As you work to establish your presence online, there are many factors and elements that come into play. One of the most important things to understand is that content is key. While this is the case, the phrase “search engine optimization” (SEO) is too often thrown around arbitrarily. While SEO is important, you can’t create a good SEO strategy without considering consumer intent.
When you understand consumer intent, you have a “secret ingredient” that can help take your content from being mediocre to outstanding.
The Relationship Between Consumer Intent and SEO
In many cases, when it comes to small business SEO, businesses sit on exceptional content that misses the mark when it comes to their targeted keywords. The primary reason is that keywords and user intent don’t match up.
Consumer Search Intent Defined
Consumer search intent refers to the goal someone has when looking for information using a search engine. In many cases, a person will be searching for a specific answer or resource when searching.
An example would be someone who wants a recipe for making pizza. This person doesn’t have the same intent as someone who wants pizza delivery. While the topic being searched may be similar, the intents are different. This is an important part of SEO for small businesses that many people ignore or forget.
How Customer Intent Works to Strengthen Small Business SEO Efforts
An important part of SEO is consumer intent. That’s because Google cares about a searcher’s intent. The primary goal for Google is to give the user the exact information they are searching for. If someone looks for a set term and receives information that isn’t relevant to what they need, Google receives a signal of “mismatched intent.”
An example would be someone searching for information about creating a new website, but their search only provides product pages for hosting sites. In this case, they will search again without clicking any choices provided. This lets Google know the search intent was mismatched.
Increasing Your Reach by Making SEO for Small Business and Search Intent Work Together
When you run a business and work simultaneously to create an effective and successful content marketing strategy, you must focus on search intent. In fact, this is something that can’t be said enough. When you create content, consumer intent should be its main driving force.
Consumer intent is important because the more specific your content is for multiple search intents, the bigger the market you can reach. You will also reach many more people at the different stages of your funnel. This includes those who are just finding out about your brand and individuals who are ready to convert. When you focus your efforts on matching the search intent of consumers, it will help you reach virtually anyone who is looking for the services or products you offer. In the end, it will also help the overall SEO small business strategy you have in place.
Improve Your SERP Rankings
The main ranking factors that Google considers are user satisfaction, relevance, and authority. This information makes it easy to see why targeting different keywords to match search intent can help improve your rankings in SERPs (search engine results pages).
Types of Search Intent
Right now, determining search intent may seem somewhat overwhelming. However, while you may hear several different terms for searching, there are only four intents that you should consider. These include:
Informational searches occur when a user is just looking for information (as the name implies). They may want a specific recipe, instructions on how to build or make something, or just a definition for a word.
These types of searches are extremely common since people look for answers to all types of questions. However, it’s important to remember that not all information searches come in the form of questions. Sometimes, people will just enter a few words like “dachshund dogs” When they search for something like this, there’s a good chance they just want information on the topic.
A commercial investigation search occurs when users may not be ready to buy something, but they want to know what’s out there regarding the products, services, or brands they are interested in. They could have some informational intent, but their needs are a bit more specific, and they want to know what’s available. Comparing products, services, and brands is common during this type of search intent.
Navigational intent refers to users who are looking for a specific website. Rather than typing the URL in, they want to find what they want quickly. Sometimes, the user may not know the exact URL, which makes a search faster and easier. Sometimes, the searches will be website names or even exact brands. They may also use specifications that help them find the page they are looking for.
A transactional intent search is made by a user who is ready to make a purchase. It could be for a product or a service. People with transactional search intent are ready to buy regardless of what is being purchased. The terms they usually use are branded since they are past the research stage.
If you own a business and you want to improve your small business SEO efforts, you can’t afford to focus on consumer intent when creating content. You need pieces that address all search intent types. When you offer your potential customers the information they are searching for, it will help to increase your presence in searches, improve rankings in SERPs, and result in more sales.
Tips for Understanding and Capturing Consumer Intent
Now that you understand the importance of implementing consumer intent in your SEO small business strategy, it’s important to figure out how to make it work for you.
There are a few ways for you to determine and capture consumer intent. You can choose the one that will work best for you.
Utilize Customer Feedback Tools
The easiest way to determine your customer’s intent is by asking them. You can do this by using feedback forms and surveys.
User feedback provides you with two results:
- It’s an effective way to learn what your target audience needs and is looking for on your website. It also gives you a general idea of what people expect when landing on your web page, which allows you to design it based on that information.
- It can also help you determine if the target keywords you are using are bringing the right audience to your site or not. It’s possible to then optimize your website page for the top keywords to bring in more traffic. However, people won’t convert if the content doesn’t match up with the user intent.
There are more than a few tools you can use to add a survey and ask a simple question, such as, “what was your purpose for visiting this site today?”
Add Lead and Quiz Pop-Ups Throughout Your Customer’s Journey
Another effective way to determine consumer intent is by asking for content information from website visitors. If someone lands on your page and is willing to give you their personal information, they must see some type of value in what you offer. At a minimum, these are prospects who want to explore more about your product and, as a result, have a purchase intent.
The best way to identify and target this behavior is by using pop-ups. Like surveys (mentioned above), pop-ups will help you understand consumer intent and more.
For example, it is possible to make a quiz to show how likely someone is to make a purchase and then redirect them to the right page. Like features, you can also find tools that will present a pop-up when someone hovers over your CTA or if they reach a certain point on a web page. If they complete the form, then you can move on to the next step to encourage a conversion. You can take another step and throw in freebies and various intent-based lead magnets, which will help to increase the chances of them converting even more.
Using Consumer Intent to Strengthen Your Small Business SEO Strategy
As a business owner, you should understand that SEO is not a set-it-and-forget-it process. It is something that requires ongoing attention and effort. To ensure your strategy is effective, you must focus on the bigger picture, including consumer intent.
You should be ready to create a strategy with consumer intent top of mind from the information here. While it can take some time, work, and effort, in the beginning, it will be well worth it in the long run.
You can even reach out to our team at Small Business SEO, who can help ensure your SEO strategy is focused on consumer intent, which will benefit your web presence in many significant ways. The first step is to begin focusing on consumer intent when creating content. You can find tools and professional assistance to ensure you meet this goal.