Search User Intent

Understand Searcher Intent On Google So You Can Incorporate User Intent Into SEO For Your Website

Understanding user intent and searcher intent can be a huge benefit to your SEO.  As Google continues to leverage it’s AI and Machine Learning to provide search results, one of it’s main focuses is to effectively guess the user intent on any given search term.  For example, someone who often watches DIY videos may be presented with DIY information for a relevant search, even if they are not inputting “DIY” or “DIY videos” into their search.  Gaining a clear understanding of the your audience, and what their intent would be when finding your page, will help you develop clearly identified content.  This makes it much easier for Google to match your content with searcher intent, rather than guessing.  In this episode we’ll break this down and digest what it means, so you can create better content, convert more users, and rank higher in Google by incorporating searcher intent into your SEO strategy.

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  • How to create pages on your website for the user intent
  • Creating your page with a good user intent helps Google know who you are creating the page for
  • If you are targeting a search term that is ambiguous for user intent then you may have poor results
  • Going after long tail keywords can add more context to your content and help define intent
  • Matching content to user intent will reduce bounce rates and keep users on your site longer
  • Example – if you’re creating a DIY article or page, make sure the content is helpful for solving their problems
  • Example – if you’re creating a page for services you provide, make it clear you are offering your services
  • Strive to really understand what users are searching for – answers, info, services, help, or products
  • Google uses AI and machine learning to try and guess a users intent and tries to match it to search results
  • Having a strong intent based content page will also deflect poor quality visitors who did not match your intent
  • At the top of the page clearly state the intent of the page right in the title and headings of the page

Here is the transcription from Episode 34 What Is User Intent and How To Use SEO To Optimize Your Website For Searcher Intent;

Jesse: Welcome back to Local SEO Tactics. Jesse Dolan here with Bob Brennan as every week. This week we’re going to be talking about how to create pages on your website for the user intent. It’s kind of a nuanced thing but really helps you drive conversions and convert more of these customers. And also, Google’s getting more intelligent every day quite frankly. Creating your page with a good user intent also helps Google know what kind of pages you’re creating, who they should be served up for and it’s going to help you get found in the search engines. More so now than it would maybe even nine months or 12 months ago.

Pretty darn important but also kind of a, there’s a little bit of mystique around it ’cause it’s understanding things beyond the level of just what is this keyword for popularity? You know, in relevancy to my business. Or the GMB category. This is getting into the mind of the person on the other end of the keyboard. The person doing the searches. We’re going to kind of break that down today and hopefully help you create some better content and some more nuanced content for your website.

First thing there, what do we mean for intent? The example I always use, and I don’t remember, I’ve used it on the show or not here but is for pool repair. If I’m going to search for pool repair for my house. Let’s just say I have a pool, huge fancy pool.

Bob: Sure.

Jesse: Olympic size.

Bob: Like Elvis.

Jesse: Yeah, yeah. If I’m going to search for pool repair, that could go one of two ways. It can go maybe other ways but just I’m going to keep it simple here on the example. Pool repair means I want to fix it. Maybe a little DIY pool repair. I’m trying to figure something out myself. Or, could also mean as a generic term pool repair, that I want somebody to come and fix it. Right there, that’s kind of ambiguous. Pool repair near me. Pool repair Minneapolis Minnesota. Pool repair help. You start adding some of those other keywords to the end. Near me. That’s not a DIY. That’s starting to mean somebody needs a service. Putting location based stuff in there. As you start to kind of get a little more long tail on this example of pool repair, it starts to vet itself out for what the user intent is. But just to kind of keep it simple here for a little bit on this example of just using the term pool repair without anything else, we’re going to kind of dive into that as the two ends of it.

If I was going to create a page for my company and let’s say I did pool repair, if somebody’s looking just for a video on how to unclog this filter or balance the pH or whatever pool related stuff, that’s not going to be a good click on my website. They’re going to bounce right back out once they see I’m a company, I’m providing a service. I was just looking for help on how to do this thing.

Any traffic to an extent is good traffic but traffic that bounces right back out is bad traffic. Where you can understand the user intent and use that to craft good content, becomes pretty relevant. I wouldn’t want to create a page just for pool repair.

If I’m a business that wants to go fix somebody’s pool, I would definitely want to be attacking those near me or getting more specific which we’ll talk into here in a minute. But the basic concept here is to understand that actual intent of that person when you’re creating that content. It gets served up and when they land on your page, it’s sticky, as we say. You can convert them into a customer for whatever it is you’re trying to sell.

Bob: One of the question I have is you’ll see people do this tactic. I’m just wondering what your thoughts are but basically it’s one where I’ll just say, how to winterize your pool and a person will have a video or even just content, writing with illustrations on all the steps to winterize your pool. With the premise of getting the person drawn in to take a look at that and say, “Okay, wow, there’s a whole lot more to this than I thought in terms of winterizing my pool. I don’t want anything to do with this.” And at the end of their little presentation it’s like, and if this isn’t something you’d like to handle, give our professionals a call here at Bob’s Pool at 1-800 or whatever the number is. Dah, dah, dah, dah, dah.

