What is keyword intent?

When people talk about intent, they're generally referring to one of two concepts:

  1. The high-level classification of a searcher's goal: Is it navigational, informational, commercial, or transactional? This is the traditional meaning of intent.
  2. The specific goal of the search: For example, when someone searches "basketball," are they looking to buy a basketball, play basketball, watch basketball, or learn about basketball? This definition is picking up steam and is arguably more important than the first.

With the goal of making this the most comprehensive resource on the topic of keyword intent online, we've included info on both below.

If you're interested in a practical way to determine search intent, check out this post I wrote on determining search intent using paid search advertising.

For those just getting started in digital marketing or for those DIY SEO folks, we've included plenty of info that starts with the basics of keyword intent, exploring keyword research as it relates to intent, and demonstrating how to get started.

For the more advanced SEO, we've included info that drills deeper into the topic of keyword intent, providing you with proven tactics to implement that are aimed at boosting the results of your online marketing strategy.

To gain a better understanding of user intent and see keyword intent in action, check out the academic research and case studies links. The information may be helpful in figuring out the keyword intent approach as it applies to your needs.

Everything here is broken down into specific categories for those looking to develop keyword intent for their website content, landing pages, content marketing, PPC campaigns, and other online marketing efforts.

Don't hesitate to ping me @johncrenshaw if you have any other resources to add to this list or find any errors.

What Is Keyword Intent?

The Importance of Keyword Intent
(www.webtalentmarketing.com)

Provides a basic overview of the differences between keywords and keyword intent using clear and simple examples. By developing keywords relevant to the search query, they will remain relevant even when search engines change their algorithms.

Intent Trumps Keywords in SEO
(www.tomfanelli.com)

A well-explained overview about user intent as it pertains to changes in search engine algorithms.

Examples demonstrate how search engines determine user intent based on the searcher’s demographics and popular search terms.

The article further provides three tips to help businesses benefit from user intent, with helpful examples to guide in carrying out the steps.

Starting with researching keywords and continuing with developing long tail keywords and incorporating specific geographic areas, the tips are designed to help businesses focus on keyword intent to improve their SEO and increase their conversions.

Understanding Keyword Meaning and the Intent of the Searcher
(blog.evolvecreativegroup.com)

An in-depth explanation about the keyword intent concept and its importance in making searches more meaningful. Actual search pages help in conveying the information.

Of particular interest is the effectiveness of using comparison keywords and how paid and non-paid search ads rank in the search results.

Keyword Intent in Search Marketing: The Conversion Champion
(www.silverbean.com)

A comprehensive presentation on keyword intent.

Topics covered include the types of keyword intent and examples of each one, the differences between informational, commercial and branded keyword searches, and how keyword intent affects conversion rates.

A chart provides an example of each keyword intent type, keywords used, and the search volume, conversion rate, revenue, and revenue per search for each keyword type.

Query Classification; Understanding User Intent
(vervedevelopments.com)

Covers user intent from a search engine’s perspective by providing a well-rounded explanation about the function of a search engine and how it processes a search query.

The thorough analysis shows how a search engine interacts with a person’s query using three broad query classifications: informational, transactional, and navigational, and then breaking down each classification into more specific levels.

The article includes charts and tables, some from search engine data, to more easily present a search engine’s search task process for determining user intent.

The information is valuable in helping businesses develop a more targeted and effective SEO program.

Keys to Understanding Search Marketing & User Intent
(searchengineland.com)

Using studies and research conducted on search queries from around the globe, this article digests all the findings into a compact explanation of four user intent types for search: navigational, informational, transactional, and commercial.

However, just as important as user intent in search engine ranking is credible content. The article presents cues that search engines use to determine trusted content, among them the source, accuracy, scope, objectivity, references, and expertise.

Understanding the Intent of Search Queries: EMI vs. EMQ
(www.seo-e.com)

With search engines ranking results by looking at which websites best match the intent of the search query, this article provides the technical aspect to the query types used by search engines, with a comparison between exact match intent (EMI) and exact match query (EMQ).

While EMI relates to web pages developed for informational or action purposes, EMQ is mainly used for SEO and includes keywords that target an exact phrase.

The article explains how EMI and EMQ keywords should be used to ensure search engines properly interpret keyword intent.

