Getting traffic to your site is one of the greatest challenges of every person who starts a blog. I think you’ll agree that you need traffic to get sales and leads. Without it, your blog will not be successful.
So what’s that got to do with SEO user intent?
Everything, that’s what!
Every day, there are about 40,000 searches on Google every second. That adds up to 3.5 billion searches per day.
How can you optimize your blog to get even a tiny bit of that traffic flowing to your site?
By understanding how user intent is the key driving factor to getting your site in search engine top results.
In this post I’m going to show you how to get more traffic to your website using SEO user intent combined with keyword research.
Why is User Intent Important for SEO?
User intent is a person’s reason for performing a search query in Google or other search engine. It’s more than use a single word or phrase.
What does this person need information about? Perhaps they want to learn how to do something. I look up stuff all the time to learn!
They may need information about almost anything, such as buying something, finding something, going somewhere and my favorite, self-diagnosis!
You can see how user intent is one step beyond keyword research. For example, look at the keyword “best diet.”
Chances are that someone has a specific intention in their online search for information, like:
- What is the best diet for women?
- What is the best diet to lose weight fast?
- Best diet for healthier skin
- Top weight loss diet plan for paleo eating
You can see how all of these fall under the search of “best diet”, but each query has a completely different intent behind it.
That is what user intent is all about: the reason a person is performing a search.
Back in the Old Days of Search
A few years ago, we didn’t think much about user intent. We focused entirely on keywords to the point of including exact keyword phrases in blog content. Taking it further, we would use bold, underline and italic on those phrases!
That tactic worked really well.
The bad news?
Those days are long gone. Google’s search algorithm has evolved over the years. Their goal has always been to show the best results for any user search query.
These days, Google’s algorithm has a better understanding of the intent behind any search query. In addition, the way people search for stuff online has changed.
People are more specific about what they are searching for and Google is able to provide them with the content that best matches the specific intent of their search.
Mistakes in SEO User Intent
Before I get into three amazing tips to help you create content with user intent in mind, let’s review two BIG mistakes that you should not make!
Not Targeting an Audience
All too often, I hear new’ish bloggers giving this advice to new bloggers:
“Write about what you feel passionate about.”
“Your audience will find you.”
Here’s the deal.
That is just not true at all. Sure there are a tiny percentage of bloggers who started out that way many years ago. But these days, you need a strategy and most of all, an audience that you understand!
Writing about your passion will likely not get you site traffic, sales, or subscribers.
Who are you writing content for? What problems are you solving? What questions are you answering and for whom?
If you plan to make money with your blog, you need an audience that is willing and able to spend money.
Read my in-depth article about Finding a Profitable Niche Market.
Relying on SEO Tools to do the Work for You
SEO tools like Yoast do not do search engine optimization for you. While Yoast is a fantastic tool, if you install it and get green lights on your posts, that does not mean you have optimized your content.
Everyone is hung up about this green light on Yoast. You may think that because you got that green light on Yoast, you have a winning optimized blog post. That is not true at all.
SEO is more than a tool. It is YOU that needs go through the optimization process for every piece of content you write, including:
- Understand your audience.
- Do keyword research to discover the needs and wants of your audience.
- Write content that will solve the problems of your audience.
- Write content that matches what your audience is looking for in search engines.
If you choose the keyword “mom” and include it a few times in your content, you may get the green light in Yoast SEO. But you will not be serving the needs of your audience because it’s not a narrowly focused topic.
You would never rank for the keyword because it’s way too general and broad. There are so many differents thing that a person may be searching for with regard to that word.
On the other hand, if your article focuses in on “why the Mom TV show was cancelled,” you can match user intent for such a search query looking for that specifically.
Google has made this statement and they stick to it:
— Google’s Search Console Course Section 1.4
Three Tips to Write Content with SEO User Intent
Imagine if you could make a few small changes to your content creation process and see an increase in visitors that keep coming back?
You’d probably be excited to read about them.
All you need to do is incorporate these SEO user intent techniques into every piece of content you create.
The good news?
Quality wins over quantity for long-term sustainability. (Just in case you feel like you can’t write as many blog posts each week.)
1 – What Value are you giving your Readers?
Google is focused on providing the best value to every user. Are you?
I know what you may be thinking…
You get all your traffic from Pinterest or some other social media network.
It doesn’t matter. Giving value to your audience regardless of where they come from should be the focus of your content.
Value driven content will also help you rank better in Google if your content is a good match for a user’s intent. I’ve gotten the majority of my site traffic from Google for years. Once you do the work, it pays off in the long term with no further intervention!
For every piece of content you write, ask yourself how you can make it as valuable as possible for your audience.
What is a person searching for that your content will provide the solution to?
Put yourself in the mind of your perfect customer and try to look at your content from their perspective. Does your content achieve what they are looking for?
Put your audience needs first instead of writing whatever you feel like writing.
2 – Useful SEO Keyword Tools for Content Ideas
There are plenty of online tools to identify winning keywords.
Having the ability to find out what type of questions your audience is seeking answers to is how you can focus your content on user intent.
Here are some of the best SEO keyword research tools that can help. I use these on a regular basis to further help identify topics for targeted content.
One of my all-time favorite places to get content ideas after I do my keyword research. Remember, the keyword research is just the start, now you have to take those keywords and discover more about the needs of your users.
AnswerthePublic provides you the popular questions that people are asking in search engine. Go ahead and give it a try!
You can see commonly asked questions for just about anything using Google AutoComplete. Just start typing into the Google Search box.
As you type additional letters and terms, a drop down list appears with suggestions from active user queries. It’s one of the best SEO suggestions tool and it’s free!
This clever tool will give you the most shared content in social media. You can see the general list of topics or focus in on more targeted topics. The results are a great indicator what people in your target audience may be interested in.
This SEO tool provides a ton of keyword research including long tail keywords, related keywords, search suggestions, top competitors and much more. You’ll get tons of ideas here to help you zero in the needs of your users.
3 – Update Underperforming Content
If you have content on your site that is not performing, then update it!
You can check Google Analytics or Webmaster Search Console to get a glimpse of which pages on your site get traffic.
You might find that certain pages are ranking for keywords that were not originally intended or some pages don’t get much traffic at all.
You can go back to that content on your site and update it.
Ask yourself if your content does a good job of matching the intent of visitors. If not, you may end up with a high bounce rate and disappointed users.
Do your research and update the content to better focus on what a user is searching for.
Once you complete the update, you can resubmit the blog post to Google’s index so the new version will be shown in search results.
Use the Google Webmaster Console Fetch as Google. You can find it under the Crawl menu.
You’ve read about SEO user intent and why it should be an integral part of your content strategy. When you create content that your users want and need, you’ll have a great chance of driving more traffic to your site.
As I mentioned, even if you get traffic from social media, if your content doesn’t fulfill the user’s needs in some way, your site bounce rate will soar!
We don’t want that!
Are you already implementing some of these tips? Which one will you do first?
Need more help? I am available for consultation!
Jen @Jenron-Designs says
This is so helpful, I just started blogging this year and it has been a whirlwind of information, and keeping up with current content. I feel like after the holiday I need to plan a day to optimize some of my older posts to be relevant. I pinned for later , thank you!
Lisa Jahred says
Hey Jen! Glad you found it helpful. I know, so much information out there about blogging! On another blog, I went back to older posts and updated them. That helped to increase the traffic to that site without writing brand new posts. I did this over a period of time with a strategy in mind.
I hope that you experience your greatest success in the year to come.