It’s All About User Intent Baby

It’s All About User Intent Baby

custom intent audiences

Customer Intent, often referred to as user intent when discussing online behavior, pertains to the underlying motives that drive a prospective buyer’s online interactions. As digital marketers, we traditionally associate intent with search queries and browsing behavior in popular search engines. However, the concept of intent extends far beyond Google search ads. Understanding and utilizing intent requires a deeper comprehension before we can apply it to our campaigns. We must first grasp what users seek or intend to achieve through their intent-based searches. Are they looking for information, aiming to make a purchase, or trying to locate a specific local service, or is their intent something entirely different?

SemRush, through their traffic analysis, categorizes search intent into four primary categories:

  • (N) Navigational: Users seek a specific website or page.
  • (I) Informational: Users aim to find a particular answer to their question.
  • (C) Commercial: Users want to explore a brand or service.
  • (T) Transactional: Users intend to complete a specific action.

This understanding empowers marketers to tailor every aspect of their digital marketing campaigns. Aligning our marketing strategies with user needs and expectations enhances engagement, increases conversion rates, and improves overall customer satisfaction. Let’s explore how we can leverage intent in various facets of our marketing efforts.

A Word on Collecting Intent Based Data

Intent data encompasses the wealth of information that reveals an individual’s interests and behaviors, providing invaluable insights for creating more targeted and personalized marketing campaigns. This data can be sourced from free tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console, Insights from Meta and ot her social channel metrics, as well as paid tools like G2, UpLead SemRush, Zoom Info etc. that analyze browsing and search histories, social media interactions, and responses to previous marketing communications. Before investing in any digital marketing strategy, invest first in collecting this data as it will drive all future marketing activities.

Intent Based Email Marketing

One of the most effective ways to utilize intent data is through the segmentation of email lists. By analyzing data points like webpage visits, download history, or interaction with specific content, marketers can identify groups with shared interests or needs. For instance, if a segment of your audience frequently visits pages related to a particular product or service, you can tailor a campaign specifically for this group. This targeted approach not only heightens the relevance of your emails but also significantly increases the likelihood of engagement and conversion, such as making a purchase or signing up for a webinar.

Beyond segmentation, personalization plays a pivotal role in maximizing the impact of intent data. Tailoring the subject line and email content to align with individual preferences or past behaviors can dramatically boost your campaign’s effectiveness. Personalization techniques can range from including the recipient’s name in the subject line to crafting content that addresses specific interests or pain points identified through data analysis. This level of personalization not only enhances open and click-through rates but also fosters a sense of connection between the brand and the recipient, thereby improving overall engagement and customer loyalty.

SEO Intent – Beyond Keywords

An intent-driven content strategy goes beyond merely targeting keywords with the highest search volume; it delves into comprehending the ‘why’ behind each search. Consider a website specializing in online auto parts. While they might initially focus on high-volume keywords like “Discount Auto Parts,” these terms might not align with their target audience’s actual intent. However, by strategically targeting phrases like “Discount Auto Parts Online,” the website aligns more closely with the specific intent of users seeking to purchase auto parts through online channels, thereby enhancing relevance and effectiveness. Your content strategy should be equally intent based.  Develop content that aligns with the various stages of the customer journey – from informational articles for awareness to comparison guides for decision-making. 

Crafting Intent Based, Click Worthy Meta Data

Intent based keywords are relevant not only for page content but meta data including Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, H1s and beyond. Crafting compelling meta data that appeals to user intent will help better communicate the value proposition of your landing pages so that users can match the experience from first click to landing page. 

Optimizing Landing Pages for Search Intent

Technical Considerations

Generating user intent on landing pages isn’t just about design. Well-known technical considerations include page load time and responsive page design for device optimization. Often overlooked, however, is the use of Structured Data Markup.

Schema markup, represented through structured data, is critical code added to your website, allowing search engines to deliver more relevant and informative results to users. This markup acts like a roadmap for search engines, clarifying your content’s context and making it easier for them to highlight key information in their results. Particularly helpful for informational content, schema markup significantly boosts visibility in search engine outcomes, attracting more organic traffic to your site. It’s like marking the important landmarks on a map, ensuring that users find precisely what they are searching for. Schema markup comes in various forms, catering to different content types such as products, reviews, educational materials, articles, and more, each specifically designed to enhance the discoverability and clarity of these content categories. To add the correct type of markup to your pages, use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper or a plugin.

Design and Navigation

The first step is to decide what type of traffic you want to engage with your page. Is it informative, navigational, commercial or transactional?  Based on this categorization, content and design will follow. On the user experience front, the design and navigation of your landing page are mission critical. A user-friendly layout with clear, intuitive navigation and well-defined headings ensures visitors can effortlessly find the information they’re looking for. Combine this with compelling calls-to-action (CTAs) that stand out visually and textually, and you guide users smoothly towards the desired action, be it a purchase, a sign-up, or a download. 