Understanding Search Intent
(www.hallme.com)

This article outlines the different types of search intent: informational queries for searchers who want to browse, transactional queries for searchers shopping for a specific product or service, and navigational queries for searchers looking for a brand name and bypass the URL entry.

It further demonstrates through text and a webinar how to connect content to search intent.

Why Keyword Intent Matters

What CROs Need to Know About SEO in 2015 (Hint: It’s User Intent)
(blog.crazyegg.com)

With 2015 being the year to focus conversion rate optimization on user intent, this directory provides links to a list of 10 articles on user intent.

Along with the links is a key takeaway for better understanding why user intent matters to improve your SEO results and conversion rates. Following the list are two case studies of user intent in action and the results they delivered.

Why Ignoring User Intent Is Costing You Money in AdWords
(unbounce.com)

Loaded with numerous examples, this article identifies three key ways businesses are losing significant amounts of money on their PPC campaigns by not focusing on keywords in relation to user intent.

It outlines how to find, organize, and prioritize keywords around user intent.

Also provided are ways to consistently maintain keyword intent between the ad, the landing page, and calls to action, as well as how to create an ad and landing page according to user intent.

Why Your Keyword Strategy Is Incomplete Without User Intent
(blog.hubspot.com)

Discusses the reasons why user intent is so important to SEO and offers ways to assess user intent to direct both your keyword research and content strategy.

It provides helpful information on how to analyze your website’s analytics to get a better idea of what your audience is looking for, determine whether they are finding the information on your site, and address the information that is needed with content and other resources.

The Role of Keyword Research in Keyword Intent

Keyword Research: The Definitive Guide
(backlinko.com)

Recognizing keyword research as the foundation of search engine optimization (SEO), this guide includes seven chapters focused on keyword research.

Starting with an introduction on keywords, the chapter topics cover Google Keyword Planner, long tail keywords, commercial intent, keyword competition, keyword research tools, and SEO content.

How to Do Keyword Research for SEO
(www.seonick.net)

A comprehensive article that is continuously updated is organized into specific sections pertaining to the value of keywords, researching for searcher intent, the tools available for conducting your keyword research, creating a keyword evaluate model, and a monthly analysis of what’s working.

How Does User Intent Affect Keyword Research?
(www.brickmarketing.com)

Illustrating how the same search phrase can have completely different intents among search engine users, this blog post makes the case that website owners need to account for user intent when optimizing their site.

The subtle differences among user intent will impact the language a company uses on its web pages and the keywords selected for the site.

The author raises questions that business owners should consider when choosing keywords for their site. Broad search terms with the highest search volume might not bring in as much revenue as keywords that specifically target user intent.

Intent allows websites to use the right keywords to target the right visitors.

Part 1: Keyword Research: Matching Intent With Results
(monitor.icef.com)

The first of a two-part series on keyword research explains topic mapping and brainstorming as a means of generating a wide array of keywords.

The article covers identifying high level topics relevant to your company, brand, product, or service; brainstorming keywords and search queries applicable to each topic; balancing short and long tail keywords; and checking your keywords by doing individual search queries.

Part 2: Keyword Research: Building Your Toolkit
(monitor.icef.com)

The second article in the two-part series on keyword research focuses on identifying the best performing keywords using keyword tools, competitor research, and testing.

By narrowing your list of keywords, it will guide your search optimization strategy and online advertising campaigns.

How to find your ranking in organic search results and applying free tools, such as Google Keyword Planner, Google Global Market Finder, and Keyword Tool, to enhance your keyword research are discussed in detail.

How to Do Keyword Research the Smart Way: Targeting Interest and Intent
(blog.kissmetrics.com/keyword-research-smart-way/)

While keyword research is important for successful PPC and SEO campaigns, this article introduces a model that categorizes keywords to reflect different levels of the searcher’s interest and intent.

The targeted keyword model starts with the bullseye as the desired conversion event, with six types of keywords situated in proximity to the bullseye based on how effective they are at converting according to the interest and intent stage a searcher is at when searching the keyword.

To incorporate the model with your keyword research, the article provides action steps under the topics of creating your seed list, building your keyword list, and refining your keyword list.

Searcher Intent: My Main Focus When It Comes to Keyword Research
(moz.com)

To avoid mistakes in your keyword research, such as mistakenly thinking a keyword is relevant, this article emphasizes the use of searcher intent to better identify the right keywords.

Using examples to illustrate, the article points out things to consider when defining searcher intent, such as whether a keyword could have different connotations, if the keyword is being entered in a search, and what phrases people are actually using to search for something.

