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4 Ways Startups Can Use Search Intent to Improve their SEO Game

Ask any experienced marketer and they will tell you that the key to selling anything is knowing what your customer is hoping to achieve. In the digital world, this means that you need to understand the intentions of your customers at every stage of their shopping or browsing journey, in order to improve their overall experience, and ultimately inspire them to put trust in your brand. This also means that you need to optimize your content and your online presence as a whole in order to boost SEO and position your brand higher in all the relevant search results.

But why should you care, exactly? Simply put, each of the following search intents will give you valuable insight into the type of content you need to produce to elevate brand visibility and authority, and of course, convert leads into paying customers. Let’s delve deeper into the subject matter and take a look at the key ways you can use search intent to improve your SEO game, sell more, and achieve more in the long term.

Optimizing your content for informational intent

The first step and the first type of intent that you need to optimize your content and website for is informational intent – the idea behind it being that the customer is just researching some questions and topics that they’re interested in. In other words, the customer is looking for sources of relevant information, and the idea of purchasing something is either way back in their mind, or isn’t there at all. This is not the stage of their journey where you want to introduce any type of sales-oriented content, because that will spook them, and drive them towards more reliable sources.

Instead, you need to create the type of content that will delve deep into the subject matter, answer all of their questions, and provide them with detailed and exact information that will deepen their interest in select products or services. This will make you the primary source of relevant information for your potential customers, which will boost brand visibility and authority, and one day inspire these and other customers to come back and make a purchase. 

Boost local SEO with local intent optimization

The modern customer will research a brand before deciding to make a purchase, of course, but it’s also important to note that they will do the same when they are looking for local companies, and even brick-and-mortar businesses in their local area. This means that business owners that want to attract a local consumer base and inspire them to become their loyal customers should optimize their entire digital presence for the local search intent. Ranking high in local searches is especially important in overly-competitive markets such as Australia, which is also a prime example for local intent optimization.

In Queensland in particular, business leaders will work closely with agencies that emphasize reliable SEO on the Gold Coast that focuses on local intent optimization through all of the necessary technical information that puts the business on the local map. Information-rich content that has all of the localized keywords that will provide the user with everything they need to know about the local business is also vital as a part of that very same strategy. Be sure to do the same for your local market, in order to optimize your entire online presence for the local search intent.

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Incentivize and empower with navigational intent

Moving along, and we have reached the stage of the buyer’s journey where the user is not quite ready to purchase anything, but they’re getting there. Also known as navigational intent, this is that stage when the customer is researching their options, the brands that sell the products and services that they’re interested in, and are comparing deals, discounts, and places where they can buy these products in the online world. 

Needless to say, you still shouldn’t try to force a purchase, rather, you should provide them with a mixed bag of highly-informative content interspersed with product types and best options, comparisons, and relevant links to the where they can buy them – your website included. Remember, your goal here is lead people to your website, and inspire them to interact with your brand. When you achieve this, then you can use your customer support and sales agents to close the deal.

Convert leads with transactional intent optimization

The final stage of the buyer’s journey is the intent to buy, also known as transactional intent. This is the stage when you know that the customer is ready to make a purchase, credit card in hand. But before they give their hard-earned money to you, they need to know that you’re the best option on the market, and that you can be trusted. 

If you want to rank high for transactional intent, you can no longer rely on in-depth articles and educational content, instead, you need to rely on sales-oriented keywords, top landing pages, and optimized product pages that will appear at the top of every relevant search result. Be sure to use short product descriptions, and provide all of the relevant product information (price, shipping, discounts, availability, and store info) in a form that can appear in the snippets section of the search results. 

Over to you

There is a lot you can learn about the customer by understanding the intent behind their online activity. Aside from improving your brand’s visibility and reputation, optimizing your digital presence for every stage of the buyer’s journey will allow you to boost your ranking in the SERPs, and improve your SEO game as a whole.

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