How to Analyze Search Intent for SEO

If you want to make a big mistake with your SEO, try to rank a page for a search query that doesn’t fit the search intent. When someone enters a search query, they don’t want pages to return that don’t fulfill their intent.

For example, if someone searches for, “what is SEO?” and an article returns with information about Pay Per Click Advertising, it doesn’t fit the intent. This would likely not be a page that would show up very high in the results for the query.

Google and other search engines are getting smarter every month. They know the intent of the search query and what type of content fits. This means, you also need to know how to analyze search intent for SEO.

Start with 4 Simple Questions

When you want to figure out the search intent, start with four simple questions:

  • Are search engine users looking for the information?
  • Do searchers want to make a purchase?
  • Are searchers looking for an extensive guide?
  • Do searchers want to be inspired?

There are certainly other questions you can add to this shortlist. The goal is to figure out why the searcher is typing in a specific search term and what they are looking for.

Sometimes it’s pretty obvious. If someone is searching for the key phrase “buy a new lawnmower” their intent is to find a new lawnmower to buy. However, if they are searching for two different types of lawnmowers, they might be trying to compare features, pricing, etc. If they are searching for the term, “how to mow my lawn correctly” they are likely looking for a guide about how to mow their grass.

Common Types of Search Intent

Once you start analyzing search intent for SEO, it becomes pretty easy. You will want to understand the different types of search intent. There are four main types:

  • Transactional – Someone searching to buy something with phrases, such as “buy a new lawnmower” or “cheap lawn mower for sale”.
  • Informational – Someone searching for information, such as “what is a reel lawn mower?” or “how does a self-propelled lawn mower work?”
  • Navigational – Someone searching for a specific brand of product, such as “Toro lawnmowers”.
  • Commercial – Someone searching for reviews, comparisons, top products, best products, fall into this category.

The majority of searches fall under the search intent category of informational.

Commercial intent searches are also very popular. This is also known as commercial investigation, which is usually a consumer comparing brand or products as they look for the right one for their needs.

Why Analyze Search Intent for SEO?

You want to analyze search intent for SEO simply to make sure your content matches with what the searcher is looking for. When you target a keyword phrase, you want to provide what the searcher is looking for. It doesn’t do you much good to rank high for a keyword phrase if your content doesn’t fit with the intent of the searcher.