How to Determine Intent: Mastering Mobile Optimisation

March 2016

How to Determine Intent: Mastering Mobile Optimisation

It’s no secret that optimising for mobile search is very different from optimising for searches from desktop users. There are many different steps that must be taken in order to build on already good SEO for your website to ensure that not only are you visible to mobile searchers, but that you’re targeting the right ones. One of the most overlooked aspects of this is determining searcher intent.

What Does Intent Mean?

When it comes to mobile and desktop users, sometimes different keywords are used, but sometimes the same ones are used with a different intent. The concept of intent has been around for quite some time. The traditional meaning is that the search itself is either informational (the user is looking for specific information), navigational (they’re trying to find a specific website even if they don’t know the actual URL), or transactional (the user is trying to complete a transaction – buying a product, setting up an account, or something similar).

However, intent has also come to have another meaning thanks to the rise of mobile devices. Today, it also means the specific goal of the search itself. This is where you really need to pay attention to intent as it applies to mobile users.

How Mobile Searcher Intent Differs

Mobile users might use the same keyword or phrase as a desktop user would, but the goal of the search is completely different. For instance, maybe a user searches for “flower arrangements for a first date”. Are they searching for themselves? Are they helping someone else? Are they trying to learn what sorts of flowers are commonly given on a first date? Are they interested in buying a bouquet? If so, when and where? This is intent from a mobile perspective.

Mobile Search Is Increasingly Local Specific

Another consideration here is that more than half of all mobile searches have local intent. The user is looking for information or a product or service near them, and they’re often looking for it right now (as opposed to researching a future purchase, which is something generally done on a PC). In fact, according to comScore, 2014 saw 49% of all mobile searches being for local information, or micro-local information (in the searcher’s immediate area, as opposed to their general geographic area).

How to Build on Intent

The first step for marketers hoping to build on intent is to determine the most common reasons behind mobile searches that bring visitors to their website. Are they looking for contact information or an address? Are they looking for product information, nutrition information or comparing options before buying something? Are they looking for information about your staff? Once you have defined the intent of those most common searches, your next step is to begin creating content for your website that addresses those needs and organising the site so that this information is front and centre for mobile searchers (it helps a great deal if you have a responsive website as well).

With the right steps, you can take advantage of the rise of mobile, but you will need to know the intent of your customers searching from mobile devices.

How to Determine Intent: Mastering Mobile Optimisation by Chris Tomlinson

Source:

http://screenwerk.com/2015/04/01/local-search-on-mobile-devices-pulls-away-from-the-pc/

http://www.thesempost.com/google-quality-raters-guide-mobile/

https://moz.com/blog/mobile-app-search

http://www.rlmseo.com/blog/keyword-intent-the-ultimate-resource-list/

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