Submitted by Rachel on

Whether you’re creating new content or updating old content, focusing on search intent can help boost traffic to your firm’s site. Without considering search intent, you could miss out on vital opportunities for your firm to increase traffic to your site and consequently leads. So, are you overlooking search intent?

What is Search Intent?

Search intent is the why of a search query. Because Google works to provide the most relevant results for a query, you need to consider the motivation behind a search term. Is the searcher trying to find an answer to a question? Are they looking to learn how to do something? Are they looking for a service? Considering questions like these can help understand the reasoning behind a user’s search.

Four Types of Search Intent

Search intent is classified into four different categories: informational intent, navigational intent, transactional intent and commercial investigation. Understanding these four types of intent can make it easier to build content around keywords and search terms your firm ranks for.

Informational Intent: Informational Intent is just as it sounds. It refers to when a searcher is looking for information. This could be something like “What is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act?” or even just “EEOC”.

Navigational Intent: Navigational Intent is when someone is looking for a specific website, such as “Smith Law Firm” while seeking Smith Law Firm’s website.

Transactional Intent: This is when a user searches for something with the intent of making a transaction or purchase a product or service. For law firms, this can include searches like “personal injury lawyer” when someone is looking to hire legal assistance.

Commercial Intent: Commercial intent or investigation is when a user searches something looking for a specific product or service they still need to make a decision on. What separates transactional intent from commercial intent is whether or not a user is looking of more data before making a decision. This would include searches like “best workers’ compensation lawyer in Boston”.

Establishing Search Intent

Though you can’t always figure out exactly what the intent behind a user’s search is, you can get pretty close through keyword research. Examining the word choice within a search term or keyword can help figure out search intent.

If the search term is phrased like a question or includes words like guide, tips, resource, etc. then the intent was most likely informational. If just your firm’s name was searched, it’s likely navigational as someone may be trying to reach your firm’s site.

Search terms with “best”, “top”, “review”, etc. are likely commercial investigation or intent. Search terms with transactional intent might include “cheap”, “cost”, or “price” amongst others.

Optimizing for Search Intent

Once you’ve figured out what the search intent is behind specific keywords, you can optimize your firm’s content accordingly. For example, if you find that your page which features a general overview of Social Security disability insurance is ranking well for the search term “SSDI lawyer” but has a high bounce rate or low conversions, then it may be that your page isn’t optimized for a transactional search intent. You can then make proper optimizations to the page to help increase conversions.

Next time you are doing keyword research for content, consider search intent. This will help create a piece of content that is even more relevant to a search and can help boost traffic to your firm’s site and ultimately leads!

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