9 Types of Search Intent and What To Do For SEO

Search Intent is a familiar term in the SEO field, which is one of the most important factors covering the search results in recent times.

Search Intent is a users’ intent and the purpose behind questions when they type on the search engine tools. Depending on the complex AI algorithms, the search engines show the results which are suitable for their want on the search engine result pages (SERP).

search intent

Typically, Google is one of the pioneers focusing on search intent. Thus, you’re your websites meet the needs of searchers, then they will have high ranks on Google SERPs.

Here are the 9 popular types of Seach Intent and what to do…

1. Search Intent to research information

search intent for information

For this type of search intent, the users perform most frequently on search engines, including Google. When reachers query, the results received are usually pages providing information and knowledge, such as Wiki, blog, and topic-based forum. The purpose is to provide useful information to answer users’ questions and to help them learn and know about the topic.

What to do: To fix the intent of users for only information, the SEO of websites has to focus on content marketing. You have to write more articles to supply knowledge as much as possible to flood the need of readers. Your posts can aim to answers the how-to questions.

>> Please see more about the avoidable mistake in hiring an SEO worker.

2. Search Intent to find quick answers

Search intent for quick answers

Search Intent for quick answers is to provide short and simple results for what users are looking for.

Although search Intent to find quick answers is the same purpose of finding information, users do not always want to research deeply. Sometimes, they just look for simple concepts and want quick answers without clicking or visiting a website.

With this type of query, Google often gives answers by definition boxes, answer boxes, or table box. As a result, websites that result in this query often experience a drop in clickthrough rate (CTR).

What to do: Although the intent to find quick answers can reduce the clicking ability of readers to go to your website, you have to notice on it. It is because of the display on the top of Google that can give you more chances than disappearing elsewhere. The hint to get more traffic from this is to create curious paragraphs, which indirectly forces the readers to want to see more.

3. Search Intent for purchase intentions

search intent for purchase intentions

The e-commerce trend creates different habits for shopping and searching. Google is catching up quickly to supply fast results for shoppers who are finding the products on the internet.

The search intent is easy to identify because the search query often includes the name of a product or a brand. When these requests come on the search tools, Google will display the product results, adding a shopping box and reviews about the items (if any).

What to do: Your website has to design a part of the shop suitable for e-commerce. If not, you stand outside of this part of the game. You do nothing when the guests try to type on the search box with the name of the other brand or company.

But, you will have more chances when users input the name of any products. So, locate your items, and write a better description, add more beautiful photos, get better reviews… to compete with the others.

In recent times, Google has more intendancy to display more ads box about shopping for this type of query. Thus, you may think about running ads for these searches.

4. Search Intent for local locations

search intent for location

For search intentions related to geolocation, the results returned are usually local packs with geographic markers. Maps are usually at the top of these search results. A photo beside a map may appear more in the knowledge panel when someone searches for a place.

The search intent for locations comes with the name of places, including cities, tourist destinations, and nations.

What to do: To create more chances for this search intent of users, your websites must have good content about the locations. Optimize the content with good writing, photos, maps, and graphics.

This part of the intent is usually for travel websites. In my experience, to get high ranks for these queries, you have to effort more than the normal. Your travel sites often fight again Wikipedia, theculturetrip, tripadvisor, and Google itself.

5. Search Intent for visual search

search intent for images

Some users want to see images instead of finding an answer in words. Then, the image suggestions will appear on the SERPs. Typically, on the search pages of Google and Bing, there is a tab of images that the users can choose to filter the search results for this type of intent.

Visual search or image search is one of the favor for many websites which focus on the photos, such as Pinterest.

What to do: To get a better rank in visual search is much easier than a local location of search intent. The essential work is to add more original pictures in posts. Then, you optimize the images for keywords you want to be ranked. Please notice the title, alt, caption, and file name of photos.

6. Search Intent for seeing videos

Search Intent for videos

Besides pictures, video queries have developed for the last years. When identifying user intent, videos will show on the SERPs with outstanding results, accompanied by thumbnails and excerpts. These videos are classified as a separate category.

Google and Bing also have the tap for choosing only the results of Videos.

What to do: Join this part of search intent, your websites have to have videos. Two ways to apply videos for your video search. Firstly, you upload video directly on your websites. Secondly, your video will come from YouTube, and you imbed it into the posts.

Please note that I do not recommend the first method, because the video is very heavy for loading down, which will influence the page speed of the website. The reason is that most of the normal hosts, typically WordPress hosting servers, do not fix for videos. So, imbed video from Youtube will be a good idea.

7. Search Intent for news (News Intent)

search for news

The SERPs will show the boxes of news or stories. The results focus on the correct requests of users. In addition, the vital point of news intent will display the time of day on the search results.

So, the news intent is good for the websites of news, magazines, social news, and the others that update the information frequently.

What to do: You need to create more articles and publish them as much as you can. Every day your website has a least a post to join this part of the game. Also, one important thing is to focus on the articles that you post must have news features. What is hot at the present, so use the Google trends to find what you need to do.

8. Search Intent to explore brands

search intent for brand

When the query includes the name of a product or a company, the results will be the website of the company or organization. However, if the company or organization does not have a website, the results can be review pages from third parties, or users like amazon, yelp…

What to do: The first thing is that your band must have a website. Nowadays, if your company does not have a website to run on the internet, many customers will reduce the value of your band. Make a WordPress website for your business is so easy and cheap now. Let’s do it and get it!

Besides, you need to keep your eyes on the review websites to maintain the high scores, which support better for your brand name on authority.

9. Search Intent for mixed results

search for mixed intent

Mixed search results, also known as Split Intent, give the different types of results, including maps, photos, video, or texts… on search engines.

SERPs will show the information for the mixed search queries when the users give too short keywords or too general words, that often includes one or two words only.

What to do: To get a chance for your website showing on SERPs, you have to optimize content, add quality photos and videos. It means you need to enrich your posts with different styles of format and information.

However, it is so hard to get on number one on Google for this search intent. The reason is that keywords are too short, and too many competitors are available with a high authority domain.

Despite that, I do not recommend you focus on search intent for split intent. Although it can give you more traffic if your post can rank on this part, it is too hard to convert the users into customers. It is because most people who query with too short keywords often want to find the first ideas to go somewhere, not focus on specific things.


Search Intent is orienting the work of SEO. When Google focuses on the user intent and is more and more intelligent with IA, you have to watch carefully what you want to drive your websites.

To fix the user intent, besides choosing correct keywords and topics to write and do SEO, you also need to understand the value of keywords, and the wishes of people when they type these keywords to search on search engines.

One article cannot cover all 9 types of search intent, so you focus on the main strength of your websites and yourself to improve the ranks on the search engine.

To find out correct search intent, you check the information of your website on the webmaster tools of Google, or you can use the analytics tools to learn more about user experience. Then compare the collected information with these kinds of search intent, and pick up the correct direction. After that, try to optimize your posts and websites to compete with others.

About the author

Thom Ho

Mr. Thom has worked as an SEO specialist and WordPress developer, and he is on the list of the top 15% SEO workers in the world, tested by Linkedin in Nov 2020.

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