SEO for User Intent 101
People want to get answers,
And you know what?
Yes, we search. And we LOVE it.
Actually, it’s more than loving it. Since day 1 of Google, we all got used to search and now, we just can’t stop searching. Google has come a long way and it’s worth checking out our blog on the history of Google to read more.
After one-huge-year at Kubix Digital and working closely with each Kubixer, I can easily say that the Kubix Digital team is the “Robin Hood” in this wild Digital Marketing world. Since the day I’ve started working here and up until today, I witnessed that the users and their intents REALLY matter. This clearly explains why we follow a holistic SEO approach. Just change your approach related to keywords - although search engine optimization is still related to keywords - and use them only for talking to the user. Your focus must always be on users and their intent.
Do you like watching National Geographic Wild? I can spend hours in front of the screen watching it. “What is the point, Irem?” said a young man once to me. Here is the answer:
“Follow the seasons... Follow the scent, or the paths left behind… Follow the rhythms of life... to the greatest events on earth… You might find out, what life is all about… So follow your instincts, to Nat Geo Wild.”
Nature and its guests follow their instincts to stay strong and continue their life. This is the same relationship between our optimizations and user behaviour. We have to follow user intent, just like nature does.
Here are your 5-star-notes so far:
- Keywords are not for SEO. Keywords are for generating reasonable results that are the answers to the user’s search. You can call this user intent, search behavior, user purpose etc.
- Kubix Digital is the Robin Hood of the Digital Marketing industry.
What do we type in the Google search box?
We type what our intent is about.
User intent starts with the search intent that starts when the user types the query in the search box. If you’re the one who wants to make SEO work for your website, do your search engine optimization according to your audience’s intent.
Do they want to buy something or just need to see a clear listing page? It always depends on their intent - you can’t read their minds, but you can consider every single way that the users think. In short: Try to think like a user!
But how should we do it?
What kind of search intent does my website answer?
Are you just doing e-commerce and sell your products? Is your website a travel or an encyclopedic blog? Who are you?
It’s important to define those for your website first.
- The users will search some “Know - Know Simple Queries”. Will you have an answer while the users are visiting your website when they want to know something?
- What are you going to offer when the user comes with a Do or Device Action Query to your website? Spread the engagement over the website or app.
- Website queries. Easy to understand the user intent. Do you agree?
- Do you have an answer to a Visit-in-Person query for your website?
If you are someone that fears when s/he sees a topic which has sub-categories and there are lots of things to be considered, don’t be scared. Yes, there are a few user intent options, but you also are one of these users who searches with different purposes every single day. After you start understanding user intent, you’ll have another strong perspective when you do SEO for your own website or for your clients.
Let’s take Oleg Cassini’s website: https://www.olegcassini.com.tr/
Oleg Cassini is one of the most popular bridal and evening wear brands in the US and Turkey. It is not limited to an e-commerce website only. Let’s take this step by step with Oleg Cassini’s website example and analyze its user’s search intent.
1. Know - Know Simple Query as a User Intent
Know query is for people who want to get an informational result on a topic. To make a long story short, people want to know. The only thing you need to serve these users is giving more details about what they want to know. In case of know simple query, people don’t want to read a long article. They just need one specific and right answer.
Let’s talk about Beyza. She is our family friend’s daughter. I call her a little nut because I saw her first years on this planet and she’s kind of my young sister. Too much unnecessary information, I know. Anyway, she is going to graduate in June 2019 and wants to buy a pretty dress. “Isn't it too early to think about buying a dress for June?” I asked and she answered “No, all of my friends have already bought one and I don’t know what kind of dress I want to wear.”
Here are more of our 5-star-notes:
- All of Beyza’s friends are already done with their graduation shopping. It means they’re already done with their “to-dos-before-dress-shopping” actions.
- There are some people like Beyza who haven’t had any idea of what kind of dress they would buy or where they should buy.
- The bell tolls for Oleg Cassini here.
I asked Beyza if she googled “graduation dresses” and she said “Yes, but I’m still looking for ideas and models.”
