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What is keyword intent?
Keyword intent represents the user’s search intent. That’s what a user can do when searching for a specific term. Or to be more precise, it’s what we think users can do because we can’t always be sure.
Keyword intent is undoubtedly the most important concept when it comes to keyword research. It helps you better meet the needs of your users and align your content and landing pages with their intent. Therefore, analyzing keywords by intent is your first step when diagnosing conversion problems when it comes to search referrals.
4 types of keyword intent
There are 4 types of keyword intent:
- Commercial purpose “high purpose”
- Purpose of providing information
- Transaction purpose
- Navigational purposes
Let’s quickly see what each of these means.
1. Commercial or Premium purposes
This type can also be referred to as “buy now” intent. It indicates a searcher’s strong intention to act (buy, engage, sign up, etc.). Typically, these will be key phrases containing the following modifiers:
- Buy online)
- Discount code)
- Free shipping, etc
People are most likely to commit to a purchase as a result of these types of searches.
2. Purpose of providing information
On the other hand, informative intent means that the searcher is willing to learn more about the concept. Probably not a good idea if you try selling anything to them right away, but these can be good for development “gated” content and collect emails. Queries for purely informational purposes may contain the following modifiers:
- How to . . .
- Why . . .
- The best way to. . .
- History of . . .
- Anatomy of. . .
- What . . . mean
3. Transaction Intent
Transactional intent lies somewhere in between commercial intent and information. Simply put, these queries can represent both buying intent and for further reading about the concept. With the right content and setup, these searchers can make a purchase or be persuaded to buy somewhere further down the conversion funnel. These queries can contain words like:
- . . . Comment
- . . . with. . .
- The best . . .
- Top 10.. .
4. Navigation Intent
Branded keywords signal navigational intent, meaning searchers know exactly where they’re headed. Search for brand names that are your property. If a person enters your brand name when searching, they already know exactly what they want; you just give it to them.
What you need to do here is make sure:
- Those searchers will land on your site, so your content ranks for three of those queries.
- Your website will meet their needs in the best possible way : The landing page will give them all the answers and/or allow them to take the intended action
Pay attention to search queries that contain your brand name and track your site rankings for all of them.
How To Determine Keyword Intent
In most cases, you should be able to use your common sense when determining search query intent. In many cases, it’s pretty clear whether a user intends to purchase, research, or navigate to a particular website.
Google has been working on determining user search intent in the best possible way for at least a decade now, so you should be able to spot some signs by simply doing a Google search. . Specifically, Google’s so-called “Universal” search is the search giant’s attempt to meet the needs of searchers and give them what they need right in the search results. In most cases, these types of search results will signal user intent (as Google is aware of it) :
- Searching for “quick answers” (boxes that give you short answers at the top of search results) signals informational intent.
- The “People also ask” boxes also signal informational intent.
- Google shopping results signal “high intent” search queries.
- Google’s local results and knowledge graphs tend to signal navigational queries.
- So does the “Search in Search” feature.
You can use Serpstat to see what kind of “universal” search results are from any given query trigger:
You can also use the Serpstat filter to restrict your search to queries that trigger a specific type of search (and therefore a specific intent):
This is a very useful trick when you are working on a specific marketing strategy. For example, when creating an editorial calendar, you can use Serpstat to research keywords that trigger “People also ask” results, revealing clear informational intent.
How to better organize your keywords Conversions
As an integral part of keyword research, intent helps you create a more organized content strategy that aims to drive happier customers and better conversions. The first step is sort keyword phrases by intent :
- Informative keywords are simple content ideas to send to your content development team.
- for transactional purposes, may include content ideas (product listings, product comparisons, product FAQs, product manuals, etc.) change smoothly.
- Commercial keywords: If you have the right products, consult your SEO team to figure out how to better optimize the product pages so they rank for these queries. Alternatively, these could be product bundles (product listings) or “buy now” landing page types that could exactly match a high intent query.
- Keywords with navigational intent can be further organized by intent: Some of these queries will have a “buy now” intent, while others may signal transactional intent (e.g., transactional intent). e.g. potential customers researching your product reviews). Some of these will go to your reputation management team, while some of these will help your sales team or customers better meet customer expectations. Most of these queries will be useful to multiple groups.
Next, further organize your keyword list with a required action :
- Some keywords can be good ideas for new content or new landing pages.
- Some keywords can be used to optimize or update old pages.
Final, sort those keywords by landing page type . Informational and transactional queries may require different types of content and landing pages to better meet user needs. For example, you might decide to create:
- Blog posts (list of products for the upcoming holiday, gift ideas, etc.)
- Frequently asked questions pages (especially if these are navigational queries)
- On-site glossary (if you’re working in an industry with lots of complex terms)
- Much background content types (also known as “content upgrades”)
You can use Excel or Google Spreadsheets to organize your keywords using multiple labels. You can go through your keyword list and sort them by intent, required actions, and the type of landing page you intend to create.
View and copy this template here.
Working with keywords takes time, but it defines your future marketing strategy on many levels, so don’t rush things up! Targeting user intent when planning and optimizing your content makes your entire digital strategy better organized and more conversion-oriented. With the above analysis, suddenly each of your web pages has a purpose.