How to align your content with search intent
| June 10, 2021
It sounds simple but converting people when they visit your site is harder than you think. This is because brands spend a lot of time and effort focused on earning visits but not conversions. So how will aligning your content feed into search intent, converting visitors into customers?
There are many reasons why people don't convert when they visit your site. Poor user experience, also known as UX design, could partly be to blame, but what will also be affecting it is that search results have attracted users with “low purchase intent.”
What Is “Intent?”
Purchase intent refers to the mindset a user has when they land on a site. Some people arrive with the intent to buy — known as transactional intent — whilst others are searching for information, known as informational intent.
There is a third category in the shape of navigational queries. This is when a user accesses a single point for the information that they want, such as instructional videos on YouTube.
Copywriters will often want to know what the purpose of a piece of copy is. And the reason why they want to know is down to purchase intent. What mindset will a user have when they find and land on your page? If it's for information, the content needs to give the information they are seeking, but if it to make a purchase, they'll be looking for a different type of content, from dimensions to description on how to use a product, choice of color and so on.
As a brand, you may decide that pages of information are good for SEO and that your consumers will appreciate it. But there is too much of a good thing. Insufficient content can leave a website floundering just as too many pages, or too much content can be confusing.
It can also affect search intent, too. This is because a plethora of content and pages dilutes the signals your website is sending out to search engines. And when this happens, the right people with the right intent are not landing on your website in the right place.
Solving the problem of low search intent
The key to solving this problem, which could be damaging your site ranking, is to give the user the information they want on the page that they land on. This means having content on your site that has a clear focus and aim.
It isn't just a case of culling content or merging pages, however.
User intent is an important part of SEO, so understanding how these link together is essential for continuing to build and grow your site and organic traffic.
1. Set priorities
Redefining how and what content people find on your site is potentially a large and on-going project. Search intent refers to organic traffic, something that takes times, energy and marketing to build. It is essential not to take on too much, too quickly, or it could become messy. Determine what the priorities are by listing the pages and areas of your website that attract attention but not from the user at the right times.
2. Existing content vs. new content
With existing content, it can be hard to determine what needs to change. As part of this project, you may have come with new keywords, for example. Updating content, images, SEO page title, and so on, in one area of your site will not automatically improve the remainder of the site.
In other words, a new keyword in one section needs to be reflected across the website. It's a big job, but that doesn't mean it can't or shouldn't be done. It also doesn't automatically point to new content as the solution either.
Check the rankings of each page. If the engagement is good, it's a case of updating it to build on what is already there. For pages with minimal interaction or a high bounce rate, it may be that rewriting them with new, updated keywords is the way forward.
3. Understand your buyer's journey
What also contributes to poor conversion is when the buyer journey is too long, too clunky or simply not clear enough. You also need to ask a question about your content — how does the content a user sees or comes across correspond with their journey to making a purchase?
Your website should, if its main aim is to convert people to buy your products or service, be geared around their needs.
4. Link it with paid search
Low search intent is all about organic traffic. Paid search in the shape of ads can be helpful in understanding what it is your users are looking for. When you have a better understanding of this, you can use this to inform your content.
Offerings and content — the importance of aligning your content
Understanding the issue is easier when understanding it with an example. For example, a website selling bakery products may find that the advertising revenue from views and clicks is how money is made. Content such as “how-to” guides may be the best format. Just as the content on the best cookie cutter will be a good blog that will attract attention.
But it may be that someone who is reading the blog may be interested in buying a new mixing bowl. A link to your most popular mixing bowl, along with a product review, becomes part of a successful sales funnel.
No view of a page is wasted, but if the content is not serving a purpose or feeding into your sales funnel, it isn't working hard enough. And when people land with low search intent on important pages, then this is wasted, too. In effect, it suggests that the structure of your website is jumbled.
It takes a bit of effort along with analytics and an understanding of which pages are being ranked over and above others. But when you do, and you either write new content or improve the content, your website will no longer be held back.
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