding the intent behind a keyword should be the first step before optimizing these keywords on your website.

Examples include keywords for trusted SEO services. If you search for this keyword on Google, then you will get two kinds of results, namely:

  • Trusted SEO service provider
  • Trusted SEO service recommendations

From this, it can be seen that users who search with these keywords are looking for SEO services. Google will also show search results according to that intent.

If you plan to create content with these keywords, you must direct your content according to the above intentions. If not, Google will place your content at the bottom of the SERP.

Types of Search Intents

To make it easier for you to determine user intent, the types of search intent are grouped into the following 4 categories.

1. Informational

The first type of search intent is informational. In this type, the user's desire is to get certain information. They expect answers to the questions that are in their minds. So, to master SERP, you have to write content that contains the information they need.

Some examples of keywords with informational intent are:

  • How to install Windows 10
  • Results of the match Chelsea vs Liverpool
  • Update on the Advice news
  • Naira exchange rates today

Most websites that control informational keywords are news sites and tutorial blogs. To compete on these keywords, you must present more complete and quality information. Even if you want to sell, you must apply soft-selling to stay in search intent.

2. Transactional

As the name implies, transactional search intent is an intention that aims to make a transaction. This type of keyword is very appropriate for offering goods and services. Conversely, if you package these keywords into informative articles, your content will not be able to compete on the SERPs.

Google understands this intention, so it displays search results in the form of marketplace products or other websites ready for transactions. Some examples of keywords with transactional intent are:

  • Study desk.
  • Leather shoes.
  • Racing wheels.
  • Author.
  • Cheap design.

You can try to do a search on Google with the keyword examples above. The search results will display a list of products according to the product or service you are looking for.

3. Navigational

The next type of search intent is navigational. The user's motive behind this keyword is to search for a specific website address. Because users don't know the full domain, they type the website name in the search field. Navigational keywords generally only contain the name of the company/site.

Examples of keywords with navigational intent are:

  • Crages.
  • GTBank.
  • Jumia.
  • Jiji.
  • University of Nigeria.

If you search for the keywords above, the official web address will appear first in the SERP. Google is aware that you are seeking a specific website address. As a result, Google places the destination website at the top of the search results.

This type of keyword is useful if your website receives a lot of traffic and is in high demand. In general, you don't need to put in much effort to master these keywords. If your website is the goal of users, Google will automatically place it at the top.

4. Commercial Investigations

The last type of search intent is commercial investigation. This intention aims to make purchases or seek consideration of certain products. At first glance, it is similar to transactional, but commercial investigation focuses more on the buyer's side.

Examples of keywords with commercial intent are:

  • iPhone XR Reviews.
  • Comparison of NMAX and Aerox.
  • ASUS ROG colour options.
  • The best gaming earphones.
  • Anti-sleep headache medicine.

With this intention, users clearly need a product to solve the problems they are experiencing. Users who already have product targets will immediately embed the product name into the keyword. For example, as in the example keywords 1 to 3.

Meanwhile, users who don't have a target product will start searching with category keywords. For example, in the example keywords 4 and 5.

If you want to sell products through a website, you have to optimize for this type of keyword. Both for users who already understand the product and ordinary users.

How to Optimize Search Intents

Search intent is an SEO factor that has a very significant influence. Errors in determining intentions will make all your efforts in vain. For your website's SEO to be more optimal, apply the below methods of optimizing search intent.

1. Research Search Results

The easiest and most effective way to determine keyword intent is to pay attention to search results. Just search on Google with the keywords you want to target. Then, analyze some of the top results in the SERPs.

From here you can immediately conclude what type of content Google displays for these keywords. If Google shows results that point to the marketplace, it means that the intention is transactional. Likewise, with other types of intention.

Automatically, if you also want to use these keywords, you must create the same type of content. If the intent of your content doesn't match what users and Google expect, you won't get a place in the SERPs.

2. Analyze Each Word

Each type of search intent can be recognized based on certain words. If you find a combination of words that refer to one of the intentions, you can assume that that is indeed the intention.

For example, the basic question words in the 5W+1H formula usually lead to informational intentions. This includes what, who, when, why, where and how. If your target keywords contain these words, the intention is most likely informational.

In addition to basic question words, informational intentions can also be identified from other word combinations, including:

  • Guide.
  • Tutorials.
  • Idea.
  • Tips.
  • Study.
  • Example.
  • Method.
  • Inspiration.

The more you learn about SEO, the sharper you will be in analyzing intentions. As a tool, you can also use the keyword modifiers table from Ahrefs or other SEO sites.


If so far there are certain keywords that you find difficult to optimize, try to pay attention to their intentions again. Also, make sure to know the intent of a keyword before creating content. With the right search intent, your content will be more likely to win the SERP.

About author

Harby Jay Harby Jay

Harbyj is a blogger, web designer, SEO expert, and the owner of this blog.

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