Search Intent in Context

You can use search engine result pages to indicate the intent of a particular search.

Search Intent in Context

We’ve established that Google strives to satisfy user queries with the most relevant content as quickly as possible. Meaning that result pages are full of content reflecting what most of the searchers making a query will be looking for… most of them.

Therefore, you may assume that the best course of action is to try to rank for the most obvious keywords that suit your needs. For example, if you are a boxing glove retailer, you may think the best keywords to target would be ‘boxing gloves’. This isn’t necessarily the case.

google search boxing gloves

Broad terms such as this have no identifying intentions in the word choice, and it’s impossible to know what a user’s intention is when they type in a keyword such as this. Google doesn’t know either, it’s a very clever search engine, but it’s not yet developed psychic abilities.

Because they can’t pinpoint the exact Search Intent, Google provides a vast array of content to cover all bases. With keywords such as ‘boxing gloves’ there’s the assumption that a user has transactional intent, but it’s not guaranteed, so Google does their due diligence by offering a range of content.

Some will be searching with informational or commercial investigation intentions. That’s why, as well as the shopping suggestions, Google also offers users the ‘People also ask’ suggestions. The ‘People also ask’ feature works to refine a user’s search for them based on an analysis of the search habits of previous users who have made the same or similar journey as this user.

Users want quality content with relevant information to solve a particular problem. Google wants to do all it can to give its users the information they want.

mobile google search

To better understand the context of Search Intent, let’s look back at our types of Search Intent and how the use of additional keywords will help you solidify the intent of your content. Since we have already used ‘boxing gloves’ as an example, let’s stick with it for this exercise.

Below, we’ll implement additional keywords to ‘boxing gloves’ to demonstrate how you can focus on Search Intent when it comes to your own campaigns.

1 - Informational

Keywords such as ‘boxing gloves history’, ‘how are boxing gloves made’, etc., demonstrate an intent to find out more information about boxing gloves. This change will mean that results pages shift from very broad to very specific.

mobile google search

2 - Transactional

While ‘boxing gloves’ may give the impression that transactional intent is present, it’s not ensured. Keywords such as ‘cheap boxing gloves’, ‘boxing gloves sale’ are significantly more specific and clearly show the intent to buy. Therefore, a user will be presented with relevant commerce websites.

buy-boxing gloves google search

3 - Commercial Investigation

Much like transactional intent, commercial investigation style content is often included with broader keywords to help potential buyers. However, if this is the type of Search Intent you are producing content for, keywords such as ‘best boxing gloves 2021’, ‘top 10 boxing gloves for beginners’ will ensure that your content appears in searches where Search Intent matches your goals. Words like ‘best’, ‘what’ and ‘which’ reveal the user is searching with a commercial investigation intent.

buy-boxing gloves google search

4 - Location-Based

Entering a location into the search request reveals the user is searching with location-based intent. Location-based intentions are arguably the simplest to interpret and utilise as you only need to be targeting the locations that your business is based or serves. E.g. ‘boxing gloves near me’, ‘boxing gloves in Cornwall’.

buy-boxing gloves google search

Regardless of your goals, Search Intent is a crucial factor across the board. Every type of Search Intent and the context in which you use it has enormous advantages for marketing a business.

  • Informational intent demonstrates your knowledge and increases your brand reputation.
  • Transactional intent sends customers where they need to be when they need to be there (£££!).
  • Commercial investigation intent informs potential customers and allows them to make a more informed purchase.
  • Location-based intent is vital for local SEO and local business in general. When users in your area need a product or service you offer, Search Intent helps connect customers with your business.

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