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Search intent optimization in SEO (SIO)

search intent optimization

Search intentions in search engine optimization = Search Intent Optimization (SIO)

Understanding and correctly interpreting search intentions is becoming increasingly important in search engine optimization (SEO) . Since the ranking factors of search engines such as Google are shifting more and more towards user interactions, it is important to understand what expectations a user has when they come to the landing page in order to serve it optimally. At this point, Search Intent Optimization (SIO) helps , with the focus on aligning the user experience even more closely with the search intention.

In this blog post we would like to deal with the optimization of search engine rankings by optimizing the landing pages for user signals & better processing of search intentions and show you how you can use search intentions for your SEO. Here we go!


Just a few years ago, SEO was very technical . Rankings could easily be influenced with backlinks and on-page SEO measures. External signals such as backlinks were the measure of all things to define authority on the web. But step by step, SEO became more and more complex, because search engines like Google are constantly working on their own algorithms to make search results even more relevant for users. Today, there are not only the Search Engine Result Pages (SERP) with text ads, but the search results have been expanded with Rich Media files thanks to Universal Search and the Knowledge Graph.

With the increased user focus on the part of the search engines, the pressure on the SEOs and website operators also increases: the aim is no longer just to increase the authority of your own website through backlinks, but it is more about the optimal answers to the search queries and the underlying intentions .

Because one thing is clear: behind every search query there is a goal, an intention that the user is pursuing. The website that not only provides the most, but the best information about the search intention is rewarded by the search engines with good ranking positions.

What are the search intentions?

If you optimize your own website for search intentions, you have to distinguish between different types of search intentions, which can be categorized based on their intention. The following search intention categories must be answered on the website:

1. Informational searches

Searches like “ How long is the Great Wall of China? ” are already answered by Google using the Knowledge Graph within the search results. Informational search queries are aimed at obtaining information. This can be general information or current news. Google is becoming more and more precise in this area of ​​search intentions and supports the user as a digital assistant. High search volumes often occur here, although the measurable business value for companies is rather low, since these search queries do not have a transactional intention.

2. Navigational searches

With navigational search queries, the user navigates to a specific subpage of a website and searches specifically for information with a clear “filter”.

3. Transactional Searches

Here, a clear transactional search intent can be seen on the part of the user. Search queries such as “Whitepaper SEO download” are clearly transactional and are about a specific procurement of content, goods or services. Another form of transactional search query is the commercial search query. With keywords such as “buy”, “rent” or “order” the clear intention of the user becomes clear. The search volume is there for such keywords, but very low. On the other hand, there are high conversion rates because the intention is clearly recognizable.

4. Brand searches

The gold of an online marketing manager. If he has managed to build up a digital brand, the number of brand searches increases. Here the users usually already know the provider and have confidence in the services or goods of the company.

What to do with all the search intentions?

How do you deal with search intentions in daily business and how can you use them to design more relevant landing pages? – At its core, you first need to understand what the search intent behind a keyword is. For example, the search query “golf” can have many different intents. From buying a car to booking a trip or even a new golf ball set, everything is possible. So how do you go about doing search engine optimization?

Step 1: Identify websites with poor performance

This is where the Google Search Console (GSC) helps . Data on search behavior can be read out and evaluated here. You can quickly see subpages that have bad CTRs or cause high bounce rates with a look in Google Analytics . At this point you should first roll up your sleeves: The indicators CTR and bounce rate show that the search intention was not optimally answered by the target page and lead to poor performance.

Step 2: Identify the search intent gap

The best way to identify the gap between search intent and landing page is to use common sense. At this point it makes sense to “google” the keyword and screen the top 3 search results and identify content ideas for your own landing page that can be used to close the gap. You quickly get an idea of ​​the intention of the user with the respective search query and how to best answer the search intent.

3. CRO → problem solving

With new knowledge it goes to the target page. New and fresh content answers previously left unanswered questions for the user. Targeted conversion rate optimization ensures that the user quickly finds his way to his goal. This not only increases the user experience (UX), but also ensures a sustainable return on investment (ROI).

4. Request re-indexing

So that the new target page is quickly included in the search engine index and crawled, it is advisable to resubmit the page using Google Search Console in order to be able to measure the results of the adjustment more quickly.

5. Iterative Analysis & Adjustment

The process never ends. Search intentions behind keywords are also changing. For this reason, you should think about the processes with which you want to ensure the continuous optimization of the websites for search intentions at an early stage.

Conclusion on search intention optimization

The squirrel feeds itself with difficulty – SEO is subject to constant change and the user experience is increasingly moving into the focus of the search engines, which is also correct and has been proven to increase the quality of the search results. The results of the search queries are becoming more and more satisfactory and people like to use the search engine in search of appropriate advice.

Our final tip: keep thinking about your users and their intentions. If you put user intentions at the forefront of your efforts, search engine optimization will work in the long run. We are happy to support you in this project as an experienced SEO agency , sorry, SIO agency. We are looking forward to your contact!

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