The 4 types of search intent
Before optimising with intent, it’s important to understand what actually drives people to search for things online. Way back in 2006, a study conducted at the University of Hong Kong discovered that at a primary level, there were two main types of search engine users.
The first is someone looking for very specific information relating to their chosen phrase. The other is someone searching for more general information and related topics.
In very basic terms, the first person is ready to buy, download, sign up or convert – while the other is not.
But let’s dig a little deeper…There are 4 main types of intent when thinking about what people enter into a search engine. According to Moz, these are:
- Informational intent (“how to boil an egg” or “what is the keto diet?”)
- Preferential/commercial investigation (“best website hosting service” or “EE vs Vodafone”)
- Transactional intent (“Buy Gucci belt” or “Nike Air Force 1 sale”)
- Navigational intent (“Spotify login” or “ASOS” or “Zara”)
By considering what people want from their searches, you can align your content to match their needs, answer their questions, and direct them to the right information/product page.