Definition of search intent in SEO

Through our SEO Agency Optimize 360

The world of SEO is constantly evolving, and today a good SEO strategy can no longer be confined to targeting relevant keywords.

To be truly effective, it is crucial to understand theresearch intention of Internet users, so that you can tailor your content as closely as possible to their expectations.

In this article, we take a look at the definition and challenges of this essential concept for SEO.

Search intent in SEO


Definition of search intent

Search intent refers to theobjective that Internet users are looking for when they make an request on a search engine such as Google. In other words, it's about understanding what the user is really looking for, behind the simple keywords they use.

This notion is essential for search engines, as their primary aim is to provide users with results that precisely meet their expectations. Any good SEO Agency as Optimize 360 will tell you.

As a result, search engines are placing increasing emphasis on search intent in their algorithms, in order to rank pages according to their relevance to the queries formulated.

Example of a search intention

For example, let's imagine that an Internet user types the query "SEO on Google. Behind this simple keywordThere may be more than one hidden agenda:

  1. Understanding how SEO works
  2. Knowing the best practices for optimising your site
  3. Find an agency or freelancer specialising in SEO

So if you want to position your content on the first page of Google for this keyword, you need to take these different intentions into account and offer content that responds to each of them.

The different types of search intent

Generally speaking, we distinguish between four main categories research intentions :

  1. Informational : The user is looking for specific information on a subject. For example: "What is SEO?
  2. Navigation : The user wants to go directly to a specific site or page. Example: "Gmail account access
  3. Transactional : The user intends to make a purchase or perform a given action, such as subscribing to a service. Example: "Buy iPhone X".
  4. Local : Internet users are looking for information about a place or service near them. Example: "Vegetarian restaurants in Paris".

It is important to note that some requests can be ambivalent and correspond to several types of intention. In this case, thesemantic environment of the request to determine the dominant intention.

Adapting your content to the search audience

Now that you understand the importance of search intent in SEO, it's time to learn how to optimise your content accordingly. Here are a few tips to help you do just that:

Studying user queries

One of the first steps in identifying search intent is to analyse the queries that users type into their preferred search engine.

Many tools (such as SEMRush or Google Search Console) can help you identify the keywords and phrases that will generate traffic to your site.

Analysing the SERP

Next, take a close look at the pages that are already ranking for the keywords you are targeting.

What information do they offer? What research purpose do they best serve?

By analysing the SERP (an acronym for "Search Engine Results Page"), you can adjust your own content so that it responds more precisely to the dominant intention.

Write complete, relevant content

Your content should be exhaustive and cover the subject clearly and coherently. Remember to include contextual remindersand definitions and concrete examples to make it easier for your visitors to understand and to respond effectively to their search intentions.

Structure your content logically

To help search engines understand the search intent of your content, it is essential to structure it in a clear and logical way, using the HTML (H1, H2, H3 headings, etc.), bulleted or numbered lists, tables, etc.

Don't hesitate to use synonymous expressions or complementary to the main keywords.

Why is this so important for SEO?

Search intent plays a crucial role in the success of an SEO strategy, as it allows you to adapt your content to the real expectations of Internet users and thus improve your search engine rankings. conversionbut also to retain your visitors by offering them a positive experience.

What's more, Google has developed its algorithms in recent years to give greater importance to search intent rather than mere technical factors.

By focusing on search intent, you can ensure that your ranking in the search results will be maintained, even in the face of regular updates to Google's algorithm.

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