Can you speak to that tactic at all? Because we are talking about two different things here. But at the same time it’s all about converting people that thought they might want to do it themselves but after they see the whole process they’re like, “I’m out.” They just need someone to do this.

Jesse: Now just to frame this up so I can give you a good answer. This post if you will, just say it’s a blog post. Whatever. On a webpage, is on a page for Bob’s Pool Repair. You provide pool repair service but this is a DIY article on pool repair. Hire me at the end. That’s kind of the strategy some people call headache free versus free with a headache.

With that, what I would say just my opinion if I’m a business but I’m posting a DIY article, make it very well known that this is a DIY article. Most of the people that going to probably land on that ’cause of how the article’s going to be worded and everything else, are going to be looking for the DIY. You want to make it very clear that I’m Bob’s Pool Repair. We do this service and we can do this for you. Very conveniently, very easily kind of stress all those superlatives because right now they’re looking for the free but with a headache. I want to know how to do it. I’ll do it. I’ll get all mucky. I’ll get all dirty. I’ll spend my time on Saturday, whatever it is and do it. You’re not necessarily going to immediately win their business so your page shouldn’t have any kind of call to actions like that. But again, understanding their intent. In their intent was to fix it themselves.

Somehow you want to reinforce the fact that you’re there to support them. Maybe at the bottom your message is kind of like that. Like, “Hey if you get stuck. If this is over your head, we’ve got your back.” Not so much the book now today ’cause they’re not going to. They’re not going to want to do that. Maybe you say, “Email this article.” Click here to email the article. You try to get them to opt in or something but understand their intent is to fix it themselves. Your intent as a business is to win their business. You gotta find a way to kind of bridge that gap. Give them some small wins and some small victories and lead them down that road, that strong call to action of book now, it ain’t going to get any traction at the bottom of the page ’cause that’s not why they’re on the page, right?

Bob: Yeah, no. And we’ve heard the strawberry analogy. If you ever picked strawberries. Go out there and there’s a lot, there’s strawberries that are half ripe. There’s strawberries that are ripe, ready to be picked. There’s big fat mama there, sitting there but it’s not quite. Well, like you were saying, if you can give deliver value, and if you can deliver a PDF on how to clean your pool. All they have to do is download it, you get an email out of the deal, that’s not bad type of deal. Getting what you can get, that makes sense.

Jesse: We talked in another episode of category pages. Down at the bottom of this page would be a great spot for a category page. More DIY articles. I’m assuming if you read this one article in your example, you have other articles too for DIY ’cause that’s your strategy is attract people like that. Just kind of having them go through your website and trying find ways more value. If you want us to email you, maybe you have a PDF of all of our DIY tips. But find a way to get their information. You’re in this to make money not just provide free resources to people so you gotta some kind of a hook for them to engage. They’re not going to call you and spend money with you today as the first thing.

You need some other little victory and usually that’s going to be a digital product in the marketing world that’s seven tips for this. More information on that. Whatever. That’s the first thing I would say is, make it very clear this is a DIY page. Make it very clear that you can help them with other ways and make it very clear on how for them to kind of take that next step and engage with you. Explicitly having it not be the whatever your main call to action, is book an appointment or call us now or whatever ’cause that ain’t going to work.

Now on the flip side of things, let’s say you’re in a business of not providing any DIY articles. You’re still Bob’s Pool Repair but you’re getting super annoyed when people call you up and be like, “So I got this thing torn apart and how do I get this flange out of there, whatever?” If you’re attracting people that think it’s DIY type stuff, again you gotta try to find this user intent. Don’t go after content. Maybe that could be construed as DIY or again if it’s just like the pool repair, make sure your landing page when they get you for pool repair, is all about, book now. Maybe put your rates up there. Try to scare some people off if you don’t want to mess with those kinds of people.

But really the moral of the story is, again, really understand what they’re searching for explicitly. And not so much what their keywords are, what they’re searching for. Was it an answer to a question? Was it help with something? Was it to execute an emergency service? What are they searching for and why are they searching? Pool repair versus interior decoration. There’s definitely some different timelines there maybe for need and urgency and things like that. Really just taking a step back. Like here’s my list of keywords and my GMB categories I want to attack, whatever. What are they searching for? And why are they searching for it? And making sure that the content you’re putting on that page takes them to the path of some kind of revenue for you. You know what I mean?

By you doing that, and slowing down and just really thinking about their intent on that content, again not only is that going to help you with conversion, when people are landing on your pages, you’re going to get more people conversion, more people opting into these forms, getting the PDFs and in some cases, deflecting the stuff that wasn’t going to convert. Like we just said. But you’re also going to get better rankings in the search engines because Google, part of the big shift with their AI and the machine learning for the Google algorithm updates has been to serve stuff up based on user intent. They’re trying to predict if I did pool repair, and you did pool repair, if I have a history of DIY, videos and articles in my searches and my search profile for between me and Google and you don’t, you hire people. You’re looking for emergency this and whatever that.

