User Intent Must Define Your Keyword Research
The SEO content world today is a very different one from what we knew a few years ago. The search engines were a developing phenomenon then, and lacked the sophistication and complex algorithms that you see today. Given the robotic and mechanical nature of search engines, industry professionals took a technical approach to SEO with less regard for the end user. Keyword “stuffing” was the standard practice employed to aggressively push website rankings.
However, Google upped its game in a big way and with its algorithm changes, has made rapid strides in identifying true user intent behind every search. Google’s advanced features allow it to pay close attention to user signals such as click-through-rate, time-on-site, and bounce rate. The search engine, therefore, knows which sites are best answering a user’s query, and why they should rank higher. Google no more strictly goes by keywords, but rather, identifies the implied intent behind the words. Even if a piece of content does not have the exact keyword match, and instead has a broad, topic-based long-tail keyword, it will still rank high as long as the page provides the best answer to the user’s query.
Incorporating User Intent in Content Marketing
User intent is one of the most important metrics that should inform your content marketing strategy. In the days to come, search engines will produce even more intuitive search results derived from customer history and behaviour. Being receptive to your target audiences’ expectations and delivering content that engages and delights the user is what good SEO is about.
Here are 3 useful tips to help you enhance your SEO content strategy.
- Consider the Different User Intent Types:
Queries that users typically enter into the search window can broadly be divided into three types – navigational, informational and transactional. Navigational, is when the user makes use of search engines to reach another site. Often it happens that we use Google to reach Facebook, LinkedIn or any other site. Informational, is when the user is researching a product or service, or looking for some answer. For example, “How to make videos for small businesses” is an informational search. Here, the intent of the user is to be educated about the subject. Blogs, eBooks, newsletters are excellent resources for informational search. When a website offers useful information on an ongoing basis, users tend to form an affinity with that site. Sooner or later, they are likely to make a purchase - either by way of a product, service, paid training, or whatever the desired conversion goal happens to be. Transactional, means the user is past the research stage and is ready to buy. A search string like “Buy CRM Software” means the user is looking to make a purchase. Ideally, your website must use a combination of informational and transactional keywords for a successful content strategy.
- Evaluate your Existing Content for User Intent:
When users click on a search result, they want to find content that is in line with their expectations. For example, when a user clicks on a search result for “what is email marketing,” the expectation is to find guidance on the subject. Instead, if the user is taken to a landing page that sells an email marketing software, the action would be premature as the user has no intention to buy; at least, not yet. On the other hand, a user who is ready to make a purchase will use specific key phrases such as, “Where to buy LG G5 in Canada.” Here, the user has made the choice of phone, and would like to be directed to a page where the buying action can be completed. Taking this person to an informational page with no buying option would prove frustrating and will spark a higher bounce rate for the page. It is important to understand the intent behind each significant keyword in your industry, so that you can formulate your content accordingly and direct audiences to the correct pages.
- Allow Keyword Flexibility:
Many SEO professionals curtail their ability to understand user intent by looking no further than the sparkly high-volume keyword. This is often not a sound strategy because popular keywords are difficult to rank for. When your focus is solely on high-volume keywords, you miss out on seeing the valuable long-tail keywords with high user intent. When you become comfortable with the idea of using long-tail keywords and topic-based keywords, many new sources open up. For example, user intent can be found through the keywords that people use to find your company, or with the phrases that they type into your website search box. Social media is another excellent resource for keywords. Using your social media community on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. can help you identify the pain points of your customers and the questions they are asking.
User intent should be at the heart of all your SEO content marketing efforts. If you are looking for a leading content marketing agency with expertise and experience in SEO copywriting, call MintCopy at 1-888-646-8003 today. You can also email us to learn about our range of copywriting services in Canada and USA.