While relevant keywords can help your website rank within Google’s search engine results pages (the SERPs), that ranking will only go so far if your intended audience isn’t using those keywords or phrases. That’s why at the heart of search engine optimization (SEO) is user intent.
The goal here is to understand what your target audiences’ intentions are. In other words, what they’re actually searching for. By understanding what your customers’ intentions are, you’ll be able to better provide them with content and services that are most relevant to them.
In this article, we’re going to talk about the best practices in terms of your CPG website user intent. That means how to figure out the intentions of your target audience as well as what you need to do to ensure you’re providing them with the right content and services.
Keep reading to learn more.
Understanding User Intent
Let's expand on user intent for a moment.
Put simply, user intent is characterized by what a user is searching for when using a search engine, such as Google. This goes beyond ranking keywords to discover the user’s specific pain points.
Therefore, the basis of your CPG website user intent is made up of the specific questions your target audience is asking. It’s also contingent on the answers you’ll be providing to match their inquiries. After all, if you’re not answering the questions or offering up the information that your intended audience is searching for, they’re going to scroll right past your website.
Let’s talk penguins
Over the past decade, thanks to the 2012 Penguin update, user intent has moved to the forefront of SEO best practices. This is because Google has become incredibly adept at figuring out and matching user intent. Initially, the search engine’s algorithm was only picking up on high-volume keywords, leaving user intent behind and inquiries unfulfilled.
Now, content creators of all kinds are penalized for using too many keywords (also known as keyword stuffing) as it’s seen as spammy. This essentially means that to rank well within the Google SERPs, you not only have to implement SEO best practices but also ensure you’re producing high-quality content that demonstrates user intent.
Defining User Intent
Before we highlight the best practices for getting in tune with your CPG website user intent, you need to understand the three types of user intent that are out there. This would include the following:
Transactional user intent refers to users who are specifically looking to make a purchase decision, subscribe to a list, or even book a consultation of some sort. The user’s goal is to take you up on your call to action (CTA).
Informational user intent is arguably the most common type as it revolves around users that are searching for specific information regarding products, services, or otherwise. In the case of your CPG website user intent, the user’s goal would most likely have to do with finding out about the specific goods you provide, your brand story, and so on.
Navigational user intent is very straightforward. This is when a user is looking to visit a specific website or a specific part of your website. For example, they may want to see what’s new in the world of CPG or the hospitality industry. So, they would want to visit your blog directly.
It goes without saying that to understand user intent you would have to understand your target audience as best as possible. Once you can better define your customers, their pain points, and what they’re searching for, you’ll be able to match their user intent.
Get a better understanding of your CPG website user intent.
Start With Your Most Visited Pages
If you’re unsure of where you stand in terms of how you’re currently matching your CPG website user intent, analyzing your most visited pages should be your first step.
The goal is to understand why these pages are ranking and which intent type your users fit into. You’ll also want to use Google analytics to measure your ranking keywords. Of course, beyond those keywords, you’ll want to ensure that the content on each page is matching the user intent behind them.
Another way to analyze these pages is to compare them with your competitors and the content they’re providing for the same page types.
After you’ve analyzed the entire scope of results, you can figure out which type of user intent each page falls into. From there, you can strategize for that specific intent type.
Use SEO Tools to Continuously Optimize
While Google Analytics is a great tool to use for optimization, metrics, and analytics, there are others out there that can provide you with a deeper insight into user intent. Some of the most common include Ahrefs, SEMRush, and even the Google Search Console.
These tools will allow you to analyze your user intent and optimize your pages accordingly by helping you uncover the keywords that best represent users’ purpose for their searches. From there you can continuously measure how these keywords or phrases are ranking to ensure your content remains relevant within the users’ search.
This is the more technical side of SEO and user intent. However, it’s essential to continuously track and analyze your keyword metrics because the customer journey that’s rooted in user intent changes.
For example, a user may be searching for information at first but later make a purchase decision. Therefore, you’re not just tracking your optimization metrics but also the stages of the customer journey.
Re-Evaluate Your Content
In addition to using SEO tools to track your high-performing pages, you also need to ensure the content being delivered on those pages is 100% relevant.
Whether it’s webpage copy or blog content, you’ll want to review and evaluate every word to make sure what’s written matches the type of user intent that’s most prevalent. This goes beyond ensuring the keywords used are relevant as you want to ensure the content on your page is well written with the right information, easily digestible, and offers value to your intended audience.
Essentially, you want to make sure your content positions you as an authoritative source within your industry. You want to gain users’ trust, which starts with matching your content to their intent.
Assess Your Current Visitors
As we’ve mentioned throughout this article, it’s necessary to discern the type of user intent that’s most prevalent on each page as well as each stage of the customer journey. Of course, as you sift through your pages of content and sales copy, you’ll also come across visitors that don’t fit into your target audience.
The goal is to make sure all the visitors that end up on your page are supposed to be there. If each user can be easily discerned by intent type, you can better deliver relevant content to them that will eventually lead to a purchase decision.
If you notice that you’re attracting a large number of visitors outside of your target audience, it’s a good indication that you’re not matching your CPG website user intent appropriately.
The world of SEO and Google’s algorithms are always evolving to better address and serve user intent. Once you’ve clearly defined your target audience and have found a way to address their inquiries for your CPG website user intent, you’ll be high ranking within the SERPs in no time.