The article recommends keywords that are less competitive and target searcher intent. These include keywords that focus on model or product codes, niche dependent words, and very specific information.

How Google Interprets the Search Intent of Keywords
(fannit.com/how-google-interprets-search-intent-keywords/)

This guide provides information on understanding keyword intent, search interpretations, and search engine optimization (SEO) using the Google search engine as an example.

How to Figure Out Your Keyword Intent Strategies

Determine Keyword Intent With This Quick Checklist
(www.rlmseo.com)

A four-step checklist we put together that will help you determine the intent behind any keyword.

The four steps on the checklist are: brainstorm intent, create MVP landing pages that match intent, create PPC ads targeting each identified intent, and build out your MVP landing pages based on what’s working.

How User Intent Will Forever Inform Successful Keyword Strategies
(searchengineland.com)

This article guides you through establishing keywords and a content strategy focused on user intent by regularly studying search engine results pages (SERPs) and customer data. Several examples are provided to help illustrate various steps.

What Are They Thinking? Techniques to Decrypt Search Intent
(www.semrush.com)

Provides seven techniques for assigning the four kinds of user intent (navigational, information, transactional, and commercial) to your keywords.

Growth Hacking: Analyze User Intent to See Search Traffic Shoot
(weareswitchdigital.com)

Using the Google WebMasters toolset, this article offers step-by-step instructions on how to tailor search intent based on the traffic arriving to your website.

The information can be accessed from Google WebMasters under Search Traffic and the Search Queries tab.

Screenshots are provided to help follow along with the steps.

How to Strategically Target User Intent for Higher Conversions
(blog.crazyegg.com)

Focuses on the conversion optimization side of user intent more so than using user intent for search engine optimization.

After a brief overview on user intent, the article provides an in-depth tutorial that explains how to specifically and tactically apply user intent to conversion rate optimization.

The ultimate goal, the article states, is to optimize for intent.

Understanding Keyword Intent in a PPC Marketing Strategy
(www.acquisio.com)

Aimed at PPC marketers, the article digs deep into the intent of keywords, in particular certain prefixes or modifiers that will trigger differing levels of intent.

The article discusses how to identify high and low keyword intent search terms and illustrates how to build a campaign structure around them.

How to Build a Keyword Matrix (and Why You Need One)
(www.seonick.net)

Explores the use of a keyword matrix for organic searches with a focus on search volume versus user intent.

Using graphs and overlays, the presentation shows how to build a keyword matrix for keyword targeting and timing at the appropriate level.

Giving Customers What They Want: A Search Behavior Analysis
(searchengineland.com)

Learn how to improve website performance by conducting a human search behavior analysis.

This article outlines how to enhance keyword intent for your website by applying a search behavior model to select the best performing keywords and implement an effective content strategy for your product or service.

Decoding Searcher Intent: Is “MS” Microsoft or Multiple Sclerosis?
(searchengineland.com)

As the title of this article demonstrates, search terms can mean different things to different people.

That’s where determining searcher intent comes into play.

This article examines the high level categories of search behavior and demonstrates how to organize these search behavior categories into an organizational strategy that will help in creating search terms focused on keyword intent.

Gain Insight Into User Intent With These Two Analytics Reports
(www.ppchero.com)

This article demonstrates how to use site search and behavior flow reports to determine user intent. By recognizing the path visitors are taking through your website helps you make informed decisions about paid search efforts.

Academic Research on User Intent in Web Searches

A Taxonomy of Web Search
(www.cis.upenn.edu)

This research explores the classification of web searches, including information retrieval, navigational, and transactional, and examines how global search engines evolve their approach to address web specific needs.

Researchers conducted a user survey and analyzed the query log of a major search engine.

They identified an evolution of search engines that advanced from using mainly website data to data from multiple sources to address user intent.

Determining the Informational, Navigational, and Transactional Intent of Web Queries
(faculty.ist.psu.edu)

For this research project, the authors set out to define a comprehensive classification for user intent for Web searches and develop software that automatically classifies Web queries according to user intent.

The research was conducted using multiple search engine transaction logs to develop and execute an automatic classifier.

The results of the research show that search engines can more easily identify the underlying intent of a search and provide more targeted content by using an automated method.

In turn, web designers can implement interfaces and algorithms to enhance websites for user intent.

