Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

What is search intent in SEO?

11 July 2023 Eugénie Delhaye
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One thing to keep in mind about SEO is that Google can be cunning due to its constant development and evolution. The search engine makes changes to its algorithms several hundred times a year. Its goal? Robots that are increasingly accurate when exploring web pages to find and highlight the most relevant content possible. User experience is indeed the main concern of the search engine and should be central to all your SEO strategies. The experts at My Little Big Web, a Montreal-based SEO agency, explain the importance of search intent and why it is more essential than ever to your SEO strategy.

Table of content

What is search intent?

Search intent refers to the content that the user wants to see when entering a search request online. Since Google's goal is to provide results that perfectly meet the needs of users, it specifically focuses on these queries by analyzing and interpreting them. Keywords, synonyms, semantic fields, it goes through your web pages with a fine-tooth comb in order to offer the best content to Internet users. These requests are classified into different categories that we will review later.

Informational requests

An informational request is the most common type of request. In this situation, the user is looking for precise information. These requests usually start with words like "how" or "why". The user is still not sure which page this request will lead to. Companies or brands often want to develop their content to respond to this type of search, mainly to increase their visibility.

Informational Search Intent

Navigational requests

A navigational request occurs when users perform a search while already knowing exactly what they want to find. They therefore expect a timely and relevant response. This type of request includes a brand name, product, URL or domain name.

For instance, the Internet user heard about the My Little Big Web SEO agency in Montreal and wanted to contact the company. So he typed "My Little Big Web SEO agency in Montreal" in the search bar with an idea of what he would find in the search results.

Navigational Search Intent

Transactional requests

A transactional request occurs when the Internet user wishes to purchase a service or product. This is a type of search that leads to conversion. The results of these queries are often business pages.

Decisional requests

The Internet user wants to buy a product or service, but first asks for advice, reviews or comparisons. This is a decisional request. This type of request generates competition, since it also encourages conversion. Companies develop their content in a way that helps the user in this decision-making process and therefore fosters a good digital reputation, known as an e-reputation.

Decisional Search Intent
Decisional Search Intent

Conversational requests

As for the conversational request, this refers to someone using a voice search tool like the Google assistant to find his request. This type of search is increasingly used by Internet users.

Google Assistant Search Intent

Understanding search intent

Understanding user search intent can help you create and share relevant content. The intent behind each search determines the results promoted by Google, so it is essential for your SEO strategies. To analyze the needs of Internet users and determine the questions they ask themselves, a number of tools exist, including a very effective one: Answer the Public.

This tool allows you to test a keyword or sentence and find the most frequently asked questions about it. For example, here is what a company would get by entering "SEO" on Answer the Public. The results are listed according to the type of query.


Include search intent in your SEO strategy

Now that you have an idea of what the user is looking for, you need to adapt your content accordingly, taking into account a few points.

Respond to user requests with relevant content

As we discussed earlier, in order to increase traffic to your website and convert these visitors into customers, your content has to provide them with answers!

You can respond to informational requests by writing blog articles on relevant topics that are relevant to the services you offer. When visiting your website via your blog, the user will see that your company specializes in the area and can discover your offers via your service pages.

When it comes to transactional requests, you should absolutely pay attention to your product sheets.  The content needs to be optimized to provide the user with clear information. Features, details, photos, videos: everything should be there. Focus on both substance and style.

Optimize your content

You can appeal to Google's algorithms as well as your target users' search intent if the content you offer them provides real added value. No matter how much useful information you provide, if you don't deliver a good user experience, Google will penalize you.

Here are some tips from our experts:

  • Optimize your page titles, meta descriptions and URLs;
  • Illustrate your content with visuals;
  • Write your content in a clear, simple and concise manner;
  • Structure your content;
  • Do not write excessively long paragraphs.

Search intent as a central part of your SEO strategies

Now you understand why analyzing search intent is so important for your SEO.  If you still have any questions or if you need help improving your SEO strategies, you are more than welcome to contact us. Our SEO experts will be happy to assist you and help you rank in the top Google results!

Eugénie Delhaye
Cofondatrice et Spécialiste Marketing Internet et Référencement Naturel (SEO) Ma maîtrise des techniques de référencement, combinée à une analyse minutieuse des tendances du marché, me permet de créer des stratégies SEO sur mesure, efficaces et durables.
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