Micro Intents: A New Buzzword or the Epitome of SEO?
The latest buzz among digital marketers surrounds the concept of micro intentions or more commonly referred to as micro intents. This is an area of SEO that seeks to discover the real reasons, the intents, of someone searching online. If it can be determined why a person is searching for a keyword or phrase, the results can bring up information closer to what the searcher is looking for. That may sound a bit vague, so let’s look a little closer at how Google describes the process for discovering the micro intent.
The Relationship Between Optimization and Intent
The first thing to understand is the relationship between intent and content optimization. It is not enough to know that a keyword is being searched but more importantly the ‘why’ should be answered.
Some marketing teams use a storyboard strategy to narrow down the intent behind the query. They lay out a scenario in which a person may be searching for the term “fresh bread,” for example. This could mean the user is searching for a bakery that sells fresh bread, recipes for fresh bread, or maybe even the health benefits of fresh bread.
Getting Down to the Nitty Gritty
By mapping out the customer journey on a storyboard, it is possible to analyze the links they followed to get closer to intent. When that baker hires a content writing team to link to his bakery website, the team will be able to better optimize content that will answer the intent behind the search going forward. Now anyone looking for a bakery with fresh bread will get optimized content returned in the first few results by Google. However, they could also write content about the health benefits of whole grain bread or even a few recipes for appetizers using the bakery’s bread. In this way, they can capture the interest of users searching within any of those micro intents.
It’s All About UX
You will find that Google’s search algorithms are in place to heighten the user experience. Some of the leading frustrations users have when searching for information is that the results don’t answer the question that they think they are asking. That’s micro intent in its most basic definition. It isn’t what they are searching for but rather why they are looking for the information. Content that is optimized for specific micro intentions makes for a much better user experience.
Google has provided a significant amount of information on all their search algorithms and specifically, they lay out the difference between intentions and micro intentions. This would be a good place to start if you are a marketing professional seeking a better understanding of intent.
Conversely, if you are being contracted by a business to create content, you may want to map their journey as well. What intentions do they try to meet with their products or services? Once you can address specific (micro) intentions, your content can be well-optimized to rank highly in the SERPs, and that’s exactly what the user is seeking – information at their fingertips.