A Simple Model for Classifying Web Queries by User Intent
(users.dsic.upv.es)

In this study, researchers apply a set of features to identify the type of information needed to classify web queries by user intent.

For the study, the researchers automatically classified queries using only the text contained in the query.

Different experiments with the queries removed certain features in the text, such as verbs.

The results showed that extracting certain features from the text did not achieve favorable results with navigational searchers. The researchers concluded that using the text in a query is not enough to determine all user intents.

Determining the User Intent of Web Search Engine Queries
(www2007.org)

This research paper examines a method for determining the intent of users conducting a search via a search engine.

Analyzing seven transaction logs from three Web search engines, the researchers identified characteristics within the navigational, transactional, and information searching categories that can be added to algorithms so search engines can better determine user intent of the search.

By implementing a real time approach to automatically classifying queries, search engines can return content that is more relatable to the search.

Understanding User’s Query Intent With Wikipedia
(wwwconference.org)

This research paper looks at defining a semantic representation that can more accurately understand and distinguish user intent when inputting a search query.

Using the structure of Wikipedia, the authors introduce a new methodology for determining user intent based on Wikipedia’s knowledge.

The model assigns each category and article in Wikipedia an intent probability to identify the intent of the query.

The results of the algorithm show the methodology delivered better query intent classification accuracy than other approaches.

Towards Identifying the User’s Query Intent in Web Search
(www.mavir.net)

To examine a new perspective of user intent, the research developed a model for user intent identification based on the user’s past interaction with search engines.

The research team analyzed user intent from a multi-dimensional perspective and created an automatic identification model to identify user intent in a search without any additional information.

The research concluded that grouping data in a natural way without the use of labeling data allows patterns that provide a closer view of the user’s intent.

Intent Shift Detection Using Search Query Logs
(www.aclweb.org/anthology/O/O11/O11-4004.pdf)

In an effort to detect a shift in user intent, researchers evaluated the use of a search-query-log based system.

By predicting intent shifts, site owners can better define keyword intent for their content.

Using search engine query logs, the research looked at the occurrence of intent shifts, which happen when the query is different from the original search intent when accessing information.

To address multiple intents during a search, the research evaluated a complete link cluster algorithm and found it had greater success in identifying intent shifts in queries.

Deriving Query Intent from Web Search Engine Queries
(eprints.rclis.org)

For this study, researchers set out to examine the reliability of query intents from search queries.

The research examined results from three methodologies: a crowdsourcing approach, click-through data from a search engine log, and an online survey of a search engine’s portal. The same queries were used for all three methodologies.

The researchers found that the click-through data from a search engine was the most reliable for determining query intent than the other methods.

The research further showed that automatically classifying query intent does not factor in human judgments, thus making the search engine results unreliable to query intent.

The researchers recommend improving the reliability of human classification that can be used as a baseline for automatic classification.

Real Life, Real Users, and Real Needs: A Study and Analysis of User Queries on the Web
(eprints.qut.edu.au)

Conducting a failure analysis on transaction logs from a major Internet search service, the researchers were able to identify a pattern of user queries that suggest the need to design search engines differently from the current Web IR systems. Furthermore, additional study is needed to learn the intent of Web users as it pertains to keyword intent and advanced searching techniques.

Automatic Identification of User Goals in Web Search
(oak.cs.ucla.edu)

This study looks at improving the quality of search engine results so they better mirror the user’s query intent.

Researchers examined whether and how the goal identification process can be automated.

The researchers determined that by combining past user click behavior and anchor link distribution, the intent of user queries can be correctly identified 90 percent of the time.

Intentions: A Game for Classifying Search Query Intent
(hci.cs.uwaterloo.ca/faculty/elaw/papers/intentions.pdf)

This research examines the design principles of a new method for collecting data about user intent in search queries.

The method, created as a game, gathers labeled data about search query intent to establish input and output behavior of participants.

By proposing questions, the researchers examined the differences in interpretation as they developed algorithms for examining user intent.

Keyword Intent Case Studies

AdWords Case Study: Keyword Intent
(www.slideshare.net)

This case study slide presentation compares a client’s campaign before and after keyword intent is applied.

A campaign that included a combination of high and low intent keywords was implemented, since it is not always obvious which keywords are high intent.

Conversions were monitored, with the results showing that when the intent of the searcher is identified and addressed, the greater the chance the buyer clicks through to a website or landing page and perform the call to action.

