Solution Corridor Logo
What Is Search Intent?
  • 25 Feb 2023

What Is Search Intent?

the Definition of Search Intent?

The reason a user types a specific query into a search engine is known as search intent (also known as searcher intent or keyword intent).

Assume someone types "best dog food" into Google.

They are not attempting to access a specific page. They also do not wish to purchase a specific product. (At the very least, not yet.)

This indicates that the keyword has commercial intent. And we can use this information to improve the targeting of this keyword in our content.

What is the value of search intent in SEO?

The primary goal of search engines (such as Google) is to provide users with relevant results. Understanding search intent can therefore influence your ability to rank in search results.

Google has made significant efforts to interpret the intent behind search queries.

(Just look at Google's Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines—there's an entire section on user intent and how to identify different types of intent.)

To rank in Google, your pages must satisfy the search intent behind the keywords they are targeting.

A thorough understanding of search intent can assist you in the following ways:

  • Improve your content strategy by targeting keywords that correspond to the needs of your target audience.
  • Create relevant content by understanding your users' needs and producing content that meets those needs.

Obtain a higher ranking in search results by demonstrating to search engines that your content is useful and relevant to their users.

The Four Different Types of Search Intent

We typically distinguish four types of search intent:

  • Users want to find a specific page (for example, "reddit login").
  • Users with informational intent want to learn more about something (for example, "what is SEO").
  • Users want to do research before making a purchase decision (for example, "best coffee maker").

Intention for Navigational Search

The user has navigational intent when they want to find a specific page. In contrast to other intent types, searchers already know what they're looking for.

Searching for Information

When a user wants to learn something, they have informational search intent.These queries are frequently phrased as questions and include words such as who, what, where, why, and how.

Intention to Conduct a Commercial Search

Commercial search intent includes keywords that your target audience searches for before making a purchase.

The user is seeking information, but the information is inextricably linked to the action.

Intentions for Transactional Search

Users with transactional search intent want to do something specific, often an action you want them to take as a business owner.

Contrary to what the name implies, this is not limited to purchases. A user conducting a transactional search, for example, may want to sign up for a newsletter or download software.

How to Identify Search Intent

Search intent frequently corresponds to where users are in the marketing funnel.

In general, it works as follows:

  • The user searches for informational keywords such as "how to do keyword research."
  • Consider the following scenario: A user searches for commercial keywords such as "best keyword research tools."
  • The user searches for transactional or navigational keywords such as "Semrush plans" to convert.

As a result, determining search intent is an essential step in any content strategy.

In many cases, the keyword itself can be used to determine the intent of a keyword (e.g., question words like what, why, or how usually signify informational intent).

However, the intent is not always obvious at first glance.

The thing is, you don't have to shape it out yourself—several tools in Semrush automatically work out search intent for each keyword.

The calculation is based on the words in the keyword phrase as well as the SERP features found in the search results for the analysed keyword.

There is a dedicated data column in the Keyword Magic Tool that displays the keyword's intent type. That means you can work with search intent while conducting keyword research without leaving the tool or guessing the intent.