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The 4 Types of Search Intent (And Why It’s Important to Understand Each)

Should you rank for the keyword you want? Well, that depends. And fortunately, we’ll help you understand what that depends on.

Take a minute to learn about the four different kinds of search intent and why/how you should target each one:

  1. Informational Intent

Yep. This is the most common reason someone turns to the web. Searchers have a question they’re seeking an answer to. Accordingly, these keywords have the most significant search volume.

You target these types of searches on your website with blog posts—meaning you don’t want to sell just yet. For now, you’re looking to earn attention as the best resource for this search (compared to all others).

  1. Navigational Intent

People already familiar with your company or seeking a page they can’t find via manual navigation employ this search type. Perhaps they’re searching for your home page, a product or service page, or a contact page.

While you want to optimize for these searches just in case, you should first focus on ensuring your site is so easy to navigate (and even to search from within the site itself) that people won’t even need to perform this search.

  1. Commercial Intent

Despite the name, these searches don’t involve 100% purchase intent. Instead, customers need a little more information before they finally feel ready and well-equipped to buy.

Informational pages—such as reports or blog posts—and sales pages discussing your services are perhaps just the ticket needed to transform visitors into paying customers.

  1. Transactional Intent

At this point, searchers have 100% purchase intent. Likewise, these searches focus on finding products or services that summon direct, immediate sales. This could be something like “Warby Parker men’s eyeglasses.” For the sake of comparison, “eyeglasses for men” would represent an informational intent search for the same product. Consumers who employ phrases like this are likely comparing and evaluating options.

Concerning a service, “North Texas Foot & Ankle Podiatrist” is one example of a transactional intent search—revealing the customer knows the company and wants to visit. Conversely, commercial intent might take shape as “Dallas podiatrist.” In this way, the customer will likely examine Google reviews, blog posts, and Facebook pages (and reviews on the same) to compare options and make a decision.

Where Should Your Page Rank?

Now that you understand different types of intent, you can decide how to construct your pages so they meet customers right where they are.

Ask people to buy when they search using an informational intent keyword phrase, and they’ll get turned off and leave. Give them the information they want—the very best you can offer—and they’ll gain interest.

With this in mind, examine each phrase you optimize your website for and consider: what do searchers want when they enter that phrase?

It’s a never-ending process worth mastering, as you’ll sell more when your site is optimized for both machines and searchers.






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