User Intent

User intent is grammatically incorrect. It is translated from the English, ”User Intent.” Determining what a searcher is looking for is big part of SEO. Google distinguishes between information, navigation and transaction. In this article, we talk about what user intent is and what it means.

What is it?

User intent is not a user’s search in Google. What matters is the intent that gives rise to the search. A user’s intent indicates exactly what that person means.

The importance of user intent

When applying SEO, user intent is key. Google shows search results that match the search query as well as showing the results that Google thinks are relevant to the searcher. The web page should be optimized for what the searcher means, not what they type in.

In Google’s early years, this was not possible. Google’s algorithm was not smart enough to figure out what the searchers intent was. Today, Google is getting smarter and faster because of AI (Artificial Intelligence). As a result, Google is increasingly discovering what the user’s search intent is.

user intent

The impact of user intent on SEO

In the early stages of your SEO journey, you should already respond to user intent. It starts with conducting keyword research. During this research, the keywords on which the website wants to be found are determined. When determining these keywords, the marketer must consider the intent of a particular search. Here it is important not to always assume and use the literal meaning of a command.

My advice

How do you consider user intent? The easiest way to take this into account is to enter the search query itself into Google. This allows you to see immediately from the search results what Google associates the search query with. View the first 5 results the corresponding search. Determine for yourself if the landing page contains a similar topic. If this is the case, you can link this keyword to your topic.

In addition, you need to ask yourself if the content on your page can surpass the content in the top 5 in quality. Once you have done this, link the search query to the appropriate landing page.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a user intent?

User intent is the underlying intention a user has. This term is used when talking about the intent of someone searching for something in Google. Maybe someone searches Google for one thing but means something else. That “something else” is the intention, not what exactly he or she is looking for.

What is the impact of User Intention on SEO?

It is critical to consider user intent. Right at the beginning of keyword research, this begins. First, enter the intended search query yourself. Then see if the result fits your subject.

Senior SEO-specialist

Ralf van Veen

Senior SEO-specialist
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I have been working for 10 years as an independent SEO specialist for companies (in the Netherlands and abroad) that want to rank higher in Google in a sustainable manner. During this period I have consulted A-brands, set up large-scale international SEO campaigns and coached global development teams in the field of search engine optimization.

With this broad experience within SEO, I have developed the SEO course and helped hundreds of companies with improved findability in Google in a sustainable and transparent way. For this you can consult my portfolio, references and collaborations.

This article was originally published on 11 October 2023. The last update of this article was on 17 January 2024. The content of this page was written and approved by Ralf van Veen. Learn more about the creation of my articles in my editorial guidelines.