Anyone who is in the field of search engine optimization hears the term relatively often:

Search Intention

What is it all about? Why is it important to understand this point? Learn more about one of the most important points you should understand if you want to improve your website.

Basically, search intent refers to the intention behind the search that users have with their queries in the Google search bar. The search intention of the user is also referred to as the User Intention denotes. Here Google distinguishes different types of search queries:

  • If the searcher wants to know something (Know)?
  • If an execution or action is the target of the search (Do)?
  • If a specific web page is searched for (Website)?
  • If a physical location is searched (Visit-in-person)?
  • If the search is a mixture of the preceding intentions (Multi-Intent)?

How are search intentions defined?

Basically, the correct assessment of search intent is the basis of any improvements. They are not a ranking factor or trend - rather the basic requirement for meaningful and successful SEO activity. Here I mean




Basic information on the classification of search intentions is provided by the following sources:

The basic classifications of search intentions are:


I am looking for a Information

Typical questions:
What is x or y?
How long.....
Which .....


I am looking for a Way / Address, etc.

Typical questions:
How do I get to x or y?

transactional (or commercial)

I want a Purchase / Booking make

Where can I get x or y?
order / buy

Over the course of the last few years, these 3 Basic classifications more precisely differentiated and refined:


One user wants "learn more about something"


Users have the desire to have a Physical location  to find.


The user wants something "order or buy"


Users have the wish "reach a goal or perform an activity (on the cell phone).

Visit-in-person search

These are searches which Very strongly location-based are (e.g. nearest ATM, restaurants, gas stations, pizza service, doctors, etc.).

Website Search

The user wants a special  Website or a subpage or find them. 

Multiple User Intent Search

Search queries can have different search intentions.

Think about what your customers want!

Only those who know what their customers want will be able to satisfy user intentions.

Why is it important to understand search intent?

Basically, you have to understand that search engines need to provide the highest quality search results possible. Without good and high-quality results, search engines will not be able to present ads in the search results pages - and that is a lion's share of the revenue. If the search results become worse, the use and acceptance of the customers dwindles - in other words, Google will also receive much less for the ads.

Apart from this, there is a 2nd point that is important:

As of today, Google displays a maximum of 10 organic and up to 7 commercial results per page. The first page is the most frequently used page - almost no user looks at page 2. If bad results would appear here now (even only felt), the users would look for alternatives.

Therefore, it is super interesting for Google to display results that are most likely to contain the searcher's questions / answers or information, so that their desire for information or action is fulfilled.

If you do not fulfill the search intention of the user, you will not be successful in the field of SEO.

Why should I care about search intent?

The more and the better you address your desired audience, the greater will be the acceptance of your information. If you know what your users want, you can better make them happier.

It is often the case that users are looking for a specific solution to a problem or similar - and become aware of a solution / product / service via an advisor, travel report, test report, etc.. And here, a navigational search quickly turns into a transactional search.

Many searches begin with a desire for information - and end in a transaction

What about searches that are not clearly definable?

Not every search query can be clearly classified as transactional, informational or navigational. The studies above are also a few days older.

In recent years, however, a lot has changed and developed here. Google has become much better at recognizing user intents. The distribution and data acquisition via the Android operating systems and the Chrome browser are partly responsible for this. This allows Google to access a large amount of data, which is made up of search terms and subsequent actions (e.g. movement, call, etc.).

Often, search queries are a mixture of different intentions - hence they are referred to as "Mulit-Intent Searches" designated.

How does Google classify whether I have fulfilled the search intent?

Google has several ways to check if you are providing your user with the information they are looking for:

  • Crawling the content
  • The click-through rate to your page compared to competitors
  • The back-to-serp rate (i.e., does the user go back to the search result and take the next search result?)
  • Are there short clicks (also called pogo sticking)? Very short dwell times are often very bad signals

User Intent vs. Search Intent

  • User Intent (=User Intention) is the original motivation of the seeker
  • Search Intent (=Suchintention) is the concrete intention behind a search query (usually much more precise than user intention)

What mistakes should you avoid?

Own estimation instead of Google's estimation

Google relies on artificial intelligence to interpret. Here, they can make enormous progress via machine learning.

We as a person, on the other hand, rely on our feelings and subjective perceptions - and no matter what we think / feel or what we personally feel is right - Google takes its own data.

Ignore / bypass search intentions

Basically, there is no point in attracting users who cannot be satisfied afterwards.

If you really cannot operate an area, leave it alone.

Do you enjoy receiving information that later turns out to be just "hot air"?

A static view

A search intention can also change over time. Let's take the word "corona" for example.

Until February / March 2020, the word was a drink. Here, most of the questions were "where do I get it", "when is it drunk", etc.?

Today, completely different search intentions are linked here.

And so it can be with any other topic that the intentions of users change (e.g., with travel seasonally).

Install automatic

There are some tools that provide suggestions on intent - however, I wouldn't rely on them.

It always depends on the context - take away fat, for example. What is behind it?

  • Slimming
  • Remove grease stains
  • Slang "get fat"?
  • etc.

The tools I know help - but they do not replace your own work. We ourselves use Sistrix and Searchmetrics one.


The better you know and understand your target group, the better you will tailor your content to the needs of your customers. However, even the most beautiful website is of no use to you if the content does not appeal to your target group.

Think about what your target audience expects and wants - this is the foundation for a successful path in your digital marketing - whether it's SEO, advertising, social media, etc.

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