For pages with transactional intent, it’s crucial to articulate the value proposition of your product or service concisely and convincingly. Use persuasive language and social proof (trust signals) like reviews, testimonials, security and Better Business Bureau type badges that enhance credibility and instil trust in your potential customer. 

Ensure that your CTA is prominent and enticing, leading to a seamless conversion process. This approach turns your landing page into a powerful tool, not just for capturing user interest, but for converting it into tangible action.

Precision and Persuasion – Intent Based PPC Campaigns

PPC campaigns on search engines like Google and Bing are the classic search intent model in digital marketing. To maximize the impact of these campaigns, understanding and harnessing the nuances of user intent is crucial. One fundamental strategy is differentiating between informational and transactional keyword phrases, which serves as the cornerstone for tailoring PPC campaigns that capture high-intent keywords, signaling users’ readiness to take action. By aligning your campaign with specific user intent, you can increase the likelihood of conversion.

Crafting compelling ad copy is another pivotal aspect of leveraging PPC campaigns effectively. Your ad copy should resonate with the user’s intent, addressing their needs and offering clear solutions or benefits. A well-crafted call-to-action (CTA) can significantly boost conversion rates by guiding users towards the desired action, be it making a purchase or signing up for a service. In a competitive online landscape, an ad that speaks directly to a user’s intent not only captures their attention but also increases the likelihood of engagement and conversion.

However, the journey doesn’t end with a persuasive ad; landing page congruence plays a vital role in cementing user intent. As mentioned above, and worth repeating, it’s essential to ensure that your landing pages seamlessly align with the promises made in your ads. This “message match” strategy provides users with a consistent experience, building trust and reinforcing their initial intent. When users arrive at a landing page that mirrors what they expected after clicking an ad, they are more likely to stay engaged, convert, and become satisfied customers. In this way, landing page congruence acts as the final piece of the puzzle in optimizing PPC campaigns for user intent.

Remarketing and Lookalike Audiences

Look-alike audiences are created by identifying and targeting individuals who share similar characteristics, interests, and behaviors with an existing customer base. By leveraging these audiences, marketers can ensure that their ads are reaching people who are more likely to be interested in their products or services. This approach not only narrows down the target audience but also increases the chances of engaging users who are genuinely interested in what the brand has to offer.

Remarketing, on the other hand, allows marketers to re-engage with users who have previously interacted with their brand but may not have converted into customers. By showing tailored ads to individuals who have already shown interest, whether by visiting a website, adding items to a cart, or engaging with previous ads, marketers can remind them of their initial intent and encourage them to take the desired action. Remarketing campaigns help keep the brand top-of-mind and provide a valuable opportunity to address any concerns or hesitations that users may have had during their initial interaction.

Combining look-alike audiences with remarketing efforts can further enhance the manifestation of user intent in social media ads. Marketers can identify the most engaged and high-intent users from their existing customer base and create look-alike audiences based on their characteristics. This way, they can expand their reach to users who are not only similar to their current customers but also likely to exhibit the same intent. As a result, the ads become more relevant and personalized, increasing the chances of conversion and maximizing the return on ad spend.

Our job as marketers is to understand and manifest customer intent online. By employing these strategies and adapting to the evolving landscape, businesses can stay ahead in the game, enhance engagement, boost conversion rates, and ultimately achieve their marketing goals.

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  • Fran Jakubowicz

    Fran Jakubowicz is the CEO of SunHouse Marketing, a full service digital marketing agency with a track record of excellence. A digital lead generation expert, Fran and her team have generated hundreds of thousands of leads and millions of dollars in sales for her clients. Fran invests in training and certifying her team across all digital marketing channels to ensure that her clients are benefiting from the freshest digital marketing strategies, Google best practices and tools available. Working across multiple verticals including health, pharmaceutical, finance, law, education, non-profit and eCommerce, Fran and her team have been helping organizations reach their digital goals since 2009. Fran grew up in communications. Early in her career, she worked in her family’s public relations firm, DCI (Dworkin Communications Inc). Since that time Fran has been involved in an impressive array of projects, assisting companies and non-profit organizations to attain their goals. In the days before the internet Fran practiced traditional marketing and PR. With this background, it was only natural for Fran to evolve her skills, and to become a very successful online marketer. In a rare combination, Fran blends over 20 years of experience with her love and passion for the latest and hottest technologies. This unique worldview allows Fran to assist companies to achieve their goals. Connect with Fran on LinkedIn.

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