Search intent describes the purpose a user has when using a search engine.
This has been at the forefront of what Google has used over the years to:
- Tune algorithms.
- Shape what search engine results pages (SERPs) look like.
- Best serve their customers – the searcher.
We’re also focused on searchers – specifically, our target audience and how they search.
Understanding what your audience needs and what they are looking for based on where they are in the customer journey or funnel is the key to SEO.
Historically search intent has been put generally into several specific categories.
However, recently at MozCon, SEO thought leader Lily Ray made an excellent point: there are actually a lot more intents. Or maybe we could call them sub-intents? (I won’t go as far as calling them “micro” intents.)
Inspired by Ray, I will revisit the commonly accepted intents and my expanded list of examples.
4 most common search intents
Search intent is commonly categorized into four buckets: commercial, transactional, informational and navigational.
These serve as the four core search intents and the foundation of how many SEOs define a search action.
Google categorizes commercial intent as pre-transactional searches.
A user intends to buy a product or service, but just needs a little extra convincing. This can include searches that compare features of similar products.
When a search query aligns with transactional intent, users are primed to purchase and...
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