Case Study: Visualizing Intent
(www.aiga.org)

This case study of a start-up company shows how technology was used to pull in data to interpret the intent of visitors to the website based on keywords.

The two-month project involved bundling keywords and phrases into intent segments.

Choosing Keywords for SEO: A Case Study
(www.boxuk.com)

With the objective to choose keywords for a new product, this case study discusses the process of keyword research, targeting the right keywords, and determining searcher intent.

Lead Nurturing: How Intent Data Lifted a B2B E-mail Campaign’s CTR 248% and Forwarding Rate More Than 400%
(www.marketingsherpa.com)

This case study examines the use of intent data to augment marketing automation to better target prospects.

A list of relevant keywords was developed and incorporated into the company’s marketing content and messaging.

The results of the e-mail campaign increased substantially once intent keywords were put into action.

Case Study: Online Retailer
(adparlor.com)

This case study demonstrates how real time media optimization technology and audience targeting were combined to mine user intent to drive more conversions at a lower acquisition cost.

How Searchers Find the Perfect Family Restaurant
(searchengineland.com)

This high level analysis examines consumer search behavior when conducting an online search for a family restaurant.

Different models are used to reflect keyword intent according to search priority categories.

The case study provides insights on what restaurant owners should consider when developing keywords that better reflect the intent of searchers.

Creating a PPC Campaign Around Intent

Know Your Customer and Cut PPC Costs By 54%
(www.rlmseo.com)

Another article by us: This one demonstrates how an understanding of keyword intent can significantly improve your PPC performance.

Backed by proven examples, the article presents key facts about PPC campaigns and how to do the proper research to get to know your customers’ intent and the dramatic difference it can make to the overall performance of your paid search campaigns.

How to Create a Pay-Per-Click Campaign Around Customer Intent and the Buying Cycle
(blog.kissmetrics.com/ppc-intent-buying-cycle/)

Emphasizes the importance of paying attention to what your customers want by looking at the words in their search query.

Bidding on keywords that match the query, but not the search intent, will not allow you to provide visitors what they are requesting.

A strategy that includes reviewing search queries, understanding intent, and creating a variety of offers to match them is explained in three steps that are complemented with examples.

The Importance of Keyword Classification in PPC Marketing
(www.acquisio.com)

Demonstrates how keyword research is limited without considering the different levels of intent.

Provides a chart of keyword levels of intent and the reasons why to help with building an optimal PPC campaign and ad group structure.

How to Leverage Consumer Intent to Maximize PPC Performance
(searchenginewatch.com)

Emphasizes the importance of intention of a consumer’s search in the search process and its role in creating ads and landing pages.

Provides four steps to map consumer intent to the search query, which cover organizing keywords into intention buckets, assigning landing pages to each intention bucket, tailoring ad copy to each keyword intent bucket, and determining key performance indicators for each intention bucket.

Using Keyword Search Intent to Structure Your PPC Account
(ppcwithoutpity.com)

Provides a slide tutorial on understanding search intent and how to translate search intent to PPC campaigns.

Demonstrates how to structure your PPC account to optimize the intent of each search query type, whether navigational, informational, or transactional queries.

Learn About Search Intent: Why Mobile PPC Campaigns Are Different
(certifiedknowledge.org)

A good read if you are not getting the same response from your mobile advertising campaigns as you are with desktop campaigns.

As the article explains, mobile device users have different search intent than desktop users.

More specifically, mobile users are looking for action based, local, and mobile optimized information.

Four steps are presented to create a PPC advertising campaign that matches mobile search intent and is optimized for mobile devices.

Search Intent: Session Based Broad & Advanced Location Targeting
(www.ppchero.com)

Presents the concepts of session based broad match queries and advanced location targeting as they relate to search intent.

The article offers tips on how to address irrelevant session based broad matches and to establish campaign settings that will keep ads from displaying that do not match search intent.

Other considerations are discussed to help in making decisions about your PPC advertising based on search intent.

Mining Subtle Query Intent for PPC Conversion
(www.aimclearblog.com)

Provides four ways to recognize and leverage subtle words of intent to select PPC keywords that improve the conversion rate of your advertising campaign.

The objective is not to choose keywords that are relevant to a company’s product or services, but rather to focus on the level of intent of the person searching for what the company sells or provides.

