3 min

How to Optimize 3 User Intent Strategies for Increased Engagement

by Emily Oswalt on November 28, 2016

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Since user intent is becoming increasingly important to Google search queries and, well all sites everywhere, we're looking for ways to make it user intent strategies easier to understand and plan for. One of the most useful perspectives is the three types of user intent that online buyers fall into: Let's look at these three types of 'intent' and a brief overview of what types of marketing can help meet these queries.

1. Transactional

This type of user intent is very common in the B2B world. It means that someone is ready to make a purchase or a deal. They are looking for a particular product or, at times, a particular brand to buy. If you want to tap into these kinds of searches, you need to make sure that they find your product and your brand.

Traditional methods often work best here. Solid SEO work will get your product pages the recognition they need, while paid search/social ads can help transactional users immediately find what they are thinking for if they get a little lost.

2. Informational

Here, the user intent isn't to buy something or to make any significant decision, but rather to research possibilities. There are generally two types of informational queries. The first is the prelude to sale – these people intend to buy something, but they want to do a lot of research on the best models, the right brands, and the necessary customization or application. Once they are done, they enter a very quick transactional stage where they make up their minds, and then they make a purchase. The second type of informational intent is more casual: These people aren't looking to make an immediate purchase, they just want to see what the latest news is, or how products are being used, or if there are any new deals or developments.

The good news is that for both types of informational queries, good content is an excellent answer. High quality posts, thought leadership, and informational videos or articles will all meet the needs of informational users. So if you're producing great and regular content (which you should be doing!) you probably have informational content taken care of. Just make sure to stay away from fluff and concentrate on information that your buyers really do want.

3. Navigational

Navigational queries represent all those people who are trying to find a specific location – that can be a website, a business, a park, or anything else. Bottom line: They want to go somewhere. Navigational intent is in an interesting place right now. In some ways, it's dying out thanks to better linking practices and smarter search engines that take people directly where they want to go, or suggest locations before users can even start searching. In other ways, this field is growing more important, especially in the mobile realm and more and more buyers turn to their phones to find local restaurants, attractions, supplies and more.

To meet navigational intent, there are both high level and detailed strategies you can use. On the high level, choose a website name that's easy to remember and will immediately pop up when people are trying to remember your company. Include your company name and logo in all your materials so recognition is through the roof. When it comes to the details, make sure that your local SEO is top notch throughout your site and social media. Nothing helps like local SEO when people are trying to find something nearby!

Using User Intent

Not sure what to make of user intent? Look at your data! Studying your traffic, your customers, and the way they move around the internet can tell you a vast amount of information. WordStream has a useful little article about the signs of specific types of user intent and how you can classify searches more easily. Take a look and start defining your web traffic more accurately!

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Emily Oswalt

As social media manager at 21 Handshake, my passion of social media shines through to bring awareness to your brand. From the latest hashtag trend to engaging influencers, my desire is provide the best content to get your target audience talking online.