Infusionsoft SEO – Satisfying Query Intent
Entity Based Search & Query Intent
Within this article I will be introducing what is undoubtedly the most significant, most fundamental, most weighted relevancy signal in Google’s algorithm. This is known as search intent, query intent or user intent. But search intent does not begin and end with only Organic Search. Understanding search intent is vital for all mediums and all marketing campaigns across those mediums. This factor is so important that it’s not an option for me to fail in having you understand just how important it really is. So I’ll give you this from Google’s own John Mueller:
Understanding (and satisfying) the user intent behind the search is the key to success.
How Well Is Your Content Performing? Really?Fill out the short form below and we will conduct a content analysis for you. We will look at how well your current search engine exposure aligns with your vertical and what you can do specifically to improve user query intent aligning with your business goals.
The important question to ask is, though, is “why?” Well, the reason is because query intent/user intent is concerned specifically with what users want. So, as you can, it therefore doesn’t matter which medium this is across. User intent, and being able to identify and deliver outcomes towards the solution of a pain point is what’s important.
Google built in one of the largest ever algorithm updates (known as Panda) to accommodate a new and advanced “entity based‟ search element. Keyword research is still one of the most important elements of SEO, though. But that process now incorporates an advanced element involving a much more refined distinction of what the real ‘intention’ is that lay behind these words.
An entire SEO strategy grows from the foundation of solid keyword research. Because you can’t write relevant content if you don’t know the phrases that people will use to discover it – or the phrases that Google associates with worthy content. You can’t optimise your pages without knowing which phrases you should optimise for.
But now that Google’s algorithm has evolved to entity-based search, it is not longer necessary to exact match search phrases. It is instead, however, extremely important to match the “intent behind the search”. This means figuring out the real “intent” of the inquirer.
It’s basically intelligent “market research‟ to find out what your audience is looking for – what they’re REALLY looking for.
Finding SEO Focus with Definition and Clarity
To help you more accurately define search intent, query intent or user intent, you should always start with your focus on the audience and potential customers of your business and what they want and need the most. You should then formulate your content and the keywords you will target around those specific categories of customer.
If this sounds quite obvious and simple, that’s because it is. But people often loose the sharp clarity and focus in and around what they should be writing about and why. It is common for businesses to think they need to rank for certain concepts, when in fact their audience couldn’t care less about those concepts and is in fact searching for something completely different.
It is therefore quite reasonable to suggest that if you don’t know exactly why you’ve written a content piece, and that you haven‟t optimised it for a targeted and specific purpose, then you probably also don’t really know who will end up reading it and who your organic traffic leads and customers really are.
I’m talking about this in some depth because before building a definitive list of keyword phrases, it’s important to understand how “search intent‟ will influence your keywords and the possible searches related to those phrases.
This in fact does translate directly into the ROI of your SEO efforts and your overall business goals. So it’s important to get this right and to get it clearly understood from the outset.
Build Content From the Ground Up With Customer-Centric Thinking
There is, then, a vital first step which comes before keyword research. And here is where most in-house marketers fail (and a fair number of agencies as well): You need to define exactly who your customers are and what it is that those customers really care about. And then you need to define how your business goals align with that.
The above questions can easily be overlooked, or regarded as boring or a waste of time. Business owners already know their customers, don’t they? So why not jump straight into keyword research, content creation and a more obvious tie to ROI!
This shortcut in thinking will kill your entire SEO strategy. And that obviously also means killing your ROI within the same stride. The following is really important: With correct and accurate focus on your audience and potential customers, you can understand how they fit into what the business is looking for and create content specifically for a more “synergistic‟ relationship – a relationship which satisfies both audience intent and the business‟s goals.
The Difference Between Looking And Buying
Here’s an easy concept to related to: Would you be happy that a user came to your site, learned about what a certain ‘widget’ was, and then simply left on their merry way with their newfound knowledge? Or would you prefer that your web visitor came to your site and actually purchased a product before they left? This is why it’s important to make sure that query intent match supports your business model.
Content which is purposed correctly will directly facilitate your own goals as a business. The perfect scenario is that only the customers that you know you can satisfy (and sell to) are the customers that end up navigating through your website. So it helps to know exactly who they are and to write content and build your SEO around each of your customer demographics and intents specifically.
Defining Business Goals = Defining Your Customers = Defining Your Content & SEO Strategy
Within a single vertical, every business is different and has different goals. So it’s important to have a solid discovery process. The more you understand your business and your customers, the more focused you can be with your SEO strategy.
You can write content for content’s sake if you wish. You can create page after page of the same inspiration-less, mind-numbing “information‟ which already exists out there in what seems to be an ever-expanding, endless sea of encyclopaedic-style content written for content’s sake alone. Or you can write deliberate, purposeful content to satisfy query intent which is aligned with your own business goals.
You have to ask yourself: “does this content really satisfy both user intent and business goals”? Are your efforts really being rewarded by converting page views into more sales?
This particular habit, again, largely comes down to businesses thinking that they need to rank for certain concepts when, in fact, within their vertical, they’re effectively wasting time. They simply end up spending a lot of time writing for and appealing to tyre kickers, not buyers. This results in negative user metrics, whereby web visitors end up bouncing straight back out to Google in the hope to find another resource which will give them what they were looking for.
Content Audit And Analysis
According to the B2B Enterprise Trends Research, conducted by the Content Marketing Institute, 75% of successful teams do document their marketing strategy. In my own experience, there is absolute and total sense in physically documenting the marketing strategy. A short but thoughtful effort in discovery can produce all-revealing insights that you may have before never considered.
Discover it; define it; document it; apply dedicated focus and effort towards delivery of it.
Here is the content auditing and analysis process outlined:
- Define the short-term and long-term goals of the business
- Identify the full and complete potential range of customer types. As individuals, all customers have unique circumstances and can easily have different needs or expectations. Each one will have his or her own story. Who are your customers, really? What are the stories behind their searches, really? And how can you best serve each demographic?
- How does the above align with your business goals? Which demographic/s are “ideal” customer types? Which demographic, if any, really does not suit your business in the accomplishment of its own goals?
- Conduct Market Research based on current, most popular query intent (search intent) to each respective demographic that you ideally want to focus on.
- Build a Content Keyword Map according to your “ideal” customer types and user and query intent respectively. (This defines your content strategy; it also helps you to see logical site and content structure in visible format right in front of you.)
- Conduct Keyword and Topic Research according to the discoveries you defined in and around what your customers are really looking for and what you identified is really important to them above all else.
- Produce your content according to the above. Satisfy query intent: give your customer the call to action and provide the solution to their problem right there in front of them on the page.