A Free Guide on Search Intent Mapping

What is search intent mapping? This question is becoming more prominent in the world of SEO. This article attempts to answer it in the simplest way possible.

There are tons of searches on Google every day. Behind every search is an intent. Search intent refers to the cognitive intent behind the search. Before now, search intent didn’t really matter in SEO.

However, with the new level of search engine sophistication, search intents have become important. If you want to rank for a specific search term, you’ll need to match the search intent behind it to stand any chance.

Search Intent Mapping: the Basics

Search intent mapping is a technique used in SEO to help ensure that websites provide the information users are searching for. It involves understanding people’s intent when they enter certain keywords into a search engine and creating content that meets their needs.

Intent mapping starts with identifying potential user intents, such as buying something or researching a topic. Once those intents are identified, you can collaborate with web developers to create optimized content tailored to each intent. This content shouldn’t only include relevant words. It should include structure, layout, images, etc., matching the searcher’s intention.

By properly targeting search intents, businesses can increase website traffic from organic search results and improve conversions.

Types of Search Intents

Let’s take a quick look at the types of user intents to better understand how to create content that aligns with each search intent.

Transactional Intent

Transactional intent refers to user searches aiming to make a purchase or take some other type of action. For example, someone searching for “Gym Equipment” would likely have transactional intent as they are looking for something to buy.

Content designed with this intent should drive conversions by offering helpful information and easy access to product pages. It should clearly show the potential customer why your product is better than others and provide details on how to easily make a purchase.

In addition, content created with transactional intent should use clean visuals and concise language that people can easily understand. 

Informational Intent

Informational intent is when a user searches for knowledge or education rather than trying to complete a transaction. For example, someone may search “How to exercise the right way” with the intention of learning more about physical activity rather than buying something. 

When creating content to meet informational intent, the focus should be on providing accurate and thorough information and easy-to-understand explanations. Clear visuals are still important but should be designed to illustrate concepts or explain processes rather than directly promote products or services. 

In addition, language should be simple yet descriptive and avoid using technical jargon that can confuse readers unfamiliar with the topic. Writing for an 8th-grade reading level ensures that your message can reach a wide audience without being overly simplistic.

Google logo screengrab
Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

Navigational Intent

The goal of this search is to get somewhere online, usually the homepage of a brand. Content written for this purpose should help users find the right page or product quickly and easily.

When writing for this purpose, it is essential to be brief and clear. Your language should be direct and informative. You’re to help users find what they are looking for without taking too much time.

Clear navigation paths should be created as well, so readers can traverse from one part of the site to another with minimal effort. 

Commercial Investigation

Searchers with this intent aren’t quite ready to buy yet. Instead, their query aims to get more information before committing.

Think of it as people preparing to buy something, but they are still unconvinced or in need of more information. An inquiry like this focuses on getting more information on a service or product or even checking something out.

Micro Intents

The types of search intents above are the classic types. Going further down, you’ll find micro intents. Micro intents are more specific subdivisions of the classic types of search intent.

Informational Micro Intents

  • Empowerment
  • Expansion
  • Definition
  • Aggregation
  • Entertainment

Navigational Micro Intents

  • Website
  • Location
  • Support

Transactional/commercial Micro Intents

  • Brand
  • Product/service
  • Orientation/comparison
  • Category/selection

Tips for Optimizing for Search Intent

It is hard to pinpoint the search intent of a search at face value. There has to be additional research to get it right.

Get Reliable SERP Data

The simple strategy is to enter the search time and check the content ranking high on the SERP. This is a risky approach as the information you get may not be reliable. This is because the SERP constantly gets reshuffled over time.

Hence, it is better to rely on the SERP’s ranking history. If there aren’t any ranking fluctuations over time, the high-ranking content is close enough to the search intent. In instances with many fluctuations, it means Google is having a tough time understanding the intent behind the search. It could also mean the search intent behind the query is constantly changing.

Align Your Content With the Three C’s of Search Intent

The three C’s of search intent are content angle, content type, and content format. Content format refers to the format of the top-ranking content. The most common content format includes lists, comparisons, reviews, and how-to guides.

Content type refers to the specific type of content ranking high. It could be blog posts, landing pages, category pages, and product pages. Check how each high-ranking content approaches the topic at hand — that’s the content angle. Sometimes it could be the price point. You’ll find terms like “cheapest” or “affordable.” In some instances, the high-ranking content could dwell on quality.

Once you’ve identified these three C’s, you can now proceed to create something similar.

Check the “People Also Ask” Section of the SERPs

The “people also ask” section of the search engine result page can help you find useful keywords and terms to target. 

Final Thoughts

By understanding the intent behind users’ searches and creating tailored content, businesses can ensure that their website provides the answers people need.

Ultimately, this will help them get more sales. Although keyword research will show high-ranking keywords, it’s still important to analyze the search intent.

Co-Founder of INK, Alexander crafts magical tools for web marketing. SEO and AI expert. He is a smart creative, a builder of amazing things. He loves to study “how” and “why” humans and AI make decisions.

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