What Is User Intent? Why Is It Important for SEO and CRO??
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) depend heavily on understanding the user's intent. However, much of the discussion around buyer intent is centered on SEO rather than CRO. When someone uses Google or another search engine, you can infer their purpose by looking at the search terms.
No matter the importance you give to user search intent, keep an eye on CRO metrics that help discover how visitors interact with your content. It is best to adopt crucial CRO techniques that boost ROI and enable you to understand better what drives a particular set of users to respond to content.
On the other hand, your SEO strategy should pivot resources on increasing the number of website visitors on your website. Once you have enough visitors, CRO enters the picture.
When user intent is at the heart of the debate, it's almost hard to separate SEO from CRO. Let us begin by defining the various sorts of user intent.
Types of User Intent
Begin with comprehending the searcher's objective if you want to show up in front of your target audience. For them, the search engine is a need. Your goal is to provide relevant content that matches the intent they search for. For this, the intent is classified into four different types.
Navigational intent: It is defined for the people looking for a particular site/brand. They intend to navigate the site and know more information that it has to offer. Example queries include:
- Ahrefs Blog
Informational intent: This is the most generic purpose behind users' search. Almost 80% of internet searches are carried out by individuals seeking information. Here are some of the examples:
- Beer calories
- When will the next elections be?
- Difference between green tea and Macha tea
Transactional intent: Users who wish to transact online will search for queries that help them do the same. For instance, those looking to shop for products and services may search for the best deals before making a purchase. Examples include:
- Buy iPhone online
- Coffee shops near me
- Food wagon for sale
Commercial investigation: Some customers prefer to look for certain products and services to buy them later. Examples of such queries include:
- MacBook Reviews
- Iced coffee flavors
- Android vs iOS phones
Why is User Intent Important and How to Optimize for SEO?
Focusing on the user intent will help identify attention to searches that individuals carry out on search engines like Google. Apart from indicating which keywords they frequently use, you also know how a user approaches specific inquiries or searches in Google.
For instance, "iPhone reviews" just inform you that consumers are searching for reviews of an iPhone but are not sure of the model. On the other hand, it is easier to see the user's purpose when they search "Black iPhone XR reviews." In this situation, the searcher is looking for a particular iPhone that is sure of the color.
The first step involves using keyword analytics services like HubSpot, Ahrefs, SEMrush, etc. It will help find what keywords people are using to reach your website. Accordingly, you can sift through each one to see any indications of user intent. This way, you'll be able to learn more about your audience's specific needs and discover creative approaches to meet those needs.
Here are some of the key reasons it is important to know about the user intent for effective SEO and CRO.
Helps tailor your content and CTA
Users make informational searches when in the middle of the funnel. Here, they intend to discover or evaluate what they are looking for and not about whether your business can help them. But, you can leverage these informational searches by crafting a compelling FAQ page with a relevant call to action (CTA) button. This should have comprehensive information about your business, scheduling a product demonstration, product manuals, pros & cons, etc.
The goal is to make your users interact with a call to action button such as "Connect with experts", "Sign up for free", etc. Your ideal customer is most likely to purchase while they're at the bottom of the funnel. You have to convert visitors into actual buyers at this stage. Provide a clear and concise CTA button to convert them with offers, discounts, free trials, coupons/vouchers, etc.
Boosts brand awareness
Creating relevant content that satisfies searchers' needs is essential to rank high in search results. It helps them get comfortable with your brand and understand more about what you do.
In the future, customers are more likely to choose your brand over the competitors if they are more acquainted with the kind of products and services you provide.
Now, let us learn how to improve your SEO efforts for user intent.
Identify user intent and optimize
Knowing the user intent will help you use the right keywords and put them up in your marketing plan. To see the search intent, you'll need to make a chart. For example, you may categorize search terms by their volume, purpose type, and value.
Once your chart is set up, you can start conducting keyword research. As you find relevant keywords, fill out the information in your chart that helps pivot resources on search intent that better match the user's search query with a keyword.
It is recommended to adopt the method of "keyword mapping" that assigns or maps keywords to web pages. Such a mapping approach will help simplify delivering precise on-page SEO suggestions. One way involves creating keyword mapping sales funnels that improve each page's relevance to the search terms used and thus, boost conversions.
As part of your mapping process, you can make on-page optimizations or changes that will assist your page become more relevant to those keywords you map.
Evaluate existing content
It is difficult to remember what information you put on your site when creating content in the past. Old content may lack relevancy and recency, so it is important to evaluate and revamp onsite content regularly.
This is true if your content complies with user intent but does not perform as well as expected. In such cases, you can delve further into your keywords to chop and change the existing content.
Change your keywords to make them more relevant to the content of your website. If you are selling anything, ensure leveraging transactional keywords. Also, if you want to help people learn about your business offerings, your keywords should be informative or navigational.
SEO and CRO Go Hand-in-Hand with User Intent
The job of SEO is to bring traffic to the website, and CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation) aims at converting those. CRO and SEO are essentially working toward the same objective — generating more consumers and a greater return on investment.
For instance, if 15,000 visitors arrive on your landing page and 1500 of them complete the desired action (filling out the form, placing an order, subscribing to a newsletter, etc.), then your conversion rate is 10%. You can leverage a good blend of SEO and conversion rate specialists to bring quality traffic and drive more conversions.
Now, when you have experts from both these departments working in tandem with the right user intent defined, here are some quick activities.
A. Run A/B Tests
Run A/B tests using tools like Google Optimize and VWO to improve conversion rates on your most important landing pages. You can test various elements like CTAs, content length, form fields, etc.
B. Creating a simple path to conversion
Another way to leverage SEO and CRO involves streamlining the conversion process. Here, think of directing users to the next stage of your conversion funnel as soon as they arrive on your website. For this, you can use a clear CTA above the fold on the homepage so when visitors arrive, they’re led to the next stage in your conversion funnels, such as a demo or free trial.
C. Traffic doesn't always lead to sales
Ranking well in the search results will need you to put in significant time and effort. But a high ranking does not guarantee sales. For this, you need to optimize the user experience — page speed, content structure, navigation, etc.
D. SEO increases the quality and quantity of organic traffic to a website
You need quality traffic to optimize conversions. A strong conversion rate will require redefining SEO efforts by involving UX specialists, web designers, developers, and conversion rate optimization (CRO) teams.
It’s time to know your user intent and provide them with the right content to nurture them along your funnel. Regardless of where a customer is in the sales funnel, doing user research can help you serve the right kind of content and thus, improve conversions.