The Role of Intent Data in SEO Success

— June 28, 2019

Search engines are getting smarter every day. Combine that with the fact that your competitors are creating more content than ever and you have a recipe for search engine optimization (SEO) disaster.

The problem is that SEO is all too often boiled down to keyword research and content creation. We’ve come a long way from spammy keyword stuffing as a means to SEO success. But still, there’s something missing from the usual keyword research/content creation approach—a focus on intent.

New search engine algorithms are better than ever at matching results with searcher intent. Your job isn’t just to optimize your content for specific keywords, it’s to make sure the searcher is getting exactly what they need when they click on your link. And with third-party intent data, you’ll have the insights necessary to do just that.

4 Types of Searcher Intent

When we talk about B2B purchase intent, it’s often in the context of capturing total active demand. But purchase intent insights aren’t static. Being able to correlate intent data to your sales funnel is critical to increasing engagement and conversions. This is true for searcher intent, too.

Today, so much of SEO relies on your ability to understand what a searcher is trying to accomplish with a specific query. And generally speaking, searcher intent can fall into one of four categories:

  • Informational: This top-of-funnel stage of searcher intent is all about research. Your searchers are trying to gather information about a particular problem and are looking for your content to provide higher-level education. This is an opportunity to educate target prospects from your perspective.
  • Navigational: In the middle of your sales funnel, searchers are looking for vendors/service providers to solve a particular problem. These queries often include branded keywords and get prospects more familiar with where you stand versus competitors.
  • Commercial: These queries are often still in the middle of the funnel as prospects are narrowing their search for a vendor. Brand-specific content that compares and contrasts your brand against a competitor can fulfill this kind of searcher intent.
  • Transactional: This is where you can focus on converting searchers at the bottom of your funnel. In many cases, these queries will be highly specific and come with higher expectations for matching content to intent.

These types of searcher intent are nothing new. SEO pros have been focusing on intent for a long time now. However, SEO doesn’t often come up in the typical conversations around purchase intent. We should be thinking about searchers and prospects as one and the same—because in B2B, they are. And by investing in purchase intent data, you can better understand what content will resonate best both for search engines and in-market prospects.

Boosting SEO Results with Intent Data

One of the biggest advantages of third-party intent data is that it gives you insight into how your prospects are interacting with competitor content. Rather than solely relying on keyword research to dictate topics for content creation, you can see what searchers/prospects are engaging with online and plan your own marketing efforts accordingly.

The best part is that the right intent data can deliver organic, in-market prospect web visits at a rate that’s 4x cheaper than paid search. Instead of spending your marketing dollars on keyword bidding, intent data gives you the foundation of insights to create content that you know will drive clicks and convert.

In the world of SEO, the marketers that best align with searcher intent will win top SERP rankings. This isn’t a competition you should leave to chance. Partnering with a third-party intent data provider that has a proven track record of success is the SEO success factor that B2B marketers are overlooking.

But not all intent data is created equal. If you want to learn more about what to look for when evaluating intent data providers, download our free report, Demystifying B2B Purchase Intent Data.

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