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User Search Intent and Developing an Intent Strategy

Ever wonder why people search online? It's not always to buy something or find a specific website. Even though those things are important too, people go online for many different reasons.

That's where user search intent comes in. It involves understanding the motivations behind someone's search. With this insight, you can create an intent strategy that aligns with their intentions, achieving online visibility.

This guide simplifies user search intent to help you attract the right online customers.

Understanding User Search Intent: The Different Types of Intent 

Understanding user intent is key in SEO. To achieve this, let's explore the different types, how to identify them, and why they matter to your intent strategy.

Knowing the various user intentions can help you create content that hits the mark and attracts online customers. Here are the main types:

Informational Intent 

This is when people go online to find answers to questions or solutions to problems. In fact, over two-thirds of internet users worldwide in 2024 rely on the web to find information. They might be curious about how to do something or want to learn more about a topic.

For example, someone might search for "how to fix a leaky faucet" or "best tips for gardening." If you're a plumber or a gardening expert, creating informative content around these topics could draw in potential customers seeking advice.

Navigational Intent 

Ever needed to find a specific website or page quickly? That's navigational intent. People use it when they're looking for a particular website or brand.

For instance, someone might search for "Nike shoes official website" or "Walmart hours today." If you have a business with a website, optimising your content to show up when people search for your brand or services can help them find you faster.

Transactional Intent 

This is when someone's ready to make a move like buying a product or signing up for a service. They're not just browsing - they're on a mission to take action.

Think of searches like "buy iPhone 14 Pro Max" or "book flight to Paris."

As a small business owner, optimising your website for transactional keywords related to your products or services can help capture those ready-to-buy customers.

Commercial Investigation Intent 

Ever window-shopped online? That's commercial investigation intent in action. It's when people are researching products or services before they buy.

They're comparing options, reading reviews, and gathering information to make an informed decision.

Searches like "best restaurants in London" or "top-rated laptops 2024" fall into this category. To attract these potential customers, consider creating content that provides helpful comparisons, reviews, or guides related to your industry.

How to Identify User Search Intent 

Identifying user search intent sets the foundation for creating content that resonates with your audience and addresses their needs. Here are some practical ways to achieve it:

Performing Keyword Research 

Conduct keyword research to uncover the specific phrases and terms that users are typing into search engines. Look for keywords that align with your business or industry and analyse competitor keywords.

Pay attention to the language and context of the keywords. This is essential for inferring the users' intent behind each search query.

Analysing Search Queries

Take a closer look at the search queries that users are using to find your website or related content. Look for patterns and common themes in the search queries. This will help you understand what users are looking for and why.

Observe the types of questions they're asking and the language they're using to describe their needs.

Reviewing SERP Features 

Examine search engine results pages (SERPs) for your target keywords to see what types of content are on the first page of search engines. Watch out for features like:

  • Featured snippets
  • Knowledge panels
  • Related questions

This will help you understand the types of content that are satisfying user search intent. Analysing content that ranks well can provide insights into the user's intent and preferences.

Monitoring Social Media 

Keep an eye on social media platforms to see what topics and questions are trending among your target audience. Look for discussions, comments, and hashtags related to your industry or niche. Identify common pain points, interests, and questions.

Social media can provide valuable insights into the conversations happening within your target market. This can help you understand their search intent.

Engaging with Your Audience 

Interact with your audience through comments, reviews, and feedback channels to gain insights into their needs and preferences. Encourage them to ask questions and provide feedback on your content and offerings. By listening to your audience and addressing their concerns, you can better understand their search intent.

Why User Search Intent Matters for Small Businesses 

Understanding user intent and crafting targeted content can improve your business in many ways. Here are a few essential benefits:


Understanding user search intent allows you to create content that is relevant to what your target audience is looking for. By aligning content with user intent, you can attract qualified leads who are more likely to engage with your offerings.


Search engines display the most relevant results related to what users are searching for. Tailoring SEO-friendly content to match user search intent increases your chances of appearing in SERPs for relevant queries. This can attract more organic traffic to your website.


Meeting user search intent with valuable and relevant content enhances user engagement. When users find content that addresses their needs, they are more likely to spend time on the website. This increases the chances of user engagement with your business.

Competitive Advantage 

Small businesses that leverage user search intent can gain a competitive advantage in their niche or industry. By better understanding their target audience, they can create standout content that eclipses competitors. This can drive customer acquisition and retention.


Small businesses can't compete with larger, established companies on budget alone. In fact, many are looking to the UK government for increased access to financing options such as grants and low-interest loans.

Meanwhile, user search intent can help them win on relevance. By understanding user search intent and creating targeted content, you can achieve better results with fewer resources.

Developing an Intent Strategy 

Creating an effective user intent strategy involves several steps. Although these may vary slightly depending on your specific business goals, here's a breakdown of the key actions involved:

Understanding Your Audience 

Start by gaining a deep understanding of your target audience. This includes focusing on their demographics, interests, preferences, and pain points.

Conduct market research, analyse customer data, and create buyer personas to identify who your ideal customers are and what they're looking for online.

Identifying User Search Intent 

Use keyword research, analyse search queries, and review SERP features to identify your target market's different types of user search intent. Understand the motivations and goals behind each type of intent. Tailor your content and offerings accordingly.

Creating Relevant Content 

Produce high-quality, relevant content that aligns with the various types of user search intent identified in your research. Focus on:

  • Providing valuable information
  • Answering common questions
  • Addressing customer needs and pain points

Consider creating a mix of content formats, including blog posts, videos, infographics, and guides. This is a fantastic way to appeal to different preferences and learning styles.

Optimising for Search Engines 

Optimise your content for search engines. This enhances visibility and drives more organic traffic. You can do this by:

  • Incorporating relevant keywords
  • Optimising meta tags and descriptions
  • Structuring your content for readability and user experience

Pay attention to on-page SEO elements such as headings, subheadings, and internal linking. This is crucial for improving visibility and rankings in SERPs.

Providing a Seamless User Experience 

Optimise your website to ensure a great user experience. It should load quickly and be easy to navigate. Also, make sure it is mobile-friendly to reach a wider audience.

Have clear calls-to-action (CTAs) and intuitive navigation paths to allow a smooth conversion process. A seamless user experience enhances engagement and encourages visitors to explore further and take the desired action.

Tracking and Measuring Performance 

Performance tracking is a crucial aspect of any intent strategy. Monitor the performance of your strategy using web analytics tools such as Google Analytics. Keep tabs on key metrics like:

  • Website traffic
  • Social media engagement
  • Conversion rates
  • Keyword rankings

Use this data to assess the effectiveness of your strategy. Identify areas for improvement and refine your approach over time.

Iterating and Improving 

The best intent strategies are constantly evolving. Continuously review and refine your intent strategy based on:

  • Feedback from users
  • Changes in search engine algorithms
  • Shifts in market trends

You may experiment with different content formats, keywords, and messaging to see what resonates best with your audience. This will help you stay ahead of the competition and continue to drive success online.

Get Expert Help With Your SEO Goals 

An effective intent strategy matters for small businesses because it enables them to connect with the right audience in meaningful ways. However, a one-size-fits-all approach won't work. Every business is unique, and its online marketing needs are too.

At BrisTechTonic, we understand that every business is unique. That's why we craft customised SEO strategies to fit your specific needs and goals. Plus, our flexible SEO packages cater to a range of budgets, ensuring you get the perfect fit for your company's growth.

Don't hesitate to get in touch with us to discuss your SEO goals.