Search engines are looking to provide answers to user questions and queries as quickly as possible. The more relevant your content is to the query, the more prominently your website will be featured. When creating your digital marketing campaign, a focus on user intent should be a top priority.
For on-page content, blog posts, and all written content on the web, your goal is to compel users to take action. This is done through engaging, well-written copy that is helpful to the users.
Each and every piece of content that you create, you must know what you’re trying to help online users achieve. Are you creating an infographic with steps to take for a particular action? Are you creating an optimized landing page in order to drive a visitor to a conversion? What pain points are you looking to address? Is your video intended to provide additional value?
Make sure you understand intent for your buyer persona for every piece of content created.
What to Ask Yourself When Creating Content
As I just mentioned, every piece of content should have the user’s intent in mind. The search engines are continually working to connect each query with relevant results. As we’re searching differently than we ever have before (i.e. voice search, long-tail questions), there are many queries that haven’t been searched ever before.
Keep in mind not every piece of content should be promotional or looking to drive a sale. There are three separate and distinct ways people search.
- Transactional Search
- Informational Search
- Navigational Search
This gives you an indication of how you’re visitors are searching and what their intent is. Are they looking to buy something? Wanting to learn more about a particular subject? Looking for research purposes? Understanding the type of search will help you draft and publish the right type of content for your audience.
Keyword research remains a key component to any SEO campaign. Creating content around relevant keywords, using semantics, and implementing quality copy, helps meet the intent of your users.
Keyword Research for Semantic Queries
For paid search campaigns, we have an “exact match” type of keyword, which displays your ad when a searcher types in an exact query. For organic SEO and user intent, queries often change and you can’t rely on exact match.
That’s why we target similar terms to the same piece of content.
Integrating semantic search terms within your content helps your material become more valuable for the reader and enriches your overall authority. By using semantic keywords, you avoid having to repeat a core phrase many times throughout the content, which can produce a harmful effect on the reader’s experience.
The benefits of semantic keywords to match user intent include:
- Various Phrases Used That Are Directly Related to Your Keyword
- Delivers Better, More Relevant Results to Your Clients
- Helping Google Better Understand What Your Content is About
As Google crawls the page, they will get a deeper understanding of your message and the type of user you’re trying to reach.
With the way Google is learning, semantics take the browsing history and similar search experiences for logged in users into account to determine whether your content will match their intent.
To understand what semantic keywords can work for your piece of content, look at a few areas. The “People Also Ask” box, as well as autocomplete functions and Quora, can give insight into what users are asking and searching for based on the keyword you’re targeting.
Become Your Audience
Think in the way your audience thinks. One of the best ways to improve the way you meet your user’s intent is to step into your buyer persona and become your audience.
Does your content answer the user’s question? Are you providing a great user experience with the look and feel of the landing page? Does the page load quickly? Can users navigate easily?
If you’re able to provide the best experience, you’ll retain customers, see the average time on page increase, and they’ll be more likely to navigate through to additional pages on your site.
Make sure you’re delivering what your users want.
On Content Marketing Institute, Julia McCoy made a great point about a mobile responsive design. As you become your audience and think about the ways they’re searching, also think about where they’re searching and the device they’re using. McCoy said that mobile users should have as positive an experience viewing your page as desktop users
Keep RankBrain in Mind
RankBrain is Google’s artificial intelligence update that provides results based on the searchers intent. Google now optimizes content for traditional search and voice search, and it’s the job of “RankBrain” to correlate search to intent and deliver the best results.
The purpose of RankBrain is to determine complex queries and find the pages that closely correlate to a given query. It has become the third most important ranking factor, and you need to keep this in mind when you’re creating content.
Stay away from using very specific keywords, and focus on naturally using long-tail phrases to help make it easier for users to find your content. This goes along with semantic search, and the two should be thought of similarly.
Embrace machine learning. The more you focus on the intent of your users, the easier it will be to develop content that is tailored for machine learning.
Getting Started With User Intent Content
Want to boost your rankings and get found for queries that can drive conversions to your business? Focus your content on the search intent of your users. Maximize the ways they can find you online and be sure to provide value.
Not every piece of content should be selling something, but explaining and informing. This a great way to increase loyalty and spread awareness for your brand.
When you’re asking yourself the right questions, researching and optimizing for semantic terms as well as your targeted terms, and placing yourself into the buyer persona, you’re on the right track.
You’ll provide value, boost your rankings in the search results, and help more users find your content. With every piece of content you create, maintain your focus on user intent for more traffic and better results.