How to Effectively Group PPC Keywords by Purchase Intent
(www.ppchero.com)

This article covers grouping keywords for PPC marketing by purchase intent.

It discusses three stages of keyword grouping by intent: Identifying the different campaigns and ad groups’ organizational levers for establishing your keyword structure; Segmenting keywords by modifiers that show intent; and Creating more specific sub-segmentations within the modifier groups.

By identifying and organizing keywords by purchase intent, you can measure performance according to the stage of the query, target a message to each query stage, and design customized landing pages and offers to specific intents.

Focusing on User Intent with PPC Marketing
(www.writeraccess.com)

Understanding your target market and user intentions will help in ensuring a successful PPC campaign.

This article explains how to decide on which keywords to choose to decipher intent and how to make certain you maintain user intent between keywords, ads, and landing pages.

Paid Search Words Using Personas and Intent
(dabrianmarketing.com)

This article proposes creating personas, rather than keywords, to uncover the person or personality of search engine users and the intent of their searches.

These personas should represent segments of your target audience and reflect how they think and search for a particular product or service.

This process will lead to effective keyword intent and ad copy tailored to the needs and wants of those searching.

A sample matrix is provided, showing two personas and their search intent.

This approach is designed to help develop higher performing keywords, increase user response to your PPC ads, and boost the conversion rate.

Crafting Content with Search Intent in Mind

Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing for Local SEO
(www.rlmseo.com)

A step-by-step guide we wrote on how to create local SEO content that gets ranked high with search engines by using a variety of keywords.

Understanding intent is sometimes all you need to rank local content.

The article explains each step in detail and shows the strategy in action using real examples of before and after campaigns.

Closing the Gap: Optimizing Your Content with Search Intent
(www.reddoor.biz)

A comprehensive presentation that demonstrates how to get in the mind of search engine users and give them what they want by providing the most relevant content.

Using some nice visuals and actual examples, the article provides a good definition of search intent, shows how to conduct a content gap analysis, explains how to use the information from it to develop your content, and outlines how to make search intent work for your business.

3 Mindset Shifts: Get More SEO Out of Your Content Marketing
(searchengineland.com)

Since search engines are no longer looking solely at keywords when returning search results, this article discusses the three areas content marketers need to understand to get the most SEO benefit from their content.

The article discusses the areas of keywords, user intent, and inferred audience interests/persona. It demonstrates how to optimize for intent and prepare for the future of content-based search engine optimization.

Is Your Content Strategy Guided by Audience Intent (or Just Keywords)?
(moz.com)

Answers the question by providing an overview of audience intent and its considerations, as well as the basic requirements of content strategy.

The content strategy examples are helpful in seeing the difference between content based on keywords and content based on giving searchers what they need.

The article has a good take-away to remember: you are creating content for people, not search engines.

SEO Survival Guide: 10 Tips for Content Marketing Success
(www.curata.com)

Marketers looking to create quality content using search engine optimization (SEO) as a content amplification strategy will find this SEO survival guide extremely useful.

It lists the 10 elements, among them transitioning from keyword targeting to user intent, to achieve SEO success with your content marketing campaign.

Understand Your Customer’s Intent to Develop Great Content
(tmn.acronym.com)

This webinar covers the use of various data sources to determine intent behind keywords and develop intent around them to create great content.

How to Give Your Content Marketing Purpose & Punch
(tracks.roojoom.com)

Guidance on how to better understand your audience to create purposeful content is the focus of this article.

It provides a basic understanding of user intent and how it will impact your keyword strategy.

The article also provides guidance and an example to help in developing content that incorporates keywords with user intent.

4 Ways to Evaluate Keyword Intent
(www.komarketingassociates.com)

Outlines the four main ways to evaluate keyword intent so you can choose the right keywords when creating content to match what search engine users are looking for when they search a topic.

Content Marketing, User Intent & How to Rank Higher in Google
(www.thinktraffic.co.uk)

A quick read on understanding user intent by recognizing the purpose of your content, varying your content to rank in a search for different user intents, and how to use Google to help in defining user intent and improving your content marketing results.

Blog Posts Related to Keyword Intent

Your Keyword Research Sucks – Here’s Why
(www.rlmseo.com)

If you’re just taking keywords from the AdWords planner and incorporating them into your website, you’re not using keyword research correctly.

As this post on our blog explains, keyword research should drive content decisions, which is why it must include the intent of the search.

