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SEO 30 min read September 14, 2022

How to Improve Your Conversion Rate by Maximizing Search Intent

How to Improve Your Conversion Rate by Maximizing Search Intent
How to Improve Your Conversion Rate by Maximizing Search Intent
David Campbell
David Campbell
Digital Marketing Specialist at Ramp Ventures
The goal of every business is to generate conversions. If you can be visible from the time a user searches their problem to the time they make a decision on what product to purchase through your content, you can reach that goal.

But for you to be visible in the first place, your content must be crafted the right way. It should be optimized for search intent.

In this article, we’ll discuss how you can improve your conversion rate by maximizing search intent.
The following experts from our Twitter Chat will contribute their comments to today's article:
  • Gabe Gayhart
    Digital Marketer & SEO
    at Bruce Clay
  • Debi Norton
    Internet Strategy Consultant & Founder of BRAVO
  • Jonas Sickler
    SEO Manager at Terakeet
  • Marco Giordano
    SEO & Web Analyst at Sika

Four Different Forms of Search Intent

There are four forms of search intent you need to know. Each of these will tell you at which stage of the sales funnel your prospect is. Here’s a brief overview of each:

Online users use informational search queries to scour the web for information. So, questions such as “How big is Noah’s Ark?”. “What’s the fastest land animal?” would fall under this category.
Google Search Bar Autocomplete
In the case of consumers (and businesses), they typically search for solutions to their problems. They can ask specific questions such as “How to get rid of coffee stains from the carpet?” or make general queries like “digital marketing tips.”

Informational search queries can be done one after the other. A user can obtain information from their first wave of informational searches. Then, with that new information, they can perform a new wave of informational searches.
Digital Marketing Tips
We can talk about how you can use this to your advantage later on.

Users perform commercial searches to look for different service providers for a product/service.
Google Search Bar: Autocomplete
Some examples of commercial searches are “coffee shops near me,” “best laptops to buy for under $500,” and “free CRMs for small businesses.”

In the case of a B2B client who’s in the market for a CRM solution, they could perform a search for “free CRMs,” “budget CRMs,” or “top CRMs for small businesses.”
Commercial search intent: CRMs for small businesses
With various options lined up in front of them at this stage, the potential client is now a step closer to making a purchasing decision.

When you know about a brand but don’t know its exact domain, you’d likely perform a search for the brand name to look for its website.
Navigational Search Intent that leads to the brand's website
The results a user would likely get from navigational searches are:

  1. The business domain;
  2. The business’ various social media platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook pages;
  3. A combination of those previously mentioned.

For example, a B2B client looking for CRM software comes across an option that fits their budget. They learned about this option when they scrolled down a top 10 CRMs list. They now search for the mentioned brand name, leading them to that chosen CRM’s webpage.

Navigational intent searches are typically performed by those already aware of your brand. The traffic coming from these search queries is an aware audience who is likely to convert.

Transactional intent searches are performed by those willing to convert.
These searches lead the user to a conversion action, such as a purchase, a lead magnet download, a sign-up for a free trial, or a registration for a free webinar.
Transactional Search Intent that leads to a brand's pricing plans
When people perform transactional searches of your brand, they have already decided to make a purchase of your product or service.

Now that you know these four categories of search terms, the question is, how are they relevant to improving your conversion rate?
Serpstat team:
Sometimes Google will rewrite a well-formed query in order for the search engine to understand user intent. How do you observe Google's index behavior to determine a Users intent?
Debi Norton:

(Founder of BRAVO)
One of the million patents G holds is one related to the SERP. Where the Engine pulls the KW & User Intent, based on the KW (and AI Tech) & queries together to serve up the Best SERP that represents the User Intention.

At least that's how I kinda understand it.
Serpstat team
Do you use any natural language processing tools or semantic analysis to optimize for info that is related to the page topical entities?
Debi Norton

(Founder of BRAVO)
We copywrite using Natural Language Processing (NLP) & related terms to optimize web pages.