Bob: More service centric.

Jesse: Yes. Google is going to give us different results on our searches.

Bob: ‘Cause they know it all.

Jesse: They do know it all. They’re listening right now too.

Bob: That’s right.

Jesse: We hope they are listening. Actually so they can SEO this podcast episode. They are listening and they understand our intent and they know how we differ and what we’re searching for. The machine learning and the AI advancements they’ve been making, they are trying to serve up on searches that don’t have clearly defined intent like pool repair. That can be very ambiguous. They’ll decide what I meant for me. They’ll decide what you meant for you. The more as SEOs and content writers and business owners and sales managers and whatever your title is, the more you can be specific on your page for what your intent is, it’s clear to Google then. And they will serve me the page that’s the DIY. They’ll serve you the page that’s the call now for service type pages and that’ll help you then as that marketer to not get the traffic that you don’t want.

People will stay on your page longer. People will convert better and things like that. It’s kind of nuanced and it seems kind of maybe a little abstract even, how to connect all those dots but at the end of the day, be super defined. Again, why are they searching for it? What are they searching for? Get yourself into that context before you just slam out some content. Make sure that this can be understood as exactly what the intent is here for them. And then have your intent be on that page too. Again, call now. Book an appointment. Learn more. Download this. Don’t be afraid to be extremely clear on that too.

One good tip for this to help convey that user intent, we talk about these pages. You got a 1,000, 2,000, 3,000 words on the page, if you got maybe a videos, articles, infographics, whatever it is. At the top of that page, above the fold, make sure you’re clearly stating the intent of this page. If it’s a DIY article, I would put in the big heading on the title of the page, DIY pool repair, XYZ, whatever the exact repair is. Make it very, very clear right on the front side to the users and to Google what this page is about. Don’t bury the lead. Don’t make them scroll down after you’re talking about pool repair for a little bit, be like, this is a DIY. Here’s the steps. Incorporate that into your title and at the very top of your website.

Bob: Okay, well let me ask you this question, where there might be a great opportunity here is, should I DYI my winterization of my pool? You know what I mean?

Jesse: Yeah, sure.

Bob: Or shouldn’t I? You know what I mean? Because I’m looking at winterizing my boat and if you don’t winterize your boat properly as far as the engine, you can wreck the engine. There’s some strategy there as far as working with that. Should I? The biggest question is, should you winterize your own pool? And maybe it’s easy, you just pull the plug and walk away. But if it’s more complicated and you can literally do thousands of dollars worth of damage, obviously how does that play into the content piece.

Jesse: Yeah, so right there your intent is researching that decision, right?

Bob: Right.

Jesse: If I’m making a page for what you’re talking about, I’m not creating this page to say that you should. I’m not creating this page to say that you shouldn’t. I’m creating this page to help you decide that by giving you all the information. For that particular intent, the research intent if you will. In this case my title would be, should I winterize my own pool? Here’s the seven things you need to know that can get you in trouble and the three things that might save you $2,000. Playing both sides of the coin because in the research mode that’s what you are. You’re pros and cons, both side and all that. For that search term, which is where all this comes back from. Just to circle this all back, this is all about taking a search term, writing a piece of content for that to be found for that term. You gotta analyze again, what are they searching for? Why are they searching for it?

In your case, you’re doing research on if you should winterize this pool or not. And that’s the context of what this page would be. Yeah, does that answer your question?

Bob: Yep, yep. That makes total sense.

Jesse: I think that about does it for this one. We could definitely get a little bit deeper and even more nuance in this but just to keep it kind of short and kind of light, something you guys can take action on for this week. I think that pretty much wraps up the episode here.

If you guys have deeper questions on this, you can always reach out to us in person. We’re willing to talk about anything. To dive deeper in to help you out. Like the question you just gave about what if I’m researching or whatever. If you guys out there listening have some questions like that and gals listening, have some questions like that, let us know. You can reach us at Just fill out the quick form. Let us know what’s on your mind. Maybe we’ll address it again in another podcast or we’ll just hit you back directly in email and communicate and help hash out the problem. That’s what we’re here for too is to help you guys out. for that.

If you want to leave us a review, which we absolutely love and we try to read one each week as long as we get them we’re going to keep reading them. You can go to If you like what we’re doing, you like this, it’s bringing some value, we want to know that. This is why we do this is to help everybody out out there. Really appreciate that. and I’ll read our five star review of the week that we got here this week. It’s from hrustick and five star review, basically savvy info. Goes onto say, “I like the easy to follow SEO info for business. Great job.”

Bob: Thank you.

Jesse: Yeah,.

Bob: Thanks HR.

Jesse: Short and sweet. Yeah, that’s what we’re trying to do is break it down each week and just make it digestible. Again, we’d love to hear from you guys, You got anything else you want to add Bob?

Bob: Nope.

Jesse: All right, think that wraps up for this weeks. Thanks for tuning in guys and take care.

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