Examples are provided to help you understand how to determine searcher’s intent for your site and its content.

Segmenting Search Intent
(moz.com)

Takes a deeper look into the intent of searches by first segmenting them into navigational, informational, commercial, and transactional queries, and then making determinations about the purpose of the traffic driven by these searches and their value in terms of opportunities they present.

The article shows how to build a keyword research chart to determine the intent of your primary keywords to help in ad placement, content development, and link building.

User Intent: How to Improve Your Keyword & Content Strategy
(www.gravitatedesign.com)

Presents the basics on enhancing keyword strategy and digital marketing campaigns in an effort to create content that matches what searchers want.

The article is broken down into sections that define user intent, explains how to identify user intent, and provides examples of a keyword strategy with user intent.

Keywords Are Dead! Long Live User Intent!
(searchenginewatch.com)

A good resource for businesses trying to align their brand and online presence with customer intent rather than keywords focused on search engine optimization.

Covers mapping queries to value, ways to conduct intent research, and creating content according to user intent and the goals for your brand.

8 Resources to Help You Determine User Search Intent & Types of Searches
(www.skilledup.com)

Presents an overview of searcher intent categories (navigational, informational, transactional, and commercial) and provides resources to help writers develop content for these different user intent stages.

Search Intent – 6 Types That You Should Know
(www.bytefive.com)

A basic tutorial covering the six categories of searches: brand, research search, informational search, navigational search, commercial search, and transactional search.

Tips are offered on how to optimize your pages with a focus on the intent of the search.

How to Use the Keyword Funnel to Understand Searcher Intent
(searchengineland.com)

Discusses the concept of funneling keywords as a solution to having too many keywords to obtain higher relevance to the intent of the searcher.

With keyword funneling, keywords are organized into categories, which are then bundled into a secondary category, or the funnel stage.

The funnel stages match where a customer may be when searching for something. Models of funnels are provided, as well as how to interpret them in relativity to searcher intent.

Keyword Intent – Reach More Searchers by Considering the Intent Behind Your Keywords
(www.wordstream.com)

Covers how to determine the value of keywords for your business by identifying the intent of the searchers, whether they are looking for information, a solution to a problem, browsing, or ready to buy.

Demonstrates how to determine high intent keywords that will drive searchers to your website.

Optimizing for Conversion: A Look at Searcher Intent
(getstat.com)

Shows how to optimize keywords for commercial intent to increase conversions.

Offers eight recommendations to ensure your website, landing page, or ad campaign is being seen by your target audience at the most opportune time.

Why User Intent Is the New Keyword Research (& How to Do It Right)
(www.makeitrainusa.com)

Demonstrates how to optimize your site for user experience.

It explains how traditional keyword research represents the beginning of user intent research.

In addition to keyword research, the article shows how to conduct intent research and uses charts to help you establish your target framework and funnel stages model.

Determining Searcher Intent: A Challenge for Both Marketers and Search Engines
(www.safaribooksonline.com/library/view/the-art-of/9780596809133/ch01s04.html)

This article examines the different types of queries – navigational, informational, and transactional – and uses research findings in giving an overview of their categories, characteristics, and processes.

User Intent – How Consumers Search
(marksprague.wordpress.com/search-behavior/user-intent-how-consumers-search/)

Provides high level context to help with classifying the intent of a person conducting a search engine query.

The article explores query types and hybrid query types. It then breaks down each query into sub-groups to better define what the searcher is trying to find.

The information is a good start in trying to analyze how consumers search for products and information.

See to Say: How Evolving Search Queries Affect SEO Strategy
(relevance.com)

This article looks at the way people search and how it affects content writing, SEO, and messaging.

Topics explored are audience intent, search engine ranking for many keywords and phrases, manipulation of keywords through content, and backlinking.

How to Dissect Your Organic Traffic by Intent and Funnel It Into Sales
(searchengineland.com)

Focuses on how to effectively drive conversions by going beyond analyzing Google Analytics’ numbers and understanding the intent behind the search query.

The article provides steps to better understand query intent, including creating a list of queries, matching the list of queries to potential intent, narrowing the broad query intent list to more specific queries, and then funneling your query segments into sales by creating relevant content, focusing on the user experience, strategically placing calls to action, and using the right SEO keywords.

Use Search Insights to Improve Your Content Marketing Strategy: 4 Steps
(contentmarketinginstitute.com)

Learn how to better the competition by using search insights in your content.

