How understanding search intent can improve your website traffic

We’ve been lucky enough to have worked with a wide selection of organisations and businesses covering a broad range of industries and sectors.

In each case, the web design or app development process has been specific to the organisation’s needs. However, one aspect is always the same on any project that we work on; it’s always defined by the needs of an organisation’s customers and the journey they take to find the organisation.

Irrespective of whether it’s a microsite for the Royal Mint, a volunteer app for the FAW Trust or an online brochure store for Thomas Cook, the majority of users have navigated there because they’ve searched for a solution to their problem.

The Svengalis of Search

When it comes to search, it would be hard to find anyone more qualified to comment on the latest trends than Google.

On their Think with Google site, they share the latest research and insights into digital marketing.

A recent piece looked at the ways in which search intent is redefining how businesses should focus their marketing and online presence.

Here are some of our thoughts on their findings.

Search intent and the marketing funnel

The traditional view of the marketing funnel was just that, a physical representation of a funnel. In an increasingly digital world, this is no longer relevant.

In fact, rather than following the textbook linear progression of awareness to consideration to purchase, the ability to search anytime and anywhere on a mobile device means that the decision-making process can be a lot more unpredictable and impulsive.

Every time someone searches for something, they are expressing intent. If businesses can tap into their customers’ needs and objectives, they can start to build an online customer experience that matches the intent behind their search query.

Defining the journey

We’ve already explored the relationship between customer experience and the customer journey.

As part of their research into search intent, Google looked at the clickstream data of thousands of users who opted into the study.

They discovered that no two customer journeys were exactly alike but explored four key samples:

1.      The Adaptable Searcher

Some people focused on research, widening and narrowing their journey to consider multiple brands and, even after they had found a brand that answered their initial problem.

2.      The In-depth Searcher

Others will choose a handful of brands and then do exhaustive research into each, weighing up the pros and cons of each before making an informed decision.

3.      The Post-Purchase Searcher

Nowadays, a purchase doesn’t necessarily mean an end to the customer journey. They can continue to search, gathering additional information for further purchases.

4.      The Detailed Searcher

Some customers still take a more linear path towards making an eventual purchase. But even then, a lot more research can be done during this process, gathering every last detail before making a final decision.

How your website can acknowledge search intent

The abundance of differing search styles and customer journey maps prove the importance of businesses defining their own customers’ journeys.

Here are the three key takeaways that we took from the Google article.

Be there with the answers

Ensure that the content on your website and the touchpoints where customers interact with the business are focused on giving visitors every last detail so that they can make an informed decision on whether your product or service is right for them.

Stop being generic

Don’t say what everyone else is saying just because everyone else is saying it. With a clear understanding of your target audience’s needs, you can tailor a user experience that speaks directly to them.

Offer a seamless experience

To succeed, brands need to deliver experiences that are fast and frictionless. With a responsive website design that loads quickly and easily, you can ensure that visitors will find what they want straight away.

You can find out more by reading Google’s full piece: How intent is redefining the marketing funnel.

If you’d like to find out how we can design and develop an online presence for your business, whether it’s a website, app or online booking system, that’s built with search intent in mind, contact our team now.

Categories: Digital Marketing, Website Design & Development

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