“Today, people are no longer following a linear path from awareness to consideration to purchase. They are narrowing and broadening their consideration set in unique and unpredictable moments. People turn to their devices to get immediate answers. And every time they do, they are expressing intent and reshaping the traditional marketing funnel along the way.” – Think with Google
Jack, an electrical engineer, is fond of gadgets. He keeps scouring the internet for new releases and upgrades and knows which brand to purchase.
On the other hand, there is John, a sales manager, who looks for gadgets just when he needs to replace an old one.
Since both have different interests and needs, their preferences, choices, and behavioral patterns will be different.
While Jack will only prefer to purchase specific brands thanks to his thorough research about products, John will have a lot of options to choose from.
This example clearly explains the concept of Search Intent.
Also known as user intent, Search Intent is the main goal a user has when he types a query into a search engine. In this blog post, we take a look at how Search Intent is redefining the marketing funnel and how you can make full use of its data to benefit your business.
But before that, let’s quickly take a look at how the customer journey has evolved.
Customer Journey: Evolving From the Linear
Since its origin in 1988, marketing and sales professionals have been using customer journey to map every buyer’s journey. However, the scenario is no longer the same.
With a change in consumer behavior, marketing strategy has moved from awareness to decision making and then to the final stage of the purchase.
Prospects now do not enter the top of the funnel, rather they step in at any stage. For instance, on a single click on an eCommerce store, you are in the awareness stage and soon move to the consideration phase to make a purchase.
Every time this happens, your customers express their Search Intent and reshape the traditional funnel in real-time.
How Is the Customer Journey Different?
Here’s a brief categorization to understand customer behavior better:
- Researchers: For some buyers, research is the most important part when they have to buy a product. Depending on that, their journey either widens or narrows down.
- Customer reviews: Then, there are buyers who give importance to customer reviews before making the decision.
- Tiny detail researchers: These buyers give attention to every detail related to the product.
- Post-purchase reviews: In today’s customer journey, buyers may research post-purchase too as there is an easy option to return the ordered product.
- Informational Intent – Information based search
- Navigational Content – Search users are aware of the brand they want to surf about
- Commercial or high content – The search user is ready to purchase
Thereby, businesses need to make sure that they are found on every touchpoint throughout the user journey, and know in advance what their audience is searching for most on different platforms.
To understand the user journey better, it is important for your business to understand how Search Intent works.
Let’s get started:
Types of Search intent
There are three types of search intent
How To Use the Search Intent Data?
When you know where your customer is in the marketing funnel you are able to make better marketing decisions. It helps you align your user expectations in a better way and thus convert them down the funnel. Here is how you can use Search Intent better –
1. Understand the Search Queries
The basic understanding of the search queries starts with finding patterns. Different query patterns can discover trends, behavior nuances, and more.
Considering those patterns, you can categorize the data into specific user interests.
This categorization will help you draft detailed topics and sub-topics that interest user searches. The search queries in general help gather keyword insight, which in turn helps you target the right audience.
2. Improve the Site Content
Is there a page on your website that you think should rank but isn’t?
If yes, it can be because of not factoring in the concept of Search Intent.
Don’t just stick to writing new content, but also make sure that you are repurposing existing content. Re-optimizing old content for Search Intent is one of the quickest ways to attract organic traffic to your website.
3. Analyze Ranking Based on Intent
Rather than drafting reports on the basis of keywords, you can measure performance according to the marketing funnel.
For instance, if you’re doing well at the bottom of the funnel, the top of the funnel content might need your attention.
When you track based on Search Intent, you will be able to prioritize content expansion, new page creation, or page design tweaks.
The Bottom LineWith Search Intent being the most important ranking factor in 2019, it is a good idea to factor it in for your website. Fail to give searchers what they want, and your chances of ranking are bleak.
It is a good idea to create a list of appropriate keywords, and categorizing them by intent. Make sure whatever model you choose, it addresses the multi-dimensional nature of the users, the role of advocates who aren’t your customers, and non-linear paths to purchase.
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