The article presents the value of search insights and provides a step-by-step guide to make search insights work for you.

The steps include identifying keyword phrases to target your audience, determining what your audience cares about, and discovering your audience’s preferences.

B2B SEO Strategy: Targeting Buyer Intent
(www.brainrider.com)

This article shows you how to take the challenge out of targeting B2B buyer intent by analyzing best practices in B2B SEO strategy, lead generation, and marketing content.

Of value is the SEO Success Factors chart showing the content, HTML, architecture, links, trust, social, and personal factors Google uses when delivering search results.

Understanding Searcher Intent: The Forgotten Ingredient in Keyword Research
(shaebaxter.com)

A good presentation that teaches you how to understand or infer searcher intent when conducting keyword research.

As the article explains, it’s all about figuring out why someone is searching a term and incorporating relevant and specific keyword phrases into your site.

When keyword research is done well, it will bring the right people to your website.

BigCommerce SEO Tips: Understand Searcher Intent
(springmerchant.com/bigcommerce/bigcommerce-seo-tips-understand-searcher-intent/)

Learn the difference between a keyword used in a search and the searcher’s intent, as well as the tools available to establish keyword intent for your website.

Topics covered are semantic keyword research and understanding keywords in searcher context.

SEO Keyword Research Tutorial for the B2B Online Marketer
(www.komarketingassociates.com)

In this B2B online marketing blog article directed to B2B SEO marketers, guidance is provided on performing keyword research and determining the decision-making criteria and factors that should be used.

A good definition and overview of keyword research is presented, as well as comprehensive information on key factors in the keyword research process and how to perform keyword research.

If you’re short on time, a slide deck is provided that highlights the main concepts of SEO keyword research.

A list of popular keyword research tools is also provided.

Are Keywords Still Relevant, and How to Use the Right Ones
(www.link-assistant.com)

Despite search engine optimization changes by the major search engines, keywords are still relevant because people use keyword phrases when searching for content. However, choosing the right keywords for your site matters even more when it comes to search ranking.

The article shows you how to discover the right keywords for your online content.

Tips included are listening to your customers, particularly the words they use when referring to your business, identifying keyword intent, using a mix of commercial intent keywords and non-commercial intent keywords, and performing a keyword audit of all your online marketing efforts.

SEO: What Is User Intent?
(www.sanctuarymg.com)

Using pizza as an example, this blog post shows how to approach search engine optimization through user intent.

The presentation includes an overview of semantic understanding of a website’s content and illustrates the difference between creating content with the right keywords and creating content that answers the questions implied by the keywords.

The article provides direction on enhancing your site and content to answer the questions implied by search keywords.

Why Your Keyword Strategy Is Incomplete Without User Intent
(blog.hubspot.com)

This article explains why user intent is the core component of keyword research.

User intent is also essential for providing more value to your site visitors, building trust, improving SEO, and increasing click-throughs and conversions.

The post presents five reasons why user intent is so valuable; it tells you what searchers are looking for; supplies you with keyword suggestions; provides clearer demographics; enables you to create better landing pages; and generates better content strategies.

The information is designed to help you shift from strictly SEO to user experience.

How to Determine the Search Intent of Keywords
(vanderwerker.com)

Demonstrates how to find the right keywords to capture targeted traffic.

The article provides good information for beginners, with basic information on determining search intent followed by simple examples.

The New SEO: It’s About People, Intent, & Meaning
(searchengineland.com)

Really breaks down the psychology of search engines, in particular, Google, and how it makes search results more relevant.

The article points out that technical SEO elements are still important, but you need to shift from business-centric to customer-centric.

As the article points out, think less about keywords and link building and more about your prospective buyers, how they are searching for information (keyword intent), and what they will find on search engines.

How Do You Know a User’s Keyword Intent?
(www.marketmotive.com)

This information from the Market Motive Forums, shows how to use keywords to determine your customers’ intent and then apply this information to craft keyword phrases that help solve your customers’ problems.

The examples help in understanding keyword intent and distinguishing between high context words and low context words.

As you can see, the topic of keyword intent is vast and encompasses quite a few different areas. It requires SEO prowess, the use of some keyword tools, a talent to create good content, and a bit of psychology to anticipate the wants and needs of searchers.

But it’s worth dedicating the time to learn all you can about keyword intent because when you get it right, the rewards are sweet!