User Keyword Search Intent Optimization Vs. SEO Optimization

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Keyword search intent optimization is an engagement marketing tactic that focuses on optimizing a website’s keyword search results to follow the natural path of a visitor’s thought process. Keyword search intent optimization is one of the most powerful ‘engagement marketing strategies because it helps customers make more informed decisions. Optimizing your keyword search intent can encourage visitors to make a clearer connection between what they’re searching for and the information they find on your website. If you want your content to rank well on search engines and drive traffic, you’ll need to optimize it. Optimizing your content means adding the appropriate keywords to help increase its visibility on search engine results pages (SERP).

But there’s a difference between optimizing your content for SEO purposes versus optimizing it to match user intent. Knowing the difference is key for gaining traffic and clicks. 

When you optimize your content for SEO, you are trying to rank it high on search engine results pages. The goal is to have your content appear as one of the top search results when someone types in a keyword that is relevant to your business. In order to achieve this, you will need to add specific keywords and phrases related to your business into the content. This will help your content rank higher on SERPs. However, if you want your content to drive click-throughs and a good CTR, then you should optimize it so that it matches users’ keyword search intent. 

This post will discuss the difference between SEO optimization and User-intent. 

What is User Intent? or What is User Search Intent?

A search query is often a word or phrase that a person uses while searching, whereas intent means objective. In light of this, user intent—also known as user search intent—describes the purpose or aim of a searcher’s search query.

According to Search Engine Journal, search intent has primarily two search goals:

  • A user is looking to find information about the keyword(s) they have used.
  • A user is looking for more general information about a topic.

Google’s ultimate aim is to satisfy the user search objective or intent. The plethora of algorithms used by search engines delivers precise results in response to user requests.

Typically, PageRank and Keywords form the cornerstone of the Google algorithm. By developing keywords that include words with specific intent, businesses may increase the likelihood that users with similar search intent will find them.

For instance, if someone used the search engine to look up a pet store. They can be looking for a place to get their pet groomed, they want to purchase pet supplies, or for another reason. Google utilizes SEO and keywords to direct users to the appropriate business site to precisely understand and meet their needs by understanding the User’s search intent. When a user enters information, a search engine will automatically display results relating to pet stores. It might also contain articles that educate them or adverts for products, or it might send the searcher to another landing page, all to satisfy the searcher’s objective. 

The ideal keywords to answer the searcher’s question should be something like this:

  •        Best grooming for pets
  •        Get your pet’s accessories
  •        Pet for you 
  •        Goodies for little paws

Although each query has a distinct intent, there are four basic ways to group search intent:

  • Navigational: The intention to navigate somewhere (online). These searchers are looking for a particular website or webpage.


If a user wishes to see a LinkedIn page, they can go directly to a search engine and type in “LinkedIn,” in such a case, the searcher would navigate to the LinkedIn page.

  • Informational: The intention to learn more about something. These users seek answers in response to a particular query.


If a person wants to come up with a plan to help his online business succeed, he might visit a search engine to look for a great strategy that he can use. Here on the search engine, he can learn more about digital marketing and ad campaigns and dig into other information. 

  • Commercial investigation: The intent is to investigate more about the specific information before deciding to purchase. 


Users with a Commercial investigation intent are here to compare products and brands to find the best fit for them.

  • Transactional: The intent to carry out a particular action.


The searcher researches a product’s features, pricing, availability, available colors, and more before purchasing electronic equipment. Because the consumer intends to buy something but is looking for more pertinent information before deciding to buy, these search inquiries are known as transactional intent.

(Source: Yoast SEO)

Importance of User Search Intent

When optimizing your content, you need to ensure it matches the searcher’s intent. Let’s say someone is looking for information on how to grow tomatoes. The user intends to look for a tutorial on how to grow these red and juicy fruits. But if you were to post a link on social media about how to plant tomatoes, the user intent would be different. That person is probably looking for help with planting their tomato plants, not growing them from seeds or transplanting them from another location.

You can match user intent by using words like “how” and “grow” in your title and content. This will increase your click-through rate because users will know this is what they are looking for when they visit your page. Another way you can match user intent is by targeting certain keywords in your post that align with their search query. For example, if someone types in something like “how do I grow tomatoes?” then you could use keywords such as “planting tomatoes from seed,” “growing tomatoes indoors,” or “transplanting tomato plants outdoors.” You want to include these keywords so that anyone searching for those terms will see your article in their SERP results when they search for them.

SEO Optimization vs. Optimization for User Search Intent 

There’s a difference between optimizing your content for SEO purposes versus optimizing it to match user intent. For example, let’s say you have an article on your website that discusses apple pies. You know that people are searching for ‘apple pie recipes,’ so you decide to include the phrase in your content. That may be considered SEO optimization because you’re boosting the rank of your article on SERPs with a relevant keyword. 

However, if someone who is reading your article clicks on a link to go to another page of yours, and they’re presented with a page titled ‘The Best Apple Pie Recipe,’ then that would be user intent optimization. The title matches what the user was looking for and gives them exactly what they want from the get-go.

Let us take another example. If someone searches for ‘fitness classes in my area this weekend and clicks on a result from your website with similar content, they may not convert because they were actually looking for a specific time frame or location. Or, if someone was looking for “fresh fruit delivery service near me” on Google but only sees results about fresh seasonal fruits, then there is no chance that the user will click on any of those results because they don’t meet the user’s intention of finding a fresh fruit delivery service.


So next time, try this secret recipe to boost your traffic:

  • Understand the user search intent 
  • Understand in which category that search query falls into
  • Optimize the user search intent content by making it more humanized
  • Deploy the best-ranked keywords or phrases into your content

And whoa! Here you get the best outcomes.

Businesses thrive to boost organic traffic and sales in today’s cutthroat competition. Understanding the users’ search intent is the first move in engaging the rational searcher to your business’s website or webpage. Finding the ideal keywords would therefore help to boost the search engine optimization strategy. Therefore, now it must be clear that having the understanding and best combination of user search intent and search engine optimization will only bring the desired results. 

User intent is the driving force behind keyword optimization. It is what makes your search for a specific phrase, and it should be the driving force behind your content strategy. When you are writing, you should ask yourself what your content’s intent is: Is it to inform? To persuade? To entertain? 

How can you match your content to that intent? By answering these questions and thinking about them when you write, you will be able to write more user-friendly content optimized for search engines, which will help your site rank higher.

Author Bio:

Manjiri Bhate is a freelance content contributor at Content Assistant. A management aspirant, she has a distinctive flair for content writing. Her analysis skills, SEO knowledge, and hands-on experience in using all digital marketing tools often find a voice in her articles.