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According to one recent study, a significant 68% of all online experiences with your customers will still begin the exact same way: via a search engine like Google or Bing. If you needed a single statistic to point to the continued importance of SEO (search engine optimization), let it be that one.

But at the same time, SEO has evolved tremendously over the years. In the early days of the Internet, essentially all you had to do was cram as many relevant keywords into your content as possible and you'd quickly rise to the top of the search engine results pages. Then, Google and others tweaked their algorithm to prioritize high value, relevant content above all else.

This continued evolution has placed a significant emphasis on not just what someone is searching for, but why they're conducting the search in the first place. It's something called search intent and if you're not already making it a big part of your content marketing creation process, now would be an excellent time to start.

Why Does Search Intent Matter? An Overview

As stated, search intent is essentially the critical context surrounding someone's decision to use a search engine in the first place. Yes, they've typed in a string of words - but why did they do that to begin with?

Are they looking for a particular website? Are they trying to buy something but they're not quite sure where to begin? Are they just trying to figure out the answer to a lingering question? Depending on which route you're talking about, the journey those potential customers are taking will be very different - which is why search intent is of paramount importance.

Informational intent, as the name suggests, refers to those searches conducted by people who are just looking for information about a particular topic. They want to know more and they've turned to the Internet to find out. Navigational intent would refer to people who already know the specific website they want to visit but they might not know the direct URL. Transactional intent refers to those people who want to buy a particular product and are looking for the best place to do precisely that.

All of this is why it's important to pay attention to the intent-specific words that people are using when you're creating the content that will live on your website. If someone is using terms like "what is" or "how to", the chances are high that they're looking for information - and it's up to you to provide it for them. Words like "buy" or a specific product name are signifiers for transactional intent, and you need to be able to meet those needs, too.

Understanding intent means understanding your customers, which ultimately allows you to serve them in the most effective way possible moving forward.

To get more information about why search intent needs to play a much bigger role in your online marketing campaigns moving forward, or to get answers to any other important questions you may have, please don't hesitate to contact InfoStream Solutions today.