Ross Kernez is Director of Search Marketing at Hpone, Mentor at Starta Ventures, and Founder of SEOMeetup.
Most online marketers are familiar with search engine optimization (SEO) these days. SEO has been around for years, but it is getting more difficult to keep up with search engines’ updates. More smart people in the game means it’s harder to stand out, so businesses are pushing the envelope to reach more potential customers and to increase their conversions via content marketing and SEO.
Search intent has become a focus for online marketers who want to get more visitors from search results and capture the right, not necessarily larger, audience that has a specific intent. It means providing your target audience the information they need when they look for it. Using search intent effectively will keep users on your site longer and will help to funnel down your users into sales or leads.
The Basics Of Search Intent
On the most basic level, search intent attempts to satisfy the motive of the users in response to search queries. You’re trying to provide the most relevant information to user searches based on what they are looking for. For example, when a user is looking to purchase a laptop, they are using words like “buy laptops” or “buy laptops online.” These types of queries are transactional because the intent of the query is to buy a product.
More than ever, users want concise, relevant results that directly answer the queries they’re conducting in most popular search engines. For example, Google, which is one of the popular search engines in the United States, is constantly refining search results to make them most relevant for its users. That means you need to optimize your site’s landing pages and content pages to satisfy the intent of each specific search query performed by web users.
Understanding Your Users
Based on my experience in search marketing, I find that harnessing the power of search intent can roughly be broken down into three main types of search query intents:
1. Informational: Users are looking for information. They want to know how something works or how to do something.
2. Transactional: Users want to take some actions. They get on search engines to book tickets, buy products, join a gym and a million other things that involve a commercial intent.
3. Navigational: Users are looking for a specific company or website. They get on search engines to find a company or domain name that they already know about.
How You Can Use Search Intent In Content Marketing
The key to effective content marketing is centered around quality content with proper use of keywords that have the right intent. The better optimized and the more targeted your traffic is, the easier it will be to convert that traffic into paying customers. You should keep in mind that you constantly need to optimize and update your web copy and site content to be up to date because users want to get the best and the most relevant results at all times.
Crafting Your Call To Action
So you’ve put in a ton of work looking at your users’ behavior, what they’re looking for online and how they engage with your site and your content. Your site’s copy has been optimized based on search intent to capture an audience with the right intent and can potentially convert into sales. Now it’s time to motivate users with a call to action. You should try to use a few different call to action templates to see what works best for your business.
A lot of online businesses focus their efforts around building a lead magnet that will help with future sales opportunities. One thing to keep in mind with your call to action is to create a sense of urgency to convince your users to make a decision now. This can be done by offering access to your tools for a limited time or encouraging them to subscribe to your newsletter before the next one comes out in X days.
Search Intent: Where The Right Time Meets The Right Customer
For years, marketers have used demographics, incomes, gender, location and several other factors to target potential customers. However, as marketing strategies evolve, they’ve grown to target shoppers into smaller segments where customers are more likely to take action now.
The potential of online marketing and search intent is so high because you’re drawing people to your site who are looking to take some specific actions. As a marketer, positioning your company to deliver the information they need will have a huge impact on your business’s success.