What is User Intent?

What Is User Intent?

User Intent also called, Search Intent, tells us the intent of the user. When a user types in the search query, that tells us the intent of the user.

For example, if a user searches for something like pasta, it’s not clear what the user’s intent is. Whether that user wants to know something, go somewhere, or purchase something,

The intent of the keyword could be anything, and when we type pasta on Google, Google also shows us every type of intent.

There are 4 types of search intent:

  • Navigational: When a user wants to go to a website.
  • Informational: When a user wants to know about something or someone.
  • Commercial: When a user wants to compare something (services or products),
  • Transactional: When a user wants to make a purchase.

Why Is Search Intent Important For SEO?

The goal of search engines is to provide top-notch results so that they can find what the user has searched for. Search intent is important for SEO because it lets us know what the user is searching for, and on the basis of that, search engines provide relevant results.

The longer the query, the clearer the intent will be. And it will help in your rankings. So, make sure you are satisfying the searcher’s intent when you are using keywords.

Multiple Search Intent

We can see here, when we type only pasta, we see Google showing us multiple things with multiple intent:

pizza with multiple search intent 0
pizza with multiple search intent 1
pizza with multiple search intent 2
pizza with multiple search intent 3

As you can see, when our keyword is broad or not clear, we can’t know the user’s intent.

Let’s read about each search intent now.

Navigational Search Intent

Navigational search intent means the user wants to go somewhere, specifically a website or specific page. With other types, users know where they want to go.

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Navigational queries are usually branded because users already know where they want to go.

Informational Search Intent

Informational Search Intent means users want to know or learn something. It can be about anything. Whether they want to know about pasta recipes

When it comes to informational intent, queries are usually phrased as questions: how, were, why, what, and who.

  • what is seo
  • how to cook pasta
  • what is the recipe for pasta
  • how to make chocolate

When you type a question, your query is answered in this way:

how old is pasta - featured snippets

Usually, it is always a blog post and that’s why you need SEO for blogging.

The benefit of this is that it increases visibility. If your blog is ranking at the top (position 0), Google calls this position 0. It’s possible if you have applied schema markup. Schema markup, also called structured data, is a kind of micro data. When you add schema markup to your webpage, it creates a description, also known as a rich snippet, which appears in the search results in the picture.

To know in-depth about featured snippets, check out this article by ahrefs – Google’s Featured Snippets: All You Need to Know to Get Them

When you rank at position 0 or at the top, and your intention is to provide useful information, aka to educate people, it builds trust as well.

If you are writing an informational blog and providing information, then you are also targeting informational keywords, which can bring in new leads as well. When you rank at position 0, it will increase your website’s visibility. When visibility increases, it will build trust because you are providing useful and educational content. With that, it will help convert traffic into new leads.

Commercial Search Intent

Commercial Search Intent means users know what to buy, but they are now just checking or researching the product or service from different places.

It’s between informational and transactional intent because the user has decided what to buy, but before making a purchase, they want to know about that product or service.

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Transactional Search Intent

Transactional Search Intent means the user is ready to purchase or do things that fall under transactional intent. There is more to it. Yes, I said purchase, but even when you sign up for a newsletter, it’s still a transaction. Whether you signed up for a newsletter, watched something, or were searching for a price, Your intent here is transactional.

Transactional keywords, that’s where money is and convert better.

How to find Out User intent

It aligns with where users are in the marketing funnel. Check this:

  • Awareness: Users searching with informational intent (how to turn off the iPhone 14)
  • Consideration: Users searching with commercial intent (IPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone Pro Max)
  • Conversion: It can be either transactional or navigational because if a user wants to go to an online store with a transactional intent, it’s highly possible that the user is going there to buy something.

That’s why it’s important to find out the user’s intent when you make a content marketing strategy.

Most of the time, you can tell what the keyword’s intent is. If it includes how, why, what, how, where, and where. This means it’s an informational search intent.

If it includes best, vs., top, review. This means it’s a commercial search intent.

If it includes how, why, what, how, where, and where. This means it’s an informational search intent.


As we discussed above, search intent is important because, without knowing it, it would be hard to target your audience. To target people, we need to know which audience will be our target audience, and for that, knowing user intent becomes very important.

And now we know what is user intent and why is it important.


Q1. How important is search intent?

It’s really important because it’s an essential part of keyword research, but not only that, without knowing your target audience’s intent, it’d be very hard to get traffic because Google will show your content to those people who are searching for content like you.

Q2. What is keyword intent?

Keyword intent is the same as search intent. It basically means what the search intent is of the user behind that specific keyword.

Some keywords’ intent is clear, but some are not. Like we saw at the beginning of this article, when we wrote pasta, search intent wasn’t clear.

Q3. What are the 4 types of user intent?

Navigational, informational, commercial, and transactional.

But Google uses it a bit differently. Let’s see how Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines see Intent types:

  • Know queries: The users’ intent is to know or learn about something, to get information.
    It fits with the informational search intent.
  • Do queries: The users’ intent is to do something, to purchase something, or things like that that have transactional intent, like watching a show, searching for a price, or signing up for a newsletter.
    It fits with the transactional search intent.
  • Website queries: The users’ intent is to go to a specific website.
    It fits with the navigational search intent.
  • Visit-in-person queries: The users’ intent is to go to a specific physical place.

Q4. What is user intent in content marketing?

It includes information. When you write, your intent is clear; you know whom you are writing for. When you understand the user’s intent, you can write for and target that audience.

Q5. What is intent in SEO?

Search intent, or user intent, describes why we search online. It tells us the purpose. Because when people search online, they want to find something.

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How To Do Keyword Research For SEO – A Beginner’s Guide

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