The 4 Types Of Google Search Intent (And Why You Need To Know Them)


Google is one smart cookie. It organizes a whole world of information into one simple search bar. Put simply – it rules the roost. And Google does this by working hard – day and night – to rank the most relevant and meaningful sites. This is all so you (the user) can be connected to the awesome thing you want to know, discover, buy or see.


This vast topic is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – and today we skim the surface of a thing called Google search intent – and discover why it’s important for your SEO.


Ready to begin?


What Is Search Intent?


Search intent, also known as user intent or keyword intent, is WHY someone is going to Google.


Most of the time – they’re hoping to find something. They have a problem that needs solving or they’re looking for an answer.




There are a number of different types of search intent – let’s take a deep dive into the four most common!

Informational Intent

Put simply – this is when the user wants information. It can be a simple question like “How old is Prince Harry?” Or a more complex question like, “What’s the difference between mitosis and meiosis?”


In some cases, I like to call this one the “dinner table intent.” You know how it goes – you’re catching up with friends and the conversation goes AWOL. Before you know it you’re arguing over where geese sleep at night. Half of you think on land – the other half is team water. It won’t be long before someone shouts those two magic words – “Google It!”


Ah, what did we ever do without Google?


And for the record – geese sleep on water.

Navigational Intent

Just like a kid running to the dessert bar at a buffet – navigational intent is when you know where you’re going. You see, these days it’s far easier to type in the name of the website into Google – rather than the entire URL. Here are examples of navigational intent:


– Facebook

– EBay

– LinkedIn

– Google Search Console

– Gmail

– You get the idea?

Comparison Intent

Also known as commercial investigation – this is when a user is looking to buy a product or service – but first, they’re doing their research. This search often involves product reviews, testimonials and comparisons. Here are some examples of comparison intent:


– Android versus iPhone

– Best restaurant in Madrid

– Best copywriter in Melbourne

– Air fryer reviews

Transactional Intent

This is the modern day equivalent to someone waving a pile of cash – they’re ready to buy. They know what they want – they’re just looking for the best place to buy it from. Examples of transactional intent searches include:


– Buy iPhone 11

– Local home cleaning service

– Espresso machine under $500

– Melbourne to Hawaii flights


Can you tell I need a holiday?


And a cup of coffee?

Why Is Search Intent Important For Your Business?

Now you’re probably thinking – that’s nice – but why do I need to know this?


Well, I’ll say it again – Google is smart. It works to provide users with the most relevant answer to their query. It’s the difference between typing, “where do geese sleep?” and finding out straight away that they sleep on water – compared with finding 10 pages on where you can buy pet geese.


Genius, really.


By having a sound understanding your target audience – and what they are searching for – you can tailor your website content to boost your SEO.


And solid SEO = more site visits.


And more site visits = more buyers.


It really is that simple. And that hard.


Do you want words that are heard by your dream audience and Google? You need an expert wordsmith to uncover the search intent of your buyers – and write copy that speaks their language.

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