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Google Search Intent: What it is & Why it is crucial for SEO

The study of Search Intent (or search intent) consists in the classification of search queries in order to understand users’ search intentions and identify the strategic approach to be adopted to optimize our site and its contents. Let’s find out what the Google Search Intent is in detail.

  • What is Search Intent?
    • Navigational search intent
    • Informational research intent
    • Transactional search intent
    • Business investigation search intent
  • Why study search intent?
  • How to Optimize Content for Google Search Intent?
  • Conclusions

1. What is Search Intent?

Search Intent is the main reason a user performed an online search. Every day millions of people search the web for something to satisfy a real need:

  • Inquire about
  • View a specific website
  • Request services
  • Buy products

Search engines, and in particular Google, are the main tool and therefore allow us to intercept users who are interested in specific services and products when they really need them.

Most users’ search intentions can be classified into one or more of the following query categories:

  1. Navigational
  2. Informational
  3. Transactional
  4. Commercial investigation

Let’s see what they mean specifically.

a. Navigational search intent

Through navigational queries , the user has the purpose of identifying a specific site or web page.

The user therefore already has in mind the website he wants to navigate, often an official website, and types in Google the domain name, the brand of the site or terms that identify it.

Navigational query example : zalando, gmail,, government site, etc.

b. Informational research intent

Through informational queries the user searches for information on a generic or specific topic, with the aim of learning something from reading or viewing content on the web, such as texts, images, videos, podcasts, etc.

Example of an informational query : Gulf War, how to lose weight in a short time, etc.

c. Transactional search intent

With transactional queries , a user intends to complete a transaction on the web, free or pay, of a product / service.

The purpose is to download, buy something, ask about a service, or take another type of action that has a strong chance of leading to a later sale.

Example of transactional query : adidas outlet shoes, Bangalore criminal lawyer, etc.

Being positioned on Google for keywords that intercept transactional queries not only increases traffic to your site, but allows you to intercept more qualified users, increase sales and generate more leads.

This applies to both organic and paid traffic.

d. Business investigation search intent

Before deciding which product or service to buy, the user conducts research with the intent of learning about the subject and making the right choice.

The user therefore intends to buy something, but needs time to gather information before making his choice.

This type of research intent is usually referred to as a commercial investigation.

Business survey query example : best windows or mac, best whitening toothpaste, etc.

2. Why study search intent?

For the SEO service provider,  the study of search intent is a fundamental aspect both to define the website optimization strategy and to establish the Content Marketing activities, i.e. which and how many contents must be produced for the website to be positioned.

Writing content without a search intent analysis almost always leads to poor results in terms of visibility and ranking on Google.

Being able to understand who your users are and what exactly they want allows you to create content and landing pages that best meet their needs.

Knowing why users are looking for something will help you create content that answers their question as clearly as possible, expanding it to cover even closely related queries and topics, so users don’t have to go back to a search engine to look for more information on the same topic.

3. How to Optimize Content for Google Search Intent?

Adapting landing pages and content to user searches. For example, if users are looking for information on a topic, you need to provide them with content that contains the desired information on that topic.

If a user wants to buy a product, you need to provide him with content that enables them to buy his product.

If users want to request a service, you must provide them with a resource that enables them to request this service.

To establish search intent , you need to analyze the data on queries and topics and then determine their keywords.

Only in this way can we understand the Search Intent and the modus operandi to optimize content.

Of course, I realize that it’s not always easy to determine the search intent of a query, but a simple check to implement to verify that your content is optimized for Google Search Intent is to compare your content to that of the results. already present on the first page of Google.

Practical example : your competitors’ pages have an average of 800 words on a topic and your content only has 400 words?

If so, ask yourself if you have answered the user’s query satisfactorily and if you can provide additional or relevant information to broaden the article and prove that you are the most competent on that topic.


Over the years, Google has become increasingly able to determine its users’ Search Intent and, of course, wants to show higher the pages that best match the user’s search intent for a specific query.

It is essential for the success of an SEO campaign that the content you are writing fits both the terms that people usually search for, and the search intent of your audience.

Make sure your content is informative if people are looking for information, and lead users to your sales pages if they are inclined to purchase one of your products or services.

To really get people to buy your products, sign up for your newsletter, or come back to your site again, you should strongly consider Search Intent.