Micro Intents & How They Shape Search Results

 Tuesday, August 16, 2022


Modern SEO relies heavily on understanding user intent. Having a firm grasp of what customers search for and what they want to see when they enter these search terms is crucial. That’s where search intent comes in.  

Classic search intents are not as practical as they once were. As algorithms develop, there is an increasing need for more accurate and granular search answers on the web.  

In this blog, let’s understand the concept of micro intents in SEO. 

Search Intents 

The why behind any search query can often be better understood by finding the intent of that particular online request. Search intents are not always apparent at first glance, but if you take time to decipher them, your website will have a much better chance of ranking in Google's results list!  

Search intent is the purpose of a particular online search. It helps you understand the why behind any given search query.  

The classic search intents break the keywords into the following categories -  

  • Informational – searching for information on a specific topic.
  • Transactional or Commercial - the user is ready to act. It might not necessarily be monetary.
  • Navigational – when the user has a particular task in mind and wishes to access a specific site or a page.
  • Local - searching for a resource geographically close to the current location. 

These search intents summarize why someone turns to a search engine plus help SEO professionals and content managers to plan and create relevant content. 

As users now search for specific queries, brands need to be able to divide classical macro-intents into smaller terms to work more precisely. 

Also Read: Google's MUM Update 

Micro Intents in SEO 

Google's use of machine learning is a big reason they are the most popular search engine on earth. They've developed algorithms to help computers find relevant information more efficiently.  

Machine learning tools like BERT allow advanced computer systems to remember the content associated with specific keywords and predict new phrases someone might enter while searching. 

Informational Micro Intents 

Informational Micro Intents are used by people who want more information on specific topics without sifting through pages: 

  • Entertainment - shows results for a fun way to spend your time. You might find games, memes, or short videos.

  • Definition - prioritizing results that answer basic questions for beginners. For example, Wikipedia articles or answers in Featured Snippets.

  • Expansional - search results that provide detailed content with as many perspectives as possible. Holistic landing pages or pillar pages are the top examples. 

  • Enablement - results for users that need specific guidance, such as step-by-step answers for ‘How do I..?’ questions.

  • Aggregational - a short answer with a neutral overview of the topic. It includes tables or listicles.  

Transactional/Commercial Micro Intents 

This is the part of your business that deals with customers. It includes everything from response times and support to marketing efforts like advertising on social media sites or web design for online stores! 

  • Comparison/Orientation - Search results for the most suitable solution for a user showing interest in a product. It includes ranked lists, tests, or product comparisons.

  • Category/Selection - When the user is sure of the product but unsure of the sub-product or variant, search results like shop category pages or service overview pages are ideal.

  • Service/Product - The user is about to make a purchase and wants to know further details about the product. Service detail pages and product detail pages work best here.

  • Brand - When the user wants to know more about the brand to build trust, testimonials or field reports are needed. 

Navigational Micro Intents 

Navigational Micro Intents are an efficient way to get the user exactly where they need to in a matter of seconds. 

  • Support - It includes queries about the use of an ordered product. FAQs make sense here. 

  • Location - Search results for a user who wants to find a location with the intent to visit it.

  • Website - Search results to navigate a specific website area.

By expanding the range of queries, the concept of micro search intents can increase the traffic and revenue of your site. While the traditional primary intents produce results, micro intents facilitate digging deeper into the results. 

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