Learn to Identify the Intention of a Search

Hand pointing to the search button

Competition for the attention and clicks of potential customers is intense. The margin for error is small, especially within a niche where many businesses know the ins and outs of their target market. In such cases, learning the intention of a search will get you a step ahead of your closest competitors.

Denver’s pay per click management experts mention the following ways you can determine the intention of a search.

Identifying Intent Using Advertisements

The ads that appear on a results page when you make a query provide you with a way to determine the intent of possible customers. Before proceeding with a review, identify the adverts that are not relevant to the search you just made.

Read the headlines and descriptions that show; this will provide you with a glimpse of what many searchers intend to do. Another element to look for is the emotional triggers that may appear on the page.

Special occasions such as Valentine’s Day or Christmas come with emotions that a person is feeling when making a query. Calls-to-action such as “today,” “now” or “tomorrow” signify an urgent need. These potential visitors want to find a solution or answer to their problem immediately.

The Search Query

Dissecting the actual search query allows you to determine the intention of a potential visitor or customer. Most queries are just phrases or a few words; some of these are vague and open to a variety of interpretations.

The words may have synonyms or a second meaning based on context. Understanding this allows you to make an informed choice about the intent of a query.

The next thing to look for is if the word uses an affix; this can change its context and therefore, affect the intention. Words that come with pre-, post-, -ing and re- have varying interpretations.

The syntax of a query also matters as search engines are gaining more ‘experience’ in identifying the natural flow of language usage. Voice search has led to more conversational phrasing when making a search. Take this into account when trying to determine the intention of a person.

Localized Query

Some people immediately indicate the location of their search by including the name of the country or even the city they live in. This localized search enables you to target them directly and understand their intentions for making a query.

The intent isn’t always straightforward because other searchers won’t include the place of a name. In some cases, a user will type in “car repair” or “where is the nearest station?” these two queries are specific. The first one reveals they want to have their car fixed, so it is most likely within their city or neighborhood.

Mode of Search

Business man holding a tablet with floating magnifying glass

The mode of search also signifies a particular intention. When a user types in ‘near me’ they are most likely using a smartphone or tablet, and are outside looking for something.

They also want an immediate solution or answer to their query. The behavior is different when a person searches using a laptop or desktop.

Learning to understand the intention of a user may sound like mind reading; however, there is a science behind it. The mode of search, syntax, phrasing, keywords, and location are elements that allow you to determine the intent of a query.

About Sarah Bennett 416 Articles
Sarah is a highly experienced legal advisor and freelance writer. She specializes in assisting tech companies with the complexities of the law and providing useful information to the public through her writing.