Lady looking out the window thinking about her intent

The importance of customer intent

It is so important that you write content with a purpose. It’s fair to say, I’m pretty obsessed by it – it one of my three key steps to creating content! Why take the time to create content if it’s not going to “do” anything for you?!!! We are all busy. We are all trying to run a business. So, making content work hard is of the utmost important – you want to see a return!

When I refer to purpose or varieties of content, I often focus on the outcome. By this, I mean what you want the client, customer or follower to do or feel once they’ve read or seen the content you’ve created. However, what is also essential is to ‘flip the lens’ – how about considering what drove your customer to seek out the piece of content they are now reading or viewing. What was their intent?

What does intent mean?

Let’s dive a little deeper in to what intent means. Essentially, it’s about what your customer is keen to know or purchase.

A good example, is to think about your customer ‘Googling’ something. For example, if you sell Easter products, there is a chance that your customer will be searching ‘Best Easter Presents’ or ‘Easter Present Ideas’. In the first instance, these are the keywords you’ll want the content on your website, product pages and/or blog post to rank for. More importantly, in terms of intent, it’s making sure that ‘purchasing’ those said ‘Best Easter Presents’ is easy to do.

Why is intent important?

Intent is important because it gets you to really step in to the shoes of your customer. Rather than ‘I want to sell lots of my Easter products’, you are getting into the mindset of ‘how will I be found by my ideal customer looking for Easter presents?’

It is particularly important too if you offer a service. Again, it’s time to think about what would be the customer’s intent that would lead them to you.

Remember that when you are searching for something (or asking a smart speaker to help) people look for both a ‘solution’ and a ‘problem’. For example, if you suffer from back pain, you may be searching ‘stop back pain’ or you may be looking for ‘massage’ – the content may be similar but by answering both quests for information you get two bites of the cherry.

You can also consider what ‘intents’ you don’t want to meet – there’s nothing worse than clickbait, so don’t inadvertently entice people, it’ll only lead to higher bounce rates on your website which is not good for SEO.

What to ‘do’ with intent

Thinking about intent helps you to meet your customer’s requirements.

It will help you refine the customer journey. Think about what stage of the funnel they are at – are they just looking for information or are they looking to buy? Going back to our Easter example, if you have decided the intent is they are looking to buy Easter presents…give them Easter presents! Make the buying process simple…for example, have a clear section on your homepage, have a dedicated page on your website and/or a ‘gift list’ on your blog – and make the buying process simple.

Putting intent to good use

Considering intent is a fantastic way to come up with new and relevant blog content. Type in some keywords or even a question of your own linked to your business and look at the other suggested questions Google now offers – this is literally showing you what people are asking. What they want or need to know. You can offer the answer – you can be the solution to their intention.

Intent is also a great way to plot a customer journey – start with a simple goal or task – i.e. “I want to buy a special Easter gift”. Next, think what content could hook that customer in? Then, how easy are you making it for them to decide? Then, how easy is it for them to purchase?

If there are any obvious barriers, consider how you can remove them. Better still, add in more opportunities to help fulfil their desire or intent – even simply linking to more products or offering a nice clear call to action button at the top of the page, as well as the bottom. Keep assessing your content with the original intent in mind. You’re aiming for the customer’s reaction to be “Perfect – just what I was looking for – purchased…done!”

Go back and consider more ‘intentions’ – it’s great for assessing your website. For example, consider the intent is “I want to know the delivery charges and times” – how easy is this to find on your site> Count the clicks! Another example, may be “where does this company stand on sustainability?” – this might be hidden in one blog post. Can it be found in your search bar? Should you have a separate policy in your footer? If it is a value of yours and likely to be important to your customers, then make it more prevalent and meet this intent for finding out something vital.

Website and