At the heart of every search, there is an intention. People want helpful answers to their questions in the form of blog posts, product reviews, white papers, and so on. If your content meets their expectations, then they’ll engage. If not, they’ll continue with their search.

Let’s take a look at how to optimize your content with user intent in mind.

Understand the Different Types of User Intent

User intent seems pretty straightforward: it defines the goal searchers have in mind when typing a query into Google. However, things aren’t always black and white, and intent can differ from user to user.

According to Neil Patel, user intent takes three forms:

  • Informational: Users are looking for an answer to a question.
  • Transactional: Users want to purchase something.
  • Navigational: The users are searching for a particular resource, website or page.

Does Your Current Content Support User Intent?

Creating content with user intent in mind is critical. Think about it this way: if one of your best performing keywords is transactional, but it leads to an informational page, potential buyers will not reach their goal. Prospects are clearly interesting in purchasing your products or services, but by directing them to a page that makes only a passing reference to what they are looking for, you are missing the opportunity to connect with them and convert them into buyers.

Take a look at your existing content and make sure it’s tailored to the needs of your audience. Review your keywords as well and check if they are aligned with your content. If you want prospects to buy your products or services, then your keywords should be transactional (for example: “buy snowboard boots.”) If, on the other hand, you want people to learn more about your products or brand, make sure your keywords are informational or navigational (for example: “snowboard boot size chart.”)

Optimize for Intent

Search engines are getting smarter, and users know that. They expect to find what they are looking for immediately. Studies have shown that 89% of users will change their search query if they don’t see that they are looking for on the first page of results.

So, how do you optimize your content with intent in mind?

  • Determine the Intent: What were people looking for before landing on your page? What answers were they hoping to get? Was the content helpful?
  • Optimize: Now that you’ve identified the missed opportunities, it’s time to optimize. Create or adapt your content taking your audience’s needs into account. Focus on creating content that helps prospects instead of forcing your keywords. If users have a great on-site experience, then your ranking will increase as well.
  • Monitor and Adjust: Use Google Analytics to track the results. Did the changes have an impact on your conversion rates? What worked? What didn’t? Document everything and make changes accordingly.

Content optimization looks a lot different than it did a few years ago. For starters, keywords aren’t vital anymore, and content structure isn’t as important as it used to be. What matters instead is that you deliver your audience the type of content they are looking for when landing on your site.

If you want to develop an outstanding SEO and content marketing strategy, Sprout Media Lab is more than happy to help you. Call us at (800) 617-6975 for a free consultation today.