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Search Intent: Using the “Why” Behind a Query to Boost Your Copy

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Looking out a window with a bar at a building, mountains and ocean

Funny cat GIFs.

How to earn more bells in Animal Crossing.

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?

It’s quite obvious why someone might enter these queries into Google. Whether they need a laugh or to quickly pay the last of their loan to Tom Nook, the intent behind these queries is clear.

The content a searcher decides to check out will follow their intent. And that’s exactly what we want to talk about today. To truly optimize a piece of website content, you must understand your audience’s intent and deliver.

What Is Search Intent?

Also known as user intent, search intent is the “why” behind a search query (or the term you use inside a search box). For you, it’s the reason why someone might land on your website via Google.

Speaking of Google, the company works hard to update search algorithms to reflect user intent and display only the best content to fit a search query. If Google says it’s important, we better pay attention.

The Different Types of Search Intent

There are four common types of search intent:

  • Informational: Perhaps the most common type of intent is informational intent, where someone simply conducts a search online about a specific topic. For example, you might use search to check the weather or to find chicken recipes for dinner.
  • Navigational: If you want to visit a specific website via search, this is considered navigational intent. For example, you may type “Facebook” or “Custom Content Solutions.”
  • Transactional: Search is used frequently to find products online to purchase. This is known as transactional intent.
  • Investigational: This refers to customers who use the web to research products and services. Example queries might be, “should I buy a Nintendo Switch or Switch Lite” or “best laptop for work.” 

How to Use Intent in Your Website Copy

So, what do we do with all this information? You can use search intent to boost your website copy. The key is to consider your customer journey, which informs your audience’s intent. Then, create content based on that intent using keywords that align with their query.

We know this might sound complicated or overwhelming, but hear us out.

Using the Customer Journey to Inform Search Intent

Let’s consider an attorney. The attorney’s customer journey may start with a potential client looking online for an answer to a legal question. They may soon discover they need an attorney which leads them to search for attorneys in their area. Finally, they land on the attorney’s website and give them a call.

Can you pick out the different types of search intent inside this journey?

First, there’s informational intent (looking for answers) followed by investigational intent (searching for an attorney). The attorney can use this information to create copy optimized for intent. For example, they can create an informational blog post that answers the client’s legal question. Next, they can put together website pages that talk about their practice and services.

Your customer journey may look different. That’s why it’s so important to get to know your ideal customer persona, so you can map a customer journey that makes sense for your business.


Intent isn’t enough without speaking your audience’s language in your copy. You’ll also need to use keywords in your copy that say, “Hey, Google, this content is the answer to that query.”

With a bit of keyword research, you can find keywords to use in your copy that align with your audience’s queries. As a result, Google’s happy and so is your audience for finding what they’re looking for.

Having Trouble Understanding How to Create Content That Converts?

Content that converts visitors into customers will be created with intent in mind. If you’re struggling with creating website copy, let us help! We know that content creation can sometimes be as clear and mud. To learn more about search intent or content creation, send our Word Nerds a message.

Erin Larson