How to understand searcher intent and use it to boost SEO rankings
Understanding the intent behind the keywords you target simplifies the entire SEO process, says contributor Marcus Miller. Here is a look at how to understand and categorize keywords based on intent.
Search engines exist to provide users with results that are relevant to the search query. Smart SEO campaigns are built on an understanding of how your audience searches around your industry, products and services.
A key point here is understanding the intent behind a given keyword search. A user wants to find specific information, and search engines have advanced algorithms and large amounts of traffic they analyze to determine which results are the best match for a keyword.
Understanding the broad categories of intent is crucial to developing a search engine optimization and content strategy to target not only the keywords but the intent behind the keywords.
In this article, we take a look at how to understand and categorize keywords based on intent to provide a solid foundation for your search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing.
Understanding searcher intent
In many ways, search engine marketing via SEO or paid methods is strategically simple. If you are a plumber in a small town, and someone searches for “plumber” plus the name of the town, then there is a pretty good chance you provide what they need. Getting in front of people at the exact time they have a requirement is good marketing.
Unfortunately, commercial terms are highly competitive across paid and organic search. For most businesses, there are other opportunities for branding and targeting customers higher in the marketing funnel. We just have to develop a greater understanding of the intent behind search keywords.
The first step here is to understand the three categories of search queries:
Navigational search queries
Do you ever type “Google.com” or “Facebook.com” into your browser? Or do you just type “Google” or “Facebook” directly into the address bar? This is a navigational query, a search performed with the intent of going directly to a specific website, or even a page on a site.
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