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Understanding User Intent To Craft Helpful Content

    Reposition Services UK
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    By Dev
    November 9, 2023
    ~ 3 minutes to read

    User + Search Intent = Helpful Content

    Creating helpful content that resonates with users starts with understanding their search intent. When users enter a search query, they have a specific need or intent they want to fulfil.

    Understanding that user intent is key to providing the right information in your content to address their needs.

    There are three main types of search intent:

    Navigational Intent

    The user wants to directly reach a particular website or webpage. For example, searching for “Facebook” or “BBC News”.

    Tips for creating content:

    • Focus on optimising pages for branded keyword searches related to your business, products or services.
    • Make sure key landing pages are easy to find in search results.
    • Include clear page titles and metadata descriptions so search engines understand the purpose of each page.

    Informational Intent

    The user wants to find information about a topic. For example, searching for “how to bake a cake” or “symptoms of flu”.

    Tips for creating content:

    • Provide comprehensive information in an easy-to-scan format like lists, tables or FAQs.
    • Include keywords and questions users are likely searching for in headings and subheadings.
    • Link to authoritative sources and references where relevant.
    • Create visual guides like infographics and videos for complex topics.

    Transactional Intent

    The user wants to complete an action or transaction. For example, searching for “buy plane tickets” or “download software”.

    Tips for creating content:

    • Focus on action-oriented keywords and make calls-to-action prominent.
    • Highlight steps users need to take to complete a transaction.
    • Remove friction and distractions – ensure the path to conversion is straightforward.
    • Reassure users their needs are understood and will be met.

    Understanding the search intent behind queries allows you to create content tailored to what users are looking for. Here are some examples of matching content to search intent:

    Query: best restaurants in London

    Intent: Informational

    Helpful content: A blog post or guide reviewing and recommending top restaurants in London, with information on cuisine, price range, location and ambience.

    Include photos and structured information like opening hours and address.

    Query: order flowers online

    Intent: Transactional

    Helpful content: Page listing flower delivery services with direct links to order.

    Include information on bouquet types, pricing, delivery timelines and ordering process. Highlight the security and convenience of online ordering.

    Query: example cover letter for job application

    Intent: Informational

    Helpful content: A sample cover letter with clear section headings and explanatory notes on what to include in each section. Provide additional templates and tips for customising letters.

    Query: check my bank balance

    Intent: Navigational

    Helpful content: Ensure site navigation makes it easy to find and access the account login page directly from search results. Use clear page titles and descriptions.

    Best Practices for Matching Content to Intent

    Here are some top tips for creating content tailored to search intent:

    User Intent

    Conduct keyword research – Identify high-volume queries around topics related to your business and categorise them by informational, navigational and transactional intent.

    Analyse user behaviour – Look at search queries to your site and how users interact with pages to understand their intent. Which queries lead to conversions vs. exit pages?

    Craft titles and headlines for intent – Use questions, action words and emotional language suited to the user intent. E.g. “How to cook pasta in 5 easy steps” or “The 10 best hotels in Maldives”.

    Structure content appropriately – Listicles and FAQs for informational queries. Clear conversion paths for transactional. Links to key pages for navigation.

    Write conversationally – Use natural language suited to speaking directly to the searcher. Focus on being helpful and answering their query.

    Optimise for on-page SEO – Include keywords related to user intent throughout the content as well as in titles, headers, and image names.

    Provide visual aids – Images, charts and videos help with informational queries. Screenshots and demo videos assist transactional.

    Link to authority sources – Reference authoritative sites and sources to reassure informational searchers.

    Simplify calls to action – Remove unnecessary steps for transactional queries. Make signing up or purchasing seamless.

    Test and iterate – Monitor engagement metrics. Refine content based on user intent.

    Matching content to search intent ensures you provide users with the right information at the right stage of their journey.

    By directly addressing the intent behind queries, your content will more effectively attract searchers, satisfy information needs and convert visitors into customers.

    User search journeys and business goals converge when you make intent your North Star for content creation.

    Conclusion – User Intent For Helpful Content

    Understanding user intent is key to creating helpful content that delivers value.

    By taking the time to analyse search queries, study user behaviour, and tailor your content to match their needs, you’ll provide helpful information that aids users at different stages of their journey.

    This not only boosts satisfaction and engagement but also enables you to drive conversions by moving users along the path to purchase.

    With some strategic intent-based content planning and optimisation, you can craft content to directly address the “why” behind user queries is the formula for search success.

    When content matches the informational, navigational and transactional intent of searches, it becomes a magnet for attracting the right audiences and moving them towards meaningful action.

    In the quest to satisfy search intent lies the intersection between creating user delight and reaching business goals.