Educate yourself
June 8, 2020

The 4 Types of Search Intent and WHY They are Important


Search intent is crucial to succeeding in any SEO endeavor. Understanding what the searcher’s goals are with their search input is a key to winning over Google’s algorithm and their ranking system! Between the BERT, January Core, and May Core updates, Google is pinpointing small tweaks to provide an even greater search experience for consumers worldwide.

Google is our go-to tool for accessing the internet. We all use it. Every, single, day. It’s tough to avoid this day in age. But did you know that Google is hiding some tricks up its sleeve?

When you search for “How To Fix a Flat Tire” using Google, it seamlessly filters out all e-commerce links and floods your search results with “how to” links. These links are considered informational links. Yes, Google does this with each and every search.

Because Google is so highly intuitive, when creating content, it is important to keep in mind that your content is in line with search intent, also known as user intent. What is the user trying to accomplish with their search? What keywords are they using in their search?

There are four common types of search intent you can benefit from understanding. Creating better long and short form content with search intent in mind will assist in your Google search ranking and results.

The Four Types of Search Intent

1. Informational
Informational search intent produces a wide range of search results. Any time that the searcher is asking for specific information, they have informational search intent. Both simple searches like "is it going to rain today?" that provide instant results and more complex searches like "best marketing strategies" which provide more complex answers (via blogs and resources) all fall under this bucket of search intent.

2. Navigational
When a searcher is searching to locate a specific website, link, or application, these searches are considered Navigational. Some examples of navigational searches include the searcher typing "Gmail Login," "Tier Level Digital Marketing," and "Amazon." These results guide the searcher directly to the links they are trying to locate via their search.

3. Commercial
Commercial search intent is something we all do. When a searcher is looking to purchase a product but has not yet made a decision on what to buy, they have commercial intent. For example, “best propane grills” is a great example of commercial intent. As a searcher, I have not already decided on which grill I want to buy, but I would like to find results based on the best shopping selection to choose from! Another example of Commercial intent could be searching for “best customer relationship management software”.

4. Transactional
With Transactional search intent, the searcher has already made their decision on what they are going to buy and their search reflects this. “Purchase Weber Propane Grill” and “Buy New iPhone” are good examples of Transactional search intent.

When creating content, it is important to keep search intent in mind. Are you trying to sell a specific product with your content, or are you providing a resource that outlines the best buying options for a shopping consumer? When someone searches for “best propane grills” they are looking for resources like buying guides, consumer reports, blogs and reviews, not the Home Depot website. On the other hand, when searching “Purchase Weber Propane Grill”, they are looking to be guided to the immediate solution of making a purchase, both local to them as well as online!

At Tier Level, search intent is important for our client’s SEO success. Our meta descriptions and title tags always have search intent in mind. We provide many SEO services which help drive phone calls, and we also experiment with informative and educational content to provide Google with keywords that connect specifically with our client’s products and services.

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Monday, June 8, 2020


Whitney Ramirez