When we don’t know the answer to something, where do we go to find it? For most individuals, search engines are one of the most common places to help search for what you’re looking for. Today, more than ever, individuals go to search engines on Google and enter around 1-3 words in their search query. From there it’s the search engine’s job to interpret what you’re looking for. 

As a business, you want to be there to answer your customers questions by giving them the tools and resources they need to succeed. Even when your business has the assets your customers want, how can they find them and utilize them?

The ultimate goal for search engines, such as Google, is to satisfy searcher’s intent. Providing relevant information that matches your customers search query helps build your online credibility. However, your business needs to understand the consumers original search intent to be successful. Learning to implement SEO strategies to help analyze consumers intent will better optimize for query intent.


What is Query Intent?

Query intent, also known as keyword or search intent, is identifying the categorization of what an individual intended to find online through search terms entered into a search engine. In other words, when you enter a search term into Google, what is your purpose in searching? Are you looking for a specific product, service, brand, or background information. That is search intent. 

As digital marketers, understanding the motivation and purpose behind a search query helps better establish your brands online presence. It is said that there are two driving forces behind every search query. Those two forces are to gain pleasure or remove pain. When it comes to the force of removing pain, you may have pulled a muscle on your daily run. You may turn to Google to find what the cause may be and how to further treat it. When it comes to gaining pleasure, you could be traveling to a new city you’ve never visited before and really want some pizza. You could search locally to find the best rated restaurants located near where you’re staying. Overall, the main objective of searching on Google is to provide immediate answers to query intent.


Why Does Query Intent Matter For SEO?

One of SEO’s main areas of focus is keywords. Along with recognizing and adding keywords, one of the most important factors your business needs to consider is your audience and what focus or intent they’re looking for from you. Besides adding keywords into your SEO strategy, it’s important to have resources and information to back up what consumers are searching for. When your website has valuable content, Google will recognize your site as credible and trustworthy for individuals to use for their own gain. 

Search intent optimization allows you to:

    • Fulfill the needs of your target audience.
    • Attract sustainable, qualified leads to your site.
    • Keep customers on your page.
    • Position your company as an authority in your respective industry.
    • Boost your brand awareness.

When individuals use search engines to look for information, as a business your job is to appeal and answer to the right customers. Understanding and utilizing SEO into your customers search query will unlock a variety of opportunities to enhance your optimization strategies.


Different Types of Intent

There are multiple types of search intent. In this article we will discuss three of them. Those three types of search intent are navigational intent, informational intent, and transactional intent. Navigational intent is used when people want to go straight to a specific site or page. Informational intent is usually question based and is used when people want to know the answer to something. Transactional intent is used when people want to do something such as buying a product or signing up for a newsletter. All of these intents focus on specific parts of query intent.



SEO gives your website the opportunity to create avenues for your business to succeed and grow. When focusing on query intent, there are different areas to work on when optimizing.


Navigational Intent

Navigational intent is used when people want to go straight to a specific site or page. When your customers have navigational intent, they usually already have your business in mind, but need help getting to a specific page.

When it comes to optimizing, your focus should be on landing pages for your products, services, brand, and homepage. You can optimize each page by utilizing your products and services in positions such as subheadings, page titles, and meta descriptions. To fulfill full optimization for navigational intent, your main focus should be including the answers to these questions within your landing pages and homepage:

  • Who you are
  • What you do
  • Who you serve

Including keywords that are used in navigational queries, such as your business or product name, will help answer your customers query intent. Additional keywords you could add are locations near your business or directions to it. Overall, it’s important to include this information in these locations on your website to fully optimize navigational query intent.


Informational Intent

Informational intent is usually question based and is used when people want to know the answer to something. They tend to be generic searches that focus on learning more about a specific topic. This involves searching questions that involve “what is” or “how to” into the search query. 

When it comes to optimizing informational intent, it’s important to use the questions in more of the strategic positions on your website. These places can be the headings, subheadings, titles, and descriptions. It’s also important to place the answer to their search question in the first paragraph. When you place the question and answer or instruction near each other, it helps to better address the search query. 

When optimizing informational intent it’s important to go through a checklist of things to do. First, ask the question in your heading or subheading. Next, you should immediately follow the question with a one paragraph answer. Then you should expand further in the next few paragraphs. Integrate keywords such as “what is/are”, “best ways to”, and “how to” to help incorporate informational intent into your optimization. Going through an SEO checklist is important for any optimization process. 


Transactional Intent

Transactional intent is used when people want to do something such as buying a product or signing up for a newsletter. The important aspect to optimizing transactional intent is to keep your content focused on the desired outcome. Your searchers want to consume facts quickly and not be loaded with information. It’s key to use the right words, at the right time, in the right place to ensure your message is clear.

Some examples of what transactional intent looks like are, “best food blenders under $100” or “free online marketing guide 2021”. Some of the best keywords to implement into your transactional intent are “buy”, “get discounts on”, and “order”. This type of search intent doesn’t need loads of supporting information on the page to get the message across. Utilizing design, text, and CTA will help optimize transactional intent.



When it comes to query intent it’s important to think about how individuals search. Utilizing tools such as levering online platforms and search engines is a great place to start, but it’s also important to dissect intent from queries and usage. 

There are lots of different ways to optimize query intent and it can be hard to know where to start. At Boostability, we’re here to help your small business with your SEO needs. Learn more about our SEO services to see how we can help optimize your content!


Ansley is the former Content Marketing Manager at Boostability. Since graduating from Utah State University with two degrees in Communication Studies and Journalism: Public Relations, Ansley specializes in creating engaging and informative SEO content for readers, customers, and partners through different marketing channels. Along with creating new content, Ansley works to keep content organized and creates and executes new content strategies. When she’s not writing, she loves to travel, visit National Parks, and loves all things Disney.