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The Impact of User Intent on SEO and Content

2 min read

In this webinar, Kevin Indig VP SEO & Content at G2 Crowd and Jeff Coyle, Co-founder and CPO MarketMuse look at how Google has changed in recent years and why search intent is so important to both search engine optimization and content.

Search Intent Profiling

Search intent refers to the intent a user has when performing a search query. It’s a problem the user is trying to solve when he performs a search. Satisfying user intent has become crucial for SEO, ever since Google introduced the Hummingbird update in 2013.

Keyword-driven Content

Correctly recognizing user intent and satisfying that intent is a prerequisite for working in SEO these days. Keyword-driven content doesn’t work as well as it used to. For content to compete, it needs to move beyond targeting a single keyword. It has to cover an entire topic and connect with the intent of the audience.

Planning Content Topics & Analyzing Intent

There are three inherent problems with user intent:

  1. It is difficult to scale.
  2. The user intent isn’t always 100% clear.
  3. User intent changes over time.

Crafting High-Quality Content

Google the query to determine what Google is showing. Image, maps, snippets and other features can help reveal the intent behind a search. The challenge is in determining the right intent and then crafting content to satisfy it.

Starting With User Intent

Be on the lookout for packs or special features that appear in the search engine results page. “People also ask” (PAA), featured snippets, image, news are just a few to watch out for. Look beyond the top URLs and try to discern the experience that Google is providing.

User Intent is not Static

Don’t just answer the problem for which people come to your site. Answer the next ten problems that they have.

Map Content Strategy to User Intent

People’s awareness of a problem does not remain static. As they learn more, they iterate on their understanding over time. They also shape and iterate their understanding of the best solution as well.

Q & A

What guidance and insight do you gain from conducting a content audit and how to do you use it?

Under what circumstances should you edit, redirect or remove old content?

Should I be writing content targeted specifically towards a particular Pack on Google (image, knowledge panel, etc.)

Does deleting content always result in a reduction in traffic?

If you’re writing for specific SERP features, is it possible that you could end up losing organic traffic?

Stephen leads the content strategy blog for MarketMuse, an AI-powered Content Intelligence and Strategy Platform. You can connect with him on social or his personal blog.