Intent optimisation (commonly known as user or search intent optimisation) is the process of optimising your sites content to meet the expectations and needs of searchers. It ensures that searchers will find the content on your page valuable and useful and that it will satisfy their search.
If you spend a decent amount of time observing the search engine result pages (SERPs), you will notice that the pages ranking number one tend to be high quality and useful. The page ranking is (for the most part) the best page to answer the searchers query. This is the result of Google’s focus on providing searchers with results that best match their intent. That is why intent optimisation is a vital part of any successful SEO strategy.
It used to be possible to rank near enough any page for whatever keyword you liked providing you pointed enough links at it, this is not the case anymore. Links are still huge and great for building the trust and power of your domain which is why a digital PR service can generate such great results, but content is becoming equally important. If you are targeting e-commerce style keywords but users can’t order the product they want from your site, good luck ranking.
As a content marketing agency, intent optimisation is one of the amazing tools we use to secure top rankings for many of our clients.
Through Googles advancement in the way they rank the search results, they can understand content and context better than ever. This means that they can more easily filter out results which do not match the intent of the searcher – this is likely learnt through observing user experience signals and patterns and even by using artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms – leaving valuable organic real estate only for those results which will benefit the searcher the most.
There are commonly four types of accepted search intent:
Analysing which of these intents are most relevant for those searching your target keywords allows you to create content that will be more valuable for them. Essentially, by doing this you will be creating a higher-quality page which searchers would find more useful.
If you want to achieve first page rankings for your most profitable and important keywords, you will need an SEO company who understands the importance of intent optimisation. By analysing the intent behind those searching your target keywords, we can advise you on how best to structure your content to cater to that intent.
Some examples of things you could do to better serve the intent of searchers (any changes to your page would depend on which intent has been identified for the target keyword):
The above list contains only a few examples of how you could improve your website once you have identified the exact intent of the searcher. Such features would mean that your pages provide a much better experience for users which can result in not only stronger rankings but a higher conversion rate also.
More questionable agencies might try and hide the fact that seeing SEO improvements can take time (this is especially true when it comes to on-site changes and improvements). The truth is that no one can tell you exactly how soon you can expect to see ranking increases as a result of intent optimisation. We can however say that clients who have used this strategy have seen consistent growth in organic traffic in the months immediately following the updates.
One of the amazing things about white hat strategies which focus on improving user experience such as this is that the results can grow consistently over time. As Google recognises the improvements across your content you can start being placed in stronger positions. This leads to more organic visitors and because of these content changes new users have a greater experience on your site. A better experience means that they are more engaged with the page and spend longer browsing which is a signal of a high-quality site and can lead to further SEO growth.
How long it will take to optimise the intent of your key landing pages will really depend on the size of your website. If you have only a few key pages targeting your main keywords, it should not take long to analyse the intent behind each keyword and ensure that your landing page fully satisfies it. If you have thousands of pages however all targeting their own unique keywords, consistent work will be needed to ensure that your website is offering as much value and information as possible so that users can have a great experience and Google can rank you on the first page as a result.
It is important to allocate enough time to both implement new content and functionality effectively and for Google to crawl and index the updates. The best results can be seen when content is consistently updated and user experience signals (time to long click, pages per session, bounce rates etc.) improve as a result over time.