Everything you need to know

What is Search Intent? Nowadays, more and more companies and freelance workers are studying its aspects and trying to understand it.

But what do we mean when we talk about the so-called “search intent” of a user? Search Intent refers to the reason behind a user’s specific search.

This information is valuable for professionals in Content Marketing, especially for SEO Copywriters who create engaging content for online users.

In this page, we will analyze what search intent actually is, why it’s important, the different types that exist, and the tools to study it.

What is Search Intent

As mentioned earlier, Search Intent refers to why a specific search is made on Google or other alternative search engines.

The words entered in the search bar are called queries. According to a 2019 statistic provided by Google, approximately 3.5 billion online searches are conducted worldwide every day.

Moreover, considering that 57% of these 3.5 billion searches involve at least one query, the data at our disposal becomes virtually limitless.

Why is it important to know this data? What difference does it make to know if a girl wants to buy a pair of shoes or if a couple is researching a specific trip? What real advantage does knowing the search intent give us?

What is the purpose of Search Intent

The importance of search intent is related to creating comprehensive and useful content not only for users but also for Google.

The American company has improved its search engine to the extent that it can examine numerous queries every day and rank sites that best match people’s searches.

Knowing the search intent is, therefore, crucial if you want to create efficient content directly related to users’ interests, as analyzed by Google and positively evaluated.

This is where Google Search Intent and its study make a difference: having the ability to understand and consequently offer comprehensive content that is ranked by search engines among the top online results.

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This is certainly a key aspect for companies and workers aiming to create valuable content, as it provides immediate visibility and solid credibility conferred by Google itself.

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How many types of Search Intent are there?

We have seen the data related to the world of Search Intent. We are talking about very high figures, a series of information that, numerically speaking, is impressive.

The reasons behind various queries can correspond to many needs: visiting a specific site, gathering information on a specific topic, or buying a product, or a service.

Considering the many variables at play, there is a need to organize and distinguish how many and what types of needs we might encounter. Search intent is classified into the following 4 groups.

The 4 groups of Search Intent

Informational Search Intent
In this case, the user needs to clarify a topic of interest. The typed queries will be generic or targeted at acquiring information, perhaps about a historical event, a person, or simply how to do something.

Informational queries: Battle of Waterloo, Barack Obama, how to cook pasta.

Navigational Search Intent
In this situation, the user already knows the site to visit. These searches are made with direct queries, usually corresponding to the name of the site itself.

Navigational queries: Nike, Apple, Amazon.

Commercial Search Intent
The user decides to evaluate or compare sites that could lead to a transaction, without actually making one yet. At this stage, the reason is related to a potential online purchase or action, but the decision has not been made yet.

Commercial queries: Fiat vs Renault, best camping tents, best disposable razors.

Transactional Search Intent
Here, the search is linked to a transaction. The transaction does not necessarily have to be monetary; it can also involve a download, subscribing to a newsletter, or leaving an email contact. In this case, the user receives a resource in return.

Transactional queries: SEO specialist courses, New Year’s package for 2 people, hotels in Florence.

Have you noticed something by looking at the intents one after the other? It’s probably a very familiar sequence of actions. These steps belong to various stages in the marketing funnel strategies.

This term refers to a process with various stages where a person starts as a regular user and becomes a loyal customer. The term funnel describes the path the customer takes and concludes with a final transaction.

Planning a good marketing funnel strategy means having clear steps that your user needs to take to become your loyal customer. This is a very important step to generate leads and increase sales.

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Difference between Search Intent Keywords and Google Suggestions

When analyzing search intents, the mistake often made is considering Google queries and suggestions as the same thing. If I type “Hotel in the US”, I am using very generic queries, so my Search Intent will probably still be unclear to Google.

At the bottom of the search engine results page, the so-called SERP, various options will be generated:

  • Hotel California
  • Hotel Virgin Island
  • Hotel New York

What we see here are suggestions provided by Google itself. They serve to guide the user through the generic information given by the queries.

Google suggestions, as we will see later, are also used in SEO as a tool to study search intent (Search Intent Analysis).

Search Intent tool: 5 tools to study search intent

Once the fundamental aspects of Search Intent are clear, it’s time to see which programs exist to study and understand it better.

search intent tool

There are many free tools available online, widely used by professionals in the SEO world.

Below, we discover 5 of the main programs to study search intent: Google Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest, AnswerThePublic, Google SERP, and SEO Hero.

Keyword Planner

Keyword Planner was originally created as a support for keyword research for marketing campaigns; today, it is very useful for SEO professionals.

In addition to suggesting new keywords related to a site or product, it allows you to analyze data and trends from which to derive the search volume of users around those queries.


This program is widely used in the SEO world. With Ubersuggest, we can get 4 indications regarding a specific keyword:

  • Search volume, number of searches estimated for that query in a month
  • SEO Difficulty, estimated competition in organic search
  • Paid Difficulty, estimated competition in paid search
  • CPC (Cost Per Click) is, the average cost per click if you want Google to show your site as an ad in search results.
  • AnswerThePublic

When it comes to finding content ideas, AnswerThePublic is a formidable program.

It not only provides a few more words than the entered query but also displays proper long-tail keywords and phrases that can suggest new ideas or topics related to that keyword.

Google SERP

In Google SERP, we can find many ideas regarding search intent. By typing a query, the search engine itself generates other words, suggesting the most performed and therefore more widespread searches.

As mentioned before, at the bottom of the SERP, we also find all the suggestions related to that query, another useful resource for intercepting more information about Search Intent.

SEO Hero

This tool evaluates the top 100 pages on Google related to a specific query, from which the most relevant semantically related words are extracted.

Google examines the content on various pages about a topic, so it is important to know what the most suitable vocabulary is to use when creating our content.


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We have seen how understanding search intent and knowing how to analyze it is very important in the field of Content Marketing, not just for Google but also for alternative search engines which may require different optimization strategies.

Today, more and more companies are looking for expert SEO Copywriters capable of identifying and creating content tailored to users’ needs.

Getting informed and updated on this topic means having a valuable resource in hand regarding the strategies to implement to generate leads and increase sales.

After all, what better strategy than starting from the most classic of questions in today’s marketing: “What does this person need?”

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