In this article we will explain the basics about search intention and why this is important. We will do so by answering the following questions:
After reading this, you will be ready to implement all your intent knowledge like a SEO Scientist.
Let's get scientific!
The definition of search intent is as follows:
Search intent is the intention a search engine user has when using a certain keyword. - KeyWI
We have categorised the intention of search engine user in four groups:
The intent someone has when he is looking for information is called informational intent. About 80% of all searches are informational according to research studies. Below we have shown a few trigger words that can help you identify informational intent. Besides that, we have listed a few examples.
Intent description: Keywords used by someone who is searching for information.
Trigger words: What, Who, Where, When, How, Why, Facts, Tips, Examples
When someone is looking for a certain "place" on the internet, in other words a url, they have a navigational intention. They are looking for a link where they can do something, for example log in or contact someone.
Intent description: Keywords used by someone to find a specific website or webpage. They already know where they want to go on the web.
Trigger words: Brands, product names, service names
This is probably the most tricky one. The intention someone has is of investigational nature, someone is investigating where to make a transaction. The transaction could be a purchase, sign-up or download. So someone might know they want to sign up for a video call service but they don't know which one yet. They might search for "zoom vs. teams".
Intent description: Keywords used by someone who is investigating what or where to perform a commercial action. In comparison mode, still weighing up options.
Trigger words: Compare, best, vs, top, list, deals, reviews, characteristics of products
Transactions often follow commercial investigation, however sometimes people just know what they want to buy. In all these cases the intention is to make a transaction and therefor transactional intent.
Intent description: Keywords used by someone who wants to make a transaction, signup, download or register etc. They already know what transaction they want to do.
Trigger words: Buy, Shop, Coupon, Discount, Price, Pricing, Order, Shipping, Delivery, Returns, Sale
Of course there are exceptions for all intentions and some keywords may be interpreted ambiguously. However, if you look at the intention of a group of keywords you may find the most common intention. Remember to write your content based on the intention you have and you want your searchers to have.
If you're looking for a tool that helps you to group keywords automatically and is data-driven, while keeping intention in mind check out KeyWI.