While proper use of keywords can do wonders for your search engine results page (SERP) ranking, it’s not enough if you don’t understand the intent behind them.
User intent is a critical element that many professionals tend to overlook when optimizing their content.
With that said, learn more about understanding user intent and incorporate it more effectively in your marketing strategies in this article.
Identify potential customers
As mentioned, understanding user intent is crucial to reaching your target audience and implementing more effective marketing strategies.
However, it can be tricky to understand user intent if you don’t know who your potential customers are. After all, how can you tailor your approach and use the right SEO strategies if you don’t know who you’re marketing your products to?
With that said, the first step to understanding user intent is identifying who exactly your audience is. This is where analytics tools like Google Analytics can come in handy.
They can show you the data you need to identify your audience demographics and behavior. This can include valuable information like where they are, when they use keywords related to your product, and how often they do so.
These will help you identify who your potential customers are and what their intent could be. Not only will identifying potential customers help you understand user intent, but it will also allow you to adjust your strategies and tailor your approach accordingly.
Look beyond your keywords’ search volume
When optimizing your web content, it can be tempting to use the keywords with the highest search volume. After all, if more people are searching for that specific keyword, then you’re more likely to reach your target audience that way.
However, keywords are only effective if you know why people are searching that specific term. Keep in mind that regular users don’t usually think about the keywords when looking for answers.
They’re focusing more on resolving their problem, so they will type in what they think will get them the answers or solutions they need.
Therefore, the next step to understanding user intent is to go beyond the numbers and dig deeper into the reasons behind specific searches. This means understanding how the different types of user intent come into play.
There are three types – navigational, informational, and transactional. Navigational means users are looking for specific websites. They already know where they want to go and why they want to go there.
Informational refers to users who want to learn more about specific topics. In contrast, transactional refers to those looking to perform a particular activity, such as purchasing a specific product.
Suppose you understand why your clients might search for this particular keyword. In that case, you can integrate it more effectively into your content. This will also allow you to implement better marketing strategies that will reach your target audience.
Factor in the stages of the buying cycle
When it comes to optimizing content to market your specific products or services, you must factor in the different stages of the buying cycle. This is because users will have different types of user intent for different stages in the cycle.
For example, users are more likely to have more informational types of queries when they’re only beginning to look for answers. They will be trying to learn more about their specific problems and how they can resolve them.
Their searches will be broader and less specific. Still, as they learn more and their questions are answered, these queries will become more precise and transactional. Once they reach this stage, you know they’re more ready to make a purchase.
Factoring in the different stages of the buying cycle will allow you to understand user intent and help you identify where exactly you need to be in the process. In this case, if you’re marketing a product or service, users need to encounter your brand at the beginning of their search.
Because of this, you need to optimize your content in a way that will allow them to become aware of your brand while they’re still gathering as much information as they can. This will increase the likelihood of them trusting and availing of your product or service.
Dissect the queries related to your keywords
Another way you can better understand user content is by dissecting the queries with your chosen keywords. This means taking apart every element of the question, such as the nouns and verbs used.
This also means digging deeper into their meaning and their relationship with each other. You should also check if these words could be synonyms or if they can have different meanings.
Many searches are often incomplete phrases, so there is plenty of room for interpretation. By taking apart the elements of these questions, you can identify which keywords are relevant to your strategy and use them to optimize your content.
This is particularly important for words that can have multiple meanings. Understanding what they mean by that particular phrase will help you understand their intent better. Once you do, you can use your keywords more effectively and adjust your optimization strategies.
Consequently, this will allow you to reach your target audience more efficiently without the need for aggressive marketing strategies.
Ask your customers
The previous tips used a more indirect approach for understanding user intent. While they may be helpful, sometimes, they may not be enough to help you understand user intent.
In this case, the best way to understand user intent is to simply ask. You don’t even have to get in touch with them one by one. You can just create online polls and surveys to better gauge and understand user intent.
You’ll be surprised how many of them will be willing to answer your questions if it means that they will get better results later on.
Directly asking your customers, whether they are existing or incoming, will benefit both parties. For you, you’ll gain valuable insight into the reasons behind their searches, allowing you to tailor your approach accordingly. For them, they’ll know that they’re being heard, and there are efforts underway to address their concerns.
Receiving direct answers from customers won’t just allow you to understand user intent for your marketing strategies and optimization efforts. It will also allow you and your customers to better understand each other and form better connections.
Using SEO strategies like keywords can help your business stay relevant in this fiercely competitive world. However, optimized content isn’t enough if you don’t understand why your potential customers search for the things they do.
With that said, understanding user intent is crucial, not just for SEO but also for better brand visibility. However, gaining a deeper understanding of user intent is often easier said than done.
Nevertheless, there are ways you can do so, such as the tips mentioned above. Hopefully, these tips were able to help you learn more about how to understand user intent and implement them in your marketing efforts.