How to bring user intent to life (a Tea Time SEO talk)
Updated: Dec 21, 2021
In the SEO world, user intent has become a bit of a buzzword. Yes, we all know it's important, but no one has time to do much about it.
In order for user intent to actually mean something, we need to make it part of our SEO day-to-day. I recently participated in a panel organised by Authoritas that called to do just that: implementing user intent in practice.
On this talk I learned that there are several ways to go about it. Christopher Hofman, Lead SEO Consultant at IMPACT Extend A/S, brought us back to user journeys and content clusters and pointed out the importance of a good project management tool. Beatrice Gamba, SEO specialist at Wordlift, talked about how you can leverage the power of AI to do most of the heavy lifting for you in implementing user intent.
What I brought to the table was how to implement user intent in your content strategy.
How to implement user intent
Essentially, implementing user intent comes down to:
Identifying the needs of the user
Building a content and keyword mapping strategy that meets it
Producing the right content
In practice there is so much more to it.
To make user intent come to life within your business you need to get buy in from different stakeholders, communicate the value of your efforts and make allies in your content team that get you.
I really recommend that you watch the full talk, but if you choose to skip it, here are my main tips:
Choose the right user intent framework. This seems obvious, but there are many different frameworks around, so don't assume you're on the same page with the rest of your team. If there's any framework already in place choose that one. If you're amongst somewhat old school marketers, you'll want to use the traditional marketing funnel.
Incorporate user intent in your content strategy. Different searches around your core keywords can have different intents behind them. Instead of trying to tackle them all within the same page or try to rank with content that doesn't meet the intent of the specific query, build out your content strategy with intent in mind. A good way to put this in practice is including user intent in your keyword mapping.
Tie user intent to business objectives. A user looking to learn more about a product will fall within your awareness goals, a user looking for FAQs or customer support information will probably contribute to your retention goals. We need to remember that in SEO we're not ranking for the sake of ranking, but to fulfil a set of business goals. Making this clear in our communication with stakeholders will help you gain resources and buy-in (which will make your life way easier).
Talk to the content team. Make sure they know what you mean when you say "user intent". Explain the framework you've chosen, conduct a little workshop, create a cheatsheet... Buy-in from your stakeholders means nothing if the team can't follow through with the execution of the strategy. Make sure your content creators know what you're talking about and are on the same page as you.
If you're interested in finding out more about user intent and you have 20 minutes to spare, I really recommend giving this talk a watch:
I hope you enjoy the talk and if you have any questions feel free to slide into my DMs. Until next time!