When users find your website or blog via organic search, they’re typing in certain keywords or phrases that direct them to your website. Many of them may be general search terms like “wedding rentals Austin,” but some of them may be more specific search terms like “Chiavari wedding chairs Austin.” The latter suggests that the user is in a different stage in wedding planning.
Optimizing your website and blog content for search engines is a great way to boost your rankings, but it’s important to think about user intent. There are generally three reasons users search a given keyword or phrase:
- Informational – User is looking for the answer to a question
- Navigational – User is looking for a pre-determined website or destination
- Transactional – User is looking to make a purchase or complete a given task
It’s certainly important to drive those informational searchers to your website to help aid their research, but it’s also important to drive those transactional searchers to your website as well. Below are a few steps to help you incorporate search intent in your content optimization!
- Think through user intent
Think about the visitors to your website. Why are they visiting your website? Why would they land on a certain page within your website? What questions are they looking to find answers to? Think about the multiple reasons a person would land on your website, and think back to the terms they would be most likely to enter in order to find your website. If they’re searching for information, come up with the terms you think they would enter. If they’re searching to make a purchase decision, come up with those specific terms you think they would enter. If you’re not sure, write down the main categories of your business and the terms associated with each category. You can also double-check the phrases you come up with by searching keyword volume in Google AdWords.
- Optimize existing content
If you’ve never considered search intent in your content optimization, there are likely opportunities in your existing content which you could be missing! Look through your website and landing pages first to identify any missed opportunities. Tweak your content to incorporate more information that will help your web visitors in two ways: Help web visitors find your website to begin with (keywords and phrases) and help web visitors answer the questions they may have (information and testimonials). It’s important to get those users to your website, but once they’re there you’ll need to give them everything they need to make an informed decision. Thinking through user intent will help you bring more visitors to your website and convert more of those visitors into clients.
- Create a plan for going forward
Now that you’ve optimized your existing content, you’ll need to create a process so that you can optimize as you move forward with more web pages or blog posts. Once you start making changes to your website, benchmark your progress to ensure you are optimizing in a way that has an impact on your business. Keep a list of those keywords and phrases you want to incorporate so that you can easily reference them as you go. Most importantly, track your website metrics closely – web visits, page views, time on site, pages/visit, etc. If you don’t see an increase in any or all of those metrics, it may be time to re-visit.
- Re-visit as necessary
As with other search engine optimization strategies, optimizing your content for search intent is not a one-time event. Check every few months to see if your strategy is still on track or if you need to adjust some of the terms you’re using. You may also adjust certain phrases seasonally as necessary – if you notice that many couples in your area typically perform informational searches at the beginning of engagement season and transactional searches towards the end of engagement season, refresh your content to include more of those terms at the appropriate times of the year.
As Google and other search engines become more sophisticated, search engine strategies will have to follow suit! If you really consider the intent of your web visitors when you’re writing and optimizing your online content, you’ll see an overall lift in your web analytics and bookings.