Understanding User Intent: Creating Targeted Content that Converts

Creating content is about understanding what users want and helping them. By paying attention to their searches and behavior, you can learn about their intent behind clicks. User intent is what a user wants or needs from content. Content matching user intent better engages audiences and converts searchers to customers.

This article will cover how to analyze user intent and create helpful content that users want.

Understanding User Intent: Creating Targeted Content that Converts
Understanding User Intent: Creating Targeted Content that Converts

Types of User Intent

There are four main types of user intent when people search or browse:

1. Informational: Users who want to learn or research a topic more. This intent is best for longform posts like explainers, guides, tips, and thought leadership articles.  

2. Navigational: Users searching for a specific webpage or website by name. They want to access a page rather than read content itself. Redirecting these searches to relevant pages is most helpful.

3. Transactional: Users ready to purchase right now. They want pricing, shopping pages, and product details to help complete a transaction.

4. Commercial: Users researching solutions, comparing options before buying. Ranking and comparison posts can engage these learners.

Recognizing User Intent

To understand what users want for each intent, look at data like:  

A)  Keyword searches – This shows what people are asking and learning about.  

B) Website data – How visitors navigate and convert shows intent types working or missing.

C) Surveys – Ask users what they need for a great experience. What gaps do they see?

D) Support tickets/chats – Common questions from real users reveal content needs.

E) Competitor content – See what resonates in your topic area to identify user intent interests and gaps. 

Additionally, talk with teams like Sales. They know common user questions and can share voices directly. Make assumptions about intent, then rapid-prototype and test with real users to validate understanding before creating.

Making Content to Meet Each User Intent

Now that we have validated understandings of major user intent types that we need to serve, we can create helpful, matching content.

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Informational Intent

  • Build long-form guides, articles, and multi-part content series sharing knowledge and best practices for self-directed learner audiences.
  • Use an engaging author voice, personalized second-person narratives, relevant real-world metaphors/analogies, and visual assets simplifying complex ideas.
  • Chunk text using plenty of clear descriptive headers, subheads, bullet points, and bolded keyword callouts ensuring easy skimming access to key insights they seek.
  • Tell real stories showcasing thought leadership.  

Navigational Intent

  • Ensure findable branded and navigational term-focused results by improving site architecture, specifically persistent site menus, and footers linking valued locations like Support and Contact pages.
  • Craft compelling page title tags and meta descriptions overviewing each destination to signal utility and relevance to searcher needs.   

Transactional Intent

  • Streamline product and pricing pages singularly focused on enabling friction-free final purchase decisions through clear, consistent page layouts and flows, ample customer validation elements like ratings, reviews, and testimonials, plus minimal steps to transact across devices.
  • Provide rich product details with specs and imagery catering to buyer confidence during final considerations.   

Commercial Intent

  • Develop content showcasing unique value propositions, areas of specialty expertise, service capabilities and approach to trust building appropriate for early-stage audiences still information gathering before provider selection.
  • Offer side-by-side brand capability comparisons versus competitors, tailored buying guides helping identify ideal solutions based on transparent use case alignment and calls-to-action as well as access to online tools, calculators and sandbox environments allowing hands-on self-directed scenario modeling to nurture owned education empowering decisions.

The Role of SEO in Catering to User Intent

SEO and user intent efforts deeply intertwine, as search visibility depends on meeting (and anticipating) searcher needs.

Conduct keyword research assessing volume, competition, and commercial intent to identify core topics to strategically target.

Tailor content and pages around these topics using optimal title tags, headers, and meta descriptions carefully crafted to signal utility messaging matching various user intents. 

Follow SEO best practices on site speed, accessibility for images and media, effective internal linking between related resources and clear calls-to-action empowering visitors next steps across buyer journeys.

Monitor rankings to determine topics and keywords gaining traction to double down on production for high potential areas.

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Measuring Success and Adjusting Strategy

Continually measure content performance using analytics to see what is resonating. Assess pageviews, average time on page/site, scrolling depth and conversion rates on calls-to-action to determine what content best engages diverse user intent needs.

Are informational resources capturing attention then leading to purchases down the cycle? What gaps still show high exits not addressed? Survey users directly on what helps (or hinders) their experience and where they still have questions.

Let insights guide what additional content gets prioritized and any optimization opportunities to better continually delight visitors.


In closing, aligning content efforts with user intent determined through research is crucial for providing helpful experiences advancing customers down the decision making and buying journey funnel with relevant support tailored just for them when they need it.

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