User intent refers to what the user was trying to accomplish when performing a search query.
For most (if not all) search queries, the user’s location affects the context and intent of the query.
Types of User Intent
There are 3 main types of user intent, which dictate the driving force behind a user’s search query:
User trying to find a certain website
User is looking for Information
User is prepared to buy or perform some other online activity
Types of search queries:
User intent search queries are the search queries a user types or speaks into their mobile, and are classified into 6 specific categories:
- Know query
- Know simple query
- Do query
- Device action query
- Website query
- Visit-In-Person query
User Intent and SEO
So how does this all tie into SEO?
“Just as you wouldn’t develop a product without knowing who the user for that product is going to be, you shouldn’t develop online content without knowing how it can help people and whose goals it will help fulfill.” – Julia McCoy, Content Marketing Institute
Keyword research no longer revolves around targeting “the highest volume search keyword” anymore. The evolution of the sophistication of search engines means that as SEO professionals, we too must evolve in our methodology for performing keyword research.
Identifying the user intent for search queries is the first step to identifying ranking/traffic shifts, as well as for curating the most relevant content for users.