What Searcher Intent Means For Your SEO

Searcher Intent

The SEO field is full of a lot of trending buzzwords, to the point where it’s easy to get a little cynical. However, some of these trends have substance behind the style, and searcher intent is a great example of that. Think of it this way: no marketing initiative ever succeeded without knowledge of the target audience and its goals. Searcher intent is the equivalent of this for SEO initiatives.  In addition, searcher intent is one of those things that you’re going to need to keep referring back to in order to create an effective long-term SEO strategy. Here’s how it works and what you need to do to implement it successfully.


What Is Searcher Intent?

The fundamentals behind searcher intent are easy to understand, and likely something that you go into every time that you use a search engine. Basically, searcher intent is what the goal of any Google or search engine user is any time that they put in a query. This is important because even searches on the same topic can lead to different keywords used, and searcher intent is the reason why. For example, say a person wanted to learn more about how to create an effective blog. They may put in something like “blog writing tips for non-writers” or “blog ideas.” However, if they are looking to outsource their work, you’ll likely see a query like “freelance blog writers” or “blog writing services. The good news is that generally, you can boil the types of searcher intent into a few key options.


People who want a specific brand


People with this searcher intent literally have only one goal in mind—to go to a site they are already aware of. For example, someone who may want to go to Wal-Mart’s site for a deal they heard of elsewhere will literally type in Wal-Mart in the search engine and be on their way.


Informational searches


This is close to the “blog writing tips for non-writers” example that we gave earlier, where someone wants to learn about a subject or topic. In general, this will be reflected in the type of queries people use. Expect lots of “how to” “what is” “can I” and other similar expressions used in these searches.


Action searches


These are the searches that many business owners are hoping for, based around some sort of conversion. Things like “deals on” “for sale” “near me” are all indicators that someone is ready to buy something with their search. However, there are other types of SEO conversions that call fall under this umbrella as well, like signing up for an email list or heading to a physical location.


Free action searches


Technically, these are the same as action searches, but for people looking for free services. It can be hard to get a conversion for people who aren’t looking to pay, unless you have an e-book or something similar on free options for a certain niche.


How To Use Searcher Intent For SEO

For typical marketing, you would simply gear your marketing materials in order to align with your marketing intent. However, there are a few different ways to do this for SEO. The main way to make this happen is to optimize for keywords that match with the type of searcher intent that will match your content. For example, if you were working on a blog post, you’d probably want to use primarily informational keywords. However, if you’re working on e-commerce pages, you’re going to want to make sure that your keywords are mainly transactional in nature. The goal here is to make sure you’re getting the customers most likely to be interested in your page in front of it via a search.


There are some tangential ways that you want to customize your site to fit with searcher intent as well. For example, when people are using action keywords, they ultimately want to make some sort of conversion. If you’re optimizing for those keywords, make sure that you work to make your Call To Action prominent so people can follow through on their searcher intent.


As a final addition, it’s important to note that certain growing SEO trends are going to change the nature of searcher intent in the future. For example, voice search is growing in popularity, especially through mobile devices. However, the way that different queries are spoken is different than the way they are typed. As a result, people may need to adapt their SEO optimization down the line.



With over 10 years of experience helping hundreds of businesses succeed online, Paul Teitelman is one of the most respected and top ranking SEO consultants in Toronto & across Canada. A passionate SEO expert that works directly with clients and offers custom white-labelled services to search marketing and digital advertising agencies in Canada and the United States. Add Paul on LinkedIn or check out his SEO blog for more great tips. To learn more please visit –

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