What are the different types of Search Intent?

Keyword Research is still well and truly a fundamental component of any content strategy and website build. If you don’t know what your customer segment wants, how do you know what and who to write for? There are entire businesses built around finding out this information and selling it to companies. Finding out what your user wants usually falls into 3 key categories which are explained below.

What are the different types of Search Intent?

There are three main types of search Intent users will make in Google search. Transactional, Navigational, and Informational. Optimising your content for each of these three pillars is imperative in winning the SEO battle, however all three of them have different strategies on how they should be approached and implemented.

Transactional Intent

A transactional search is someone looking to purchase a product online or find a service or business that can supply that users need. Think “pizza shop near me”, or “best lawyer in Auckland”. These users have high intent and are often looking for someone or something relatively quickly, in the buying funnel they are down the pointy end. Transactional searches are the highest value searches someone can make as they usually return revenue or leads for a business. Because of this you usually come up against some pretty stiff competition who pay big agencies to get them to the top of the results. Transactional searches are usually littered with Adwords ads as well due to the high value of them, This also dilutes the organic  market. The quickest way to get a foot in the door in this market is to focus on Google My Business first. Google often ranks maps highly in transactional searches and that product is tailored for the little guy. Having a sharp local SEO strategy will help you make moves in transactional search. Onpage copy and a host of other factors are also key drivers in this market. 

Informational Intent

Informational searches are exactly what they sound like, informational. These are searches like “who is the prime minister of New Zealand?” or “How to make scones?”. Websites such as Wikipedia often rank highly in these types of searches because they are content rich and informational based. Informational search is generally less competitive due to the non-transactional nature of it, this is where you build brand authority, and trust. Down the track this will eventually lead to revenue for your business as your brand will be stronger due to being an authority on certain subjects. How to rank highly for navigational search is all about content. Long form, FAQ based content wins in this space. The more rich helpful content the better. 

Navigational Intent

Navigational Intent is people looking to go places, this can either be a direct search for a brand like BP, or it could be “petrol station”. Either way the only way to be the top in navigational search is via Google My Business. You need a profile, a strategy wrapped around it, and continuous optimisation. Google My Business is not a set and forget strategy like people assume it is. Having a well thought out plan in this space will set you apart from you and your competitors.

Key things to consider

The key things to consider when thinking about the three types of intent are, where is the search volume? the more search volume in topics the better as that means the market size is big, and big means opportunity. And where is the competition? If there is high competition in both organic and paid, it will be a hard road, but weak competition means that market could be yours in a shorter time period. Find the balance between both, and you will win the SEO game in the long run and grow your business.

Published by Alex Jordan