How to Make Your Content Search Intent-Friendly

As a business looking to improve its conversion rates, your content should appeal to every type of search intent. In other words, it should be search intent-friendly. The goal, after all, is for your content to show up in search engine results pages regardless of the search intent of the user. You’d want to mediate your prospects with content as they go about their research phase and, ultimately, their decision phase.

The more visible you are to users, the more likely they will convert.

How do you make your content search intent-friendly? Follow these steps:

Select relevant keywords

The first rule in keyword research: Have an initial idea of what keywords you’d want to rank for. So, if you’re selling CRM, you might want to rank for the keywords “CRM,” “Digital Marketing Software,” and “Sales Software.”

Create a list of these base keywords. When you know these keywords, you can get an idea of your ideal search queries. Your list of search queries will give you an extensive list of topics to write about.

There are many ways you can search for the keywords you can rank for.
Use Google Autocomplete

This method doesn’t require any keyword research tool. Simply input a keyword on Google. Google will give you suggested search queries revolving around that word. Take note of these suggestions.
Checkout page
While this method of acquiring search terms won’t cost you anything, the downside is that the resulting queries you end up listing down are limited to the phrases you can think of. You also won’t get critical data such as monthly search volume and search term competitiveness that can help you in content creation later on.
Look at the other websites that rank on page one for a query to understand what users want.

Are they about learning, doing, or buying? Sometimes there's mixed intent, so you can choose how to craft the content based on your content strategy.
Jonas Sickler
Jonas Sickler
SEO Manager at Terakeet
Use A Keyword Research Tool

A keyword research tool fetches all search terms containing your set keywords. The software compiles all the results and includes critical data, such as:

  • search volume, which is the number of times a phrase is searched for within a given period;
  • cost per click, which is the cost of using the Pay-Per-Click model to advertise in the SERPs of that specific query;
  • return rate, which is the average number of times a user searches for the same term again within 30 days, and many more.
A keyword research tool will also allow you to narrow down the list based on your determined criteria.
Serpstat Keyword Research Tool: Keyword Selection report
Serpstat Keyword Research Tool: Keyword Selection report
So, for example, you can specify that you only want to see search queries with less than 10,000 monthly searches. Keyword research tools show you the competitiveness of any given query. There are two types of search queries:

Short-tail queries tend to be more general, making it harder to compete for ranking on these queries (i.e., digital marketing tips).

On the other hand, long-tail queries are more specific and less competitive, making it easier to competitively rank for these queries (i.e., how to create a social media campaign for under $100?). Long-tail queries are also higher-converting since they are more specific in addressing problems.

In Serpstat Keyword Research, you can generate a list of long-tail keywords. To do this, click on the filter button, and set the "Number of words in a keyword" to "greater than" three, or "between" three to five, etc.
Serpstat Keyword Research Tool: Keyword Selection report. Setting filters to only include long-tail keywords (containing more than three words)
Serpstat Keyword Research Tool: Keyword Selection report
Want to make the most out of the Serpstat Keyword Research tool for your website?
Click the button below, sign up and get a free 7-day trial!
Serpstat team: 
Sometimes Google will rewrite a well-formed query in order for the search engine to understand user intent. How do you observe Google's index behavior to determine a Users intent?
Gabe Gayhart:

(Digital Marketer & SEO at Bruce Clay)
In 2020 @bill_slawski revealed a patent that essentially longer tail questions and queries support broader thematic pages. This reveals that Bill shared showed that the GOOGLE patent said a "WELL-FORMED" Query is what helps the search engine understand the Intent of the User.
We’ll discuss why you want to target less competitive search terms later.

Pick your method of searching for relevant keywords. Of the two, of course, the best way is the second method, since manual work takes up a lot of your time. Automated tools can make your life easier.

Examine the results of related searches

Once you have selected your keywords, assess the kind of content that appears for these search terms. Your goal here is to determine the type of content you need to create to rank for these keywords. Just take a look at the top 1 and 2 content in SERPs to get an idea.

