The Importance of User Intent in Your Content Marketing Strategy
In this digital age where millions of content are being published daily, how is your content going to stand out? In the Philippines alone, 57% of online businesses have a blog to promote their products, making the competition stiffer. Then, there is this study by Moz and BuzzSumo slapping you with the hard truth that majority of content published is simply ignored in terms of shares and links, so what should you make of your content marketing strategy?
Write for your audience.
Yes, it’s one basic but critical advice that we can’t stress enough. The era where you mindlessly write tons of random keyword-stuffed content to please web crawlers has long ended. According to Search Engine Journal, content is no longer king, satisfying user intent is.
With Google’s current algorithms, your website isn’t judged by how much content you are publishing alone; it is also judged by how satisfied visitors are with what they read across your pages. This satisfaction is tied with how your content serves its purpose, and to deliver what your visitors need, you have to understand user intent behind a search query.
What is User Intent?
When a user types or speaks a query, he or she is trying to accomplish something. Google refers to this goal as user intent.
User intent describes what a user looks for when they conduct a search query. It tells you what they are trying to accomplish through the keywords they are using. Are they merely looking for information or do they want to perform an action? User intent lets you understand the context and intention behind those keywords.
There are three main types of intent which Google dubbed as the Do-Know-Go framework:
- Transactional – searches conducted with the intent of performing an action in mind, e.g. buying, downloading, subscribing. Google categorized these as the ‘do’ queries.
- Informational – searches conducted with the intent of gaining specific information, aka Google’s ‘know’ queries.
- Navigational – searches conducted with the intent of locating a specific website. These searches fall under Google’s ‘go’ queries.
But what does this mean for your content? By understanding user intent behind a search query, you can create intent-driven content that resonates with your audience. This enables you to gain not only significant traffic but also to drive more sales and generate more leads.
Incorporating user intent in your content marketing strategy increases your chance of standing out from your competitors in the Philippines, but how do you exactly make it happen?
How to Create Intent-Driven Content
Now that we have defined user intent, it’s time to learn how it can be applied in your content marketing strategy. Here is a 2-step guide to take when creating intent-driven content.
1. Determine the user intent. Knowing the intention behind a search query allows you to know what your audience wants, and therefore what content you should feed them. As previously stated, user intent can be navigational, informational, or transactional. Do they want information or are they aiming to perform an action?
Some keywords are easy to determine while others may be too broad to identify which type of user intent they fall to. For instance, “buy eyeglasses online” is transactional in nature as it signals the intent to buy. Transactional keywords often have prefixes or suffixes such as buy, review, best, free shipping, etc., so it’s hard to miss.
Meanwhile, “how to clean eyeglasses” is informational as it seeks answer to a specific question. Remember that informational keywords are often question words that answer “what,” “how,” “why,” and the likes.
On the other hand, the keyword “eyeglasses” may be too broad that it’s hard to determine the intent of the user. This kind of keywords may have multiple layers of intent in them, so if this is the case, you can do a quick Google search and see what type of contents it will give you. If the top results show transactional, chances are, the user’s intent is transactional.
2. Tailor content with the user intent. Once you have determined whether it’s transactional or informational, the next step is to consider user intent in the content you are making. Since navigational queries are done to locate a specific landing page, we can focus on the two intent that is relevant to your business.
The rule is simple according to Neil Patel: for informational queries, the goal of your content is to nurture and engage your audience. As such, don’t expect them to convert yet. They are merely looking for answers to their questions therefore provide content that will satisfy their needs. Give them informational articles, videos, blog posts, infographics and other types of content that can be of value to them.
For transactional queries, content may revolve around information on how to use your product, what are its features, how it can benefit your audience, how to install it and so on. You can also use CTAs appropriate to your goal since audience with this kind of queries are already on the buying stage and ready to make a purchase.
Create several content and your site is bound to see an increase in traffic. Publish an intent-driven content and you’d attract more qualified prospects from the Philippines, drive more sales and generating more leads because as Content Marketing Institute puts it, content marketing isn’t about the brand, your products, or your services. It’s about your audience and what they care about.