User intent

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Term Definition
User intent

Understanding what users are trying to achieve with their search queries.

In the context of search engines and digital marketing, user intent refers to the underlying goal or reason behind a user's search query. It's essentially the "why" behind the "what" when someone types something into a search bar. Understanding user intent is crucial for creating content and optimizing websites that truly resonate with your audience and fulfill their needs.

Here's a breakdown of the key aspects:

Types of user intent:

  • Informational: The user is seeking information and wants to learn something new. (e.g., "What is the capital of France?")
  • Transactional: The user is looking to purchase something or complete a specific action. (e.g., "Buy a new laptop")
  • Navigational: The user knows exactly where they want to go and needs help getting there. (e.g., "Facebook login page")
  • Commercial: The user is researching products or services before making a purchase decision. (e.g., "Best laptop for students")

Why user intent matters:

  • Content relevance: If you understand user intent, you can create content that directly addresses their needs and concerns.
  • Improved SEO: Matching your content and website structure to user intent can lead to better ranking in search results.
  • Enhanced user experience: By providing solutions and answers that align with user intent, you create a more satisfying and engaging experience.
  • Increased conversions: Targeting the right intent can lead to more website visitors taking desired actions, such as making purchases or signing up for services.

Identifying user intent:

  • Keywords: Analyze the keywords used in search queries and consider their context.
  • Search results: See what type of content search engines are already surfacing for similar queries.
  • User behavior: Track user behavior on your website to understand their goals and actions.


  • If someone searches for "best restaurants in Paris," they're likely in the informational stage, looking for recommendations.
  • If they search for "Paris restaurant reservations," they're closer to the transactional stage, ready to book a table.