Understanding User Intent: Targeting the Right Audience

user intent

Even in the digital age, the customer is king (well, along with content but we will get there!). Thus, it’s important to adhere to user intent and match your offerings to what your target audience needs and wants.

SEO is an essential part of understanding user intent. It helps you to understand what your target audience is searching for and how. By optimizing content with the right keywords, you can make sure that your website appears in search engine results pages when users search for terms related to your business or industry.

This way, you can increase visibility and reach potential customers who are actively searching online for products and services like yours. Additionally, SEO also provides valuable insights into user behavior which allows businesses to tailor their offerings accordingly and ensure greater customer satisfaction.

Ultimately, by understanding user intent through SEO strategies, businesses can gain a better understanding of their target audience’s needs and wants – allowing them to create more effective marketing campaigns that drive conversions.

In this article, we will first explain what user intent is and how to determine it. We will also run you through the 4 main user intent types and how to optimize your website and on-page content for each one.

What Is User Intent?

User intent is the reason a user goes on to make a search query online.

Google uses user intent as a primary factor in determining which websites and pages to show users when they make a search query on the platform. This is why it’s so important for businesses to understand their audience segments and optimize their website, content and campaigns accordingly.

Understanding user intent helps marketers tailor their SEO efforts towards reaching out to the right audience, delivering content that meets their expectations, and increasing conversions.

In simple terms, when a user searches on Google or any other search engine, they have a goal in mind – that’s their intent. Based on the words they use, Google and other search engines attempt to understand what the best available results related to it are.

Thus, to optimize your website for search engine rankings, you need to first identify the user intent behind each keyword or phrase and tailor your content accordingly.

How To Make Sense of User Intent?

To understand user intent and optimize your website content to it, you first need to know your customers well.

Start by classifying them into different buyer personas.

Creating buyer personas is a crucial step in understanding user intent and optimizing website content accordingly. It allows businesses to understand their target customers better, personalizing their content and marketing efforts to cater to their needs.

Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer based on real data and research. They are used to help you identify the type of content each customer segment is looking for.

Once you have created a few buyer personas, focus on understanding their motivations behind searching online and what they are hoping to find. This will give you insight into user intent and help you optimize your website accordingly.

Audience segmentation is imperative when it comes to understanding user intent. This is because different buyer personas may be looking for different types of information or solutions online.

For example, someone who is researching a product before buying has a very different intent than someone who wants to read reviews before making a purchase. It’s important to recognize these distinctions so that you can create content that meets the expectations of your target audience.

4 Types of User Intent

In order of increasing conversion probability, here are the 4 main user intent types:


Navigational user intent is triggered by the user’s need to find a particular website or a website. For example, a user may search ‘Facebook’ to go directly to the social media website.

However, do not underestimate navigational user intent as it gives away important insights you can use to improve your site. Aim for a simple layout to make sure it is easy to get to what the user is looking for.

Use heatmaps to spot the pages that are doing well, and improve the ones that users find difficult to discover. Also, create dedicated landing pages for your main products and services, as well as for any promotions and lead magnet marketing assets such as newsletters, webinars and eBooks.


Unlike navigational intent where the user is already familiar with your brand and website, informational intent is all about looking for relevant, helpful advice on a topic. It is also considered as low search intent as it doesn’t directly lead to a transaction.

An example for an informational search is “How can I increase the conversions of my PPC campaign?”.

However, make sure you pay attention to such queries and that you are prepared to offer relevant and well-optimized content to correspond to them. Keyword research and regular competitor analysis can keep you alert of any search terms that generate interest and are within your expertise.

Optimizing for informational intent can increase brand awareness and affirm you as a thought leader within your niche.


Commercial user intent is one step closer to the firm decision to make a purchase. Quite often, individuals are ready to buy but need more information about the product before they actually do it. Customer reviews, testimonials, and comparisons are all examples of commercial intent-triggering content you need to make sure to invest in.

An example of a commercial search query is “WordPress vs. Wix” or “Product reviews for Google Pixel 7”.

Providing such content either on your website or on other platforms can give users a piece of mind that they have access to transparent, genuine, and first-hand information about your products.


Transactional user intent is the highest level of search intent and it means that a customer is ready to make a purchase. These customers are looking for specific products or services, at a certain price range, but also want to find out about delivery times, return policies and payment methods before they proceed with the purchase.

An example of the transactional search query is “Buy Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 v2”.

To meet the expectations of these users, make sure that you offer a frictionless user experience with clear product descriptions and good visuals. Moreover, provide all the details they need to know in advance – such as delivery times, return policies, and payment methods -to increase their trust in you and your website.

Final Words

At the end of the day, it is important to recognize user intent and provide content that meets their expectations. This way, you can turn casual visitors into long-term customers and boost your conversion rates significantly.

Therefore, when building a content strategy, make sure that you have content that caters to each of these user intent types to provide the best experience possible.

This will help your website rank higher and attract more potential customers. Keep in mind that successful SEO requires continuously adapting your approach to changing user behavior and improving their overall experience. Good luck!




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