There are certain elements you need to look at when analyzing these ranking results. Do the following in your analysis:
Analyze the titles

Write your titles well, and you’ll likely rank higher than those that just ignore the titles of their blog posts. Besides, you want to give potential customers a good impression. The titles are the first things that people see when reading your blog posts since they usually come in bigger font.
Google Search Results For Email Marketing Software
Look at the meta descriptions of these ranking results, too. You’ll need to optimize your page’s metadata from this information (more about metadata later in this article).
Check the headers

Headers help search engines understand what the text underneath them is about. So, in creating your content, later on, you’d need to place the necessary keywords in the headers of your content. Looking at how the top results in SERPs use their headers can give you an idea of what to write. You may then formulate your own outline from these outlines later.
Look at domain rating

The higher the domain rating (DR) of the domain's ranking in the first SERP, the harder it will be to compete for that query.

This is because Google prioritizes domains with a higher DR. A DR basically tells you how authoritative a website is. The DR is calculated based on its backlink profile.

You can check any website's Domain Authority (SDR) and backlink profile in the Serpstat Backlink Analysis tool:
Checkout page
Just on a side note, if you’re not too confident about your DR, we suggest:

1. Guest posting for a content website with a high domain rank. More on guest posting later.

How To Submit A Guest Post To The Serpstat Blog?

2. Ranking for search queries where there aren’t many high DR sites ranking on the SERP.

Analyze your competitors

Don’t just look at the results in SERPs given a specific search query. If you have a direct competitor in mind, you can input their domain into various keyword research tools. These tools will fetch the keywords your competitor’s domain ranks for. This is one of the many ways you can perform a competitor analysis.

If you don’t know who your competitors are, you may use keyword research and SEO tools, such as Serpstat. These tools determine your competitors based on the domains targeting your desired keywords, domains with relatively the same traffic as you have, or whatever baseline the tool sees fit.
Checkout page
Serpstat Domain Analysis → SEO Research → Competitors report
Once you have your list of competitors, you’d want to note critical information you can use in creating your content. Any keyword research software can provide this relevant information.

  • Search traffic;
  • Backlinks;
  • Referring domains/DR;
  • Keywords they’re ranking for.

Having an overview of the above data from your competitors will establish a baseline for you. It will give you an idea of how you should be performing to stay ahead of the competition.

Don’t just look at your competitor’s profile. Look at its content, too. Read through a few pieces of your competitor’s content. Assess how they flow from a website visitor’s perspective.

You’d want to take note of the following as well:

  • What headers do they use?
  • How many words are on their blog?
  • How many images do they use?
Having this information will give you insight into how you should produce your content.

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Produce optimized content

Now that you have your keywords and the queries you want to rank for, plus other relevant information, it’s time to write content optimized for these search queries.

Use the necessary keywords you chose to rank higher for relevant search terms. You can do that by using an SEO writing tool. These tools also give you suggestions on what other keywords to include in your content. They help you keep track of how many times you’ve used the keywords. This software also gives suggestions on how many headers, paragraphs, and images your content should contain.

SEO Writing For Newbies: How To Attract Readers And Search Engines

Never stuff keywords into your blog article. Be mindful of keyword density. Your content should still read naturally. Google may penalize you if you overuse keywords.

Also, write for people, not just the ranking algorithm. You may use a grammar tool like Grammarly to give the finishing touches to your content. Make sure you’re avoiding buzzwords, too. Don’t use the phrases “groundbreaking SEO software” or “B2B solution that disrupts the market.” You’ll just come off as pretentious. You also won’t add value to your content.

It’s not just your writing that you should optimize. You should also look at your images, page load speed, and metadata. Those are things Google also looks at. So, you need to follow these tips:
Place engaging media on your blog post or landing page. If you give readers a visual representation of your content, they are more likely to engage with your content. People love visuals. They make ideas easier to understand.
Checkout page
title [Source]
I use Fancy writing tools like Surfer SEO to create my content. It has all that good stuff in mind and creates a content guideline around what I want to rank for in the search engines.
Joey Trend
Joey Trend
Co-Founder at Hum JAM
The result? Well, Google will notice a longer linger time on your site. You’ll therefore likely rank higher in SERPs.