While she was searching “graduation dresses” on Google, she was looking for ideas. It means she needed to be directed. The know query which was “graduation dresses” was a broad information query. So we prepared a landing page that based on giving ideas and referring people like Beyza to the graduation dresses options. Color ideas, matching shoes and accessories etc. Also we added CTA buttons which were driving searchers to the related product collections.
Next image is the perfect result if you wonder what know-simple query is. The result is shining bright like a diamond like Rihanna says. The search result gives a simple fact instead of pushing you to read a long article this time.
Anyway, I called her after a few days and asked if she found her dream dress yet. She said “Not yet, but I have an idea at least.” I’ll skip the girlish talking from here, because you wouldn’t want to know.
2. Visit-in-Person Queries and User Location as a User Intent
The point is that she has finally decided the brand and the model but refusing to buy online. So she Googled “brand name + city” for finding a nearby store.
The search result must give a schema like in the following image. She just put the location with the brand name in search box and got the addresses, working hours etc.
What should you do for your website to get this kind of result on Google?
This map view is named “Local 3-Pack” by Google. It appears at the top of Google’s SERP. Google gives the most appropriate businesses with contact details and review information. But first, you need a verified Google My Business profile. So, how are you going to get this?
- Go to https://www.google.com/intl/en/business/ and click “start now” button!
- Give information about your company and wait for Google to send you a postcard with a verification code.
- Head over https://www.google.com/intl/en/business/ after you receive the verification code.
Yes, your listing will be live after these steps, but you still need to optimize your business entry on GMB.
- Fill in the blanks, my friend. Put all present and correct information into the boxes.
- Upload pictures of your business and show them to your users.
- Always give answers and reply your customer reviews.
Here are your 5-star-notes so far:
- There will always be users who don’t want to do online shopping.
- You shouldn’t stop giving answers to their queries on your website.
Say goodbye to Beyza now. Her part is ending here…
3. Do and Device Action Queries as a User Intent
God bless smartphones and their strong batteries! I should confess that I’m kinda addicted to my iPhone and handle everything with it. My “do-queries” start to play on the keyboard like magic if I want to buy a ticket, do a reservation at the hairdresser, or install an app.
Wanna do something from where you sit? It’s enough to engage with a website or app.
I wanted to calculate my rising sign and searched it online.
Get and calculate are my last two do-queries. (You don’t want me to share the others.)
In regard to Do query, Device Action query is about us talking to our phones via Siri etc. Call Justin Timberlake, navigate to Toronto, and set an alarm for 10 am would have been good Device Action queries, right? I think you get the idea. The Devices Action queries have a clear action user intent.
4. Website Queries as a User Intent
Website Queries are relatively easy to understand than other user intent queries. Sometimes we don’t go to the final URL directly, and just put the name of the website through the search box. Well, these actions are named Website queries.
“I don’t have a YouTube app on my phone” said the confessing part of me, again. Sorry but it’s true. I prefer playing music on Spotify when I’m on my mobile. If I want to watch something that I really want to see on YouTube, I just search “youtube” in the search box and visit the website.
I went to my hometown to visit my mother two weeks ago. We were watching a stupid Turkish TV show which was one of her favourites and I realized that my mother was not only watching TV, she was also using her iPad.
I asked if we could change the channel if she wasn’t watching anymore. “I’m listening to the TV show, but I need to search for a recipe.” she said. Then I went over to her and saw that she was typing “Google” into the Google search box. She said “I need to see the homepage of Google while searching” after my confused look. That was a little bit strange, but that doesn’t stop me from loving her, of course.
Even if you don’t know the meaning of SEO, you need to be aware of user intent. Do your optimizations of your website according to user intent and it will bring the users to your website.
Define your website. Know your audience. Think about How People Search!
Focus on satisfying the users with all pieces of content that can be found on your website.
Think mobile-friendly first before every single optimization.
Refer people to the related page and content according to their intent to visit your website.
Follow their path on your website.
So follow your user’s intent … follow your instincts!
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