Introducing the discovery of Search Intent from SERP Data
What if I told you that to see your content ranking well, you wouldn’t have to rely on luck or Google’s mood on that day?
Or that to write a well-optimized content, all you’d have to do is to uncover just two pieces of information? And that you could find both of them in the SERP data easily?
I don’t think you’d believe me.
What two insights could guarantee your copy to rank, after all? You’ll find that out in just a moment.
However, there’s something we absolutely must address first…
What the heck happened to SEO?
You know, back when I started in the industry (around 2010, if you needed to know), writing SEO copy was so darn easy. I mean, to see your content skyrocket in SERPs, you just had to:
- discover a particular keyword your audience used,
- make sure you include that phrase on a page a couple of times, and
- build some links to boost the page’s authority.
Sure, I may have simplified the process a little. But it really wasn’t that far from what I described above.
Fast forward to today…
For starters, keywords hold just a fraction of the power they once had. Today, your target audience would hardly use the same phrase to find your content.
Now users would ask Google questions instead. Others would describe the object of their search. And many would simply type any scraps of information they have about what they’re looking for.
The catch? They’d all expect Google to deliver relevant and valuable information nonetheless.
(Given all that, it really is no surprise how often the search engine algorithm is changing. It needs to deliver on the evolving users’ needs continuously, after all.)
What’s more, users would have different reasons for researching information too. And to rank, your content would have to deliver on that need as well (more on this in just a second.)
Finally, factors like their location, search history, and countless others would affect the search results. All of which poses a serious challenge for writing content to rank, right?
How to write copy for the new search behaviour
Remember the two insights I mentioned at the beginning of this guide? We’re going to talk about them now.
Because you see, to write content that could shoot straight to the top of the search results, you first need to discover two things:
- the search intent – the goal of a person searching for this information
- the relevance of the content – the characteristics of content Google ranks for the topic already
Let’s go through them in detail.
1. The search intent
The term relates to a reason why someone conducts a specific search in Google (or any other search engine, for that matter)
That reason determines what type of information would satisfy it.
Being aware of it, Google has put an enormous amount of work to be able to determine the search intent. And in turn, promote pages promising to deliver that information in the SERP.
So, what goal someone might have on Google?
|SEARCH INTENT||WHAT IS IT USED FOR?||EXAMPLE|
|Informational||To find new information||“how to write better content”|
|Navigational||To get to a specific online property||“Mangools blog”|
|Transactional||To find and buy products||“buy asus laptop”|
|Commercial||To research future purchases||“best laptop for students”|
Understanding why someone would search for information helps you decide how to approach your topic.
Should you write a blog post? Or maybe create a long-form content? Focus on describing your product or focus on its features?
(Note: In the next section, I’ll show you how to use SERP data to find that out.)
But first, let’s cover the other insight you must know:
2. Content relevance
The first insight – the search intent – revealed why someone would look for specific information.
This one tells you what content Google prefers to rank to satisfy that intent.
Which, in turn, reveals how you should structure and format your content, from a content type you’d use to what information or advice you should offer. Analyzing top ranking pages tells you what to include on a page to help it rank.
Let me show you how to do it.
How to use SERP data to identify intent and relevance
We’re going to analyze the keyword first. Then, look for the search intent behind it. And finally, evaluate pages that currently rank for this keyword to learn what content could rank there best.
Step #1. Keyword Analysis
I begin by assessing the value of the keyword. Doing so requires nothing more than running it through a keyword research tool to gain some insights about it.
And in the case of our test phrase, I can see a significant interest (2112 searches) and commercial value ($46 cost per click) behind it.
So, off to a good start.
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Adeniyi Salau (CCNA,CDMP, CEP, MOS, MCP, CSCU (Project 2016) is a Google and Beingcert Certified Digital Marketer, Project Manager and SEO Expert of repute with about a decade of Blogging and online marketing experience. He is always ready to share his experience with others.