Increase your load speed. Google gives importance to web pages that are quick to load. Google prioritizes the user experience in ranking. A slow or unresponsive page is a negative ranking factor that will affect your visibility in the SERPs.

Optimize your metadata: Your metadata determines what appears in front of users as they scroll through the SERPs. If your metadata isn’t engaging or enticing, you wouldn’t get a decent click-through rate, even if you’re the #1 ranking for a query.
To detect the issues with the page load speed, metatags, and other on-site issues that harm your website's SERP rankings, you should regularly conduct thorough site audits.
Serpstat Site Audit: Summary
Serpstat Site Audit: Summary
Your meta tags should include the following:

  • the keywords you’re aiming to rank for;
  • general information about the page;
  • the business name.
These pieces of information will provide the user with enough data about what the page may contain if they click. Make sure your meta tag is engaging enough for them to click through.

The meta description isn’t as frequently read as the title tag, but it should still provide users with ample information.

Your meta description shouldn’t be stuffed with keywords. Rather, elaborate on how your page relates to that keyword. Does your page provide tips around that keyword (i.e., a list of digital marketing best practices that small businesses should observe)?

Does your page sell X, which is that keyword (i.e., buy the longest-lasting wireless mouse on the market right now)?

Be short and brief. You should follow the ideal meta description length.

But one post isn’t enough. You’d want to create optimized content for each type of search intent.
Here’s how you can do that.

Informational intent:

Informational queries often come in the form of questions. Informational keywords include “what,” “who,” “why,” “where,” “when,” and “how,” in addition to relevant keywords.

Produce content for general, high search volume (competitive) queries. Also, create pieces for specific, low search volume (less competitive) queries.

Your high search volume blogs should contain keywords that can push the reader to search for more specific, low-volume queries. Website traffic from low-volume keywords may be less, but this is traffic that is more likely to convert.
Highly competitive and less competitive search term
So, for instance, an informational blog on how to dress better may mention the importance of watches. A blog post on watch styling tips may then mention the importance of mechanical watches.

From simply being interested in leveling up their style, the user now has an acquired interest in mechanical watches and performs a search on mechanical watches. This mechanical watch niche is a more specific market.

Another example would be a marketer searching for “email marketing tips,” and then seeing the importance of sending recurring emails. After that, they search for guides on creating a follow-up email.

When the user sees lower volume search terms in a post, they can use these to perform other queries. The more they do this, the more they become part of a more specific niche, which makes it easier for you to convert them.

Commercial intent:

Commercial intent keywords include adjectives such as “best,” “top,” and “most affordable.” These are in addition to the relevant keywords for your business. The types of content optimized for this intent include top 10 lists, product comparisons, and product reviews. Create these types of content for commercial intent.
It’s important to note that prospects who research their solutions aren’t easily swayed by a blog post that places its own product on the #1 spot. They’ll cross-reference that claim with other articles.

For commercial search intent, you should leverage both your blog and third-party articles.

You can ask to be featured or mentioned in third-party articles. You can have a website try out your product, for example.

Furthermore, you may also guest blog. Guest blogging is the process of writing as a guest author for a third-party site—typically one with a significantly higher DR than yours. Reach out to these websites and make your pitch for collaboration via email. Just make sure you use an email checker before sending to ensure your emails reach the intended recipients. You can create listicles that feature your product for the website, which also needs content.

Another benefit of guest blogging is that you can include a link in that other website’s article to your chosen URL. By building backlinks to your website through guest blogging, you also improve your website’s DR. This process positively affects your ranking on SERPs.

The point is, that you touch base multiple times with researching consumers if you’re mentioned on multiple websites. So, when they make a commercial intent query, you can appear in SERPs.

Navigational intent:

Leads and prospects that already know about your brand will likely already search for your brand name.
Navigational Search Query: Searching for the brand's website
Your website should appear as the #1 result for navigational search intent on your brand. That’s the only navigational keyword you should be concerned with in producing content. Doing this shouldn’t be hard if you have your brand name all over your domain.

Transactional intent:

Transactional keywords include “buy,” “order,” “purchase,” “plans,” etc., in addition to the relevant keywords for your business. Create product pages since this is content that is optimized for these keywords.
Checkout page
title [Source]
It’s important to note that there would be two types of traffic coming in with transactional intent:

  • An audience that knows about your brand and is looking to purchase from your brand;
  • An audience that knows about a specific service/product but isn’t necessarily aware of your brand.

The second type of audience is considered to have commercial/transactional intent. This audience is in the market for a product but is ready to make a purchase then and there. Some common examples of this audience are those browsing through Amazon. Or, those who search Google for “buy + *product type*” (i.e., buy a wireless mouse).

You can optimize for the second type of audience by including keywords for the service or product you’re selling. Don’t just insert the model name. If you’re running a promo, it helps to include the discount on your copy (i.e., Shop Wireless Mice, 50% Off).

Once you have the content optimized for all four search intent types, your content strategy can help you convert your audience since your content will act as a marketing funnel.

7 Tips For Creating Content That Converts

After you’ve generated interest through your informational intent blogs, your commercial blog posts will attract your target audience to your brand. Your navigational content will push your brand-aware audience to learn more about you. Finally, transactional content makes it easier for them to buy from you.
Serpstat team:
Do you use any natural language processing tools or semantic analysis to optimize for info that is related to the page topical entities?
Marco Giordano:

(SEO & Web Analyst at Sika)
I use Google NLP API and some custom scripts or other libraries to analyze keywords in bulk and cluster them. You can copy and paste a lot of them and change some lines, it's easier than you think!

Some other tools are already available as free Streamlit apps, so you don't even have to code!

Review the results

After all that, it’s time to see if your SEO efforts have yielded the expected results.

Here are some of the things you should measure when it comes to your website:
  • DR: Have you built (or earned) enough backlinks for your DR to improve?
  • Target keywords: Are you ranking for the relevant keywords you’ve indicated in your keyword plan? You will know what queries you’re ranking for using Google Search Console.
  • Organic traffic: Is there increased traffic to your site due to organic searches?
  • Ranking: What position does your website rank for your select keywords? Keyword research tools will help you determine this metric.
These are some of the most direct metrics you should look at when it comes to your online search performance.

There are other metrics you should consider. For instance, bounce rate is also an important metric. Your page may be ranking. But is your content engaging enough for people to stay and linger?

Purchases are also a critical factor. You need to see if your sales actually went up due to higher content engagement. Look at your conversions as well. Have more people downloaded your lead magnet, applied for a free trial, etc.?

You can have other metrics. These will ultimately depend on your marketing and business goals.
Serpstat team:
How do you determine the most relevant edge relationship within a group of pages that share in topical relevancy, when creating your internal linking strategy?
Jonas Sickler:

(SEO Manager at Terakeet)
Think about the user and the intent of the internal link.

Link to relevant pages where it makes the most sense for readers and is topically relevant within the page. Also, use keywords in the anchor you want your target page to rank for.

Furthermore, map out your topic cluster in advance, and assign ideal anchor text variations to each URL for internal links.

Don't link to different pages with the same anchor. And think of internal links like wires in a house. 

Wrapping Up

Improving your conversion rate, in a nutshell, boils down to knowing the four primary types of search intent and creating content. Online users have informational search intent when they seek information, commercial intent when they seek the best brand within a given category and navigational intent when they look for that brand’s website. They have transactional intent when they search with the aim of conversion.

The key is to optimize your content so that you appear for each of these types of search intent.

Select the keywords most relevant to your business. Examine the search results for queries containing your selected keywords to see how you can create your content. Create content optimized for each search intent using informational, commercial, navigational, and transactional keywords.

Optimize your metadata to improve your click-through rate, too. Assess your competitors to establish a baseline for how you should be performing. Finally, measure your results against this baseline after your efforts.

If you follow this guide, you’ll ultimately mediate every stage of the buyer’s journey with your content. As a result, you can improve your brand awareness and conversion rate.
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