4 Types of Search Intent (& How You Can Use Them for SEO)

When you think about what your ideal audience is searching for, are you thinking about intent?

When it comes to Search Engine Optimization, understanding search intent is key.

So, what is search intent? It’s a term used to describe the underlying reason why someone searches for something online. Search engines use intent very carefully to understand what the searcher is really after.

Ultimately, to understand search intent is to understand your customer.⁠

Whether your goal is to get more leads or increase your website traffic, understanding search intent can help you reach those goals — and more! Let’s dive into four types of search intent and how you can use them.

Your Guide to Understanding Search Intent


Informational searches are exactly what they sound like — people are searching for information. This type of search usually consists of questions such as “What is…?” or “How do I…?”

If you have an informational website or blog, this type of search intent should be addressed in your SEO strategy. Ensure that you have content that answers commonly asked questions, so that potential customers will find the answers they are looking for on your site.

Informational Search Examples

▷ How to [Niche Keyword]: Your Ultimate Guide for [Audience]

▷ What is [Niche Keyword]?

▷ 5 Simple Steps to Accomplish [Niche Keyword]


Navigational searches are used when someone wants to go directly to a specific website or page. You may see these types of searches when someone knows exactly what they’re looking for and already has a particular brand or company in mind.

While this is one of the most straightforward and easiest-to-rank-for search intents, you’ll still want to ensure that you’ve optimized your website with branded keywords so that potential customers can find you easily through navigational searches.

Additionally, ensure that any links associated with your brand name lead directly to the correct page on your site for maximum efficiency and accuracy. (In many cases, that might be your homepage, about, or even contact page.)

Navigational Search Examples

▷ [Brand Keyword]: Your [Industry] Experts

▷ [Brand Keyword] address (or) phone number

▷ [Brand Keyword] vs. [Competitor Keyword]: What’s the Difference?


When a searcher has commercial search intent, they’re trying to find a product or service, rather than just information about it. In many cases, they’re even comparison shopping…so they’re very close to a buying decision.

This type of search intent may include words such as “buy” or “shop;” to capitalize on this type of search intent, ensure that you’re providing detailed product descriptions with relevant keywords included in the content so that potential customers know exactly what they will be getting if they choose to buy from you.

What’s more: all product pages on your site should be optimized for both desktop and mobile devices so users can easily navigate through all the products available at their fingertips!

Commercial Search Examples

▷ [Product Keyword]: [Descriptive Keyword] for [Audience or Industry]

▷ 5 Key Things to Look For in the Best [Product Keyword] Products

▷ [Product Keyword] vs. [Product Keyword]: Which is better?


When someone has transactional search intent, they’re actively looking to make a purchase and need some assistance in completing the transaction process from start to finish.

Searchers might be Googling phrases like “where do I buy…?” or “how much does it cost…?” For this type of search intent, having an easy-to-navigate shopping cart system is essential, so potential customers can quickly complete their purchase without any hiccups along the way!

Plus, adding promotional codes and discounts during checkout can help encourage sales while providing users with an extra incentive (and savings!) too!

Transactional Search Examples

▷ [Keyword] near me

▷ Buy [Keyword]

▷ [Keyword] prices

▷ [Keyword] download

Understanding different types of search intents allows you to better optimize your site accordingly – thereby increasing your chances of reaching your desired target audience(s). By optimizing your website with relevant keywords related to each type of search intent (informational, navigational, commercial, and transactional), you’ll be able to maximize your visibility online – not only helping you attract more potential customers, but also helping you convert them into actual paying ones as well!

The words you use matter, so what type of intent do your searchers have (and are you matching the same words in your copy)?

Want better SEO rankings for your blog?

Your blogpost titles can help you get them. 

Your blogpost title is about 50% of your battle when it comes to both optimizing your blogpost and enticing searchers to click on it.  

That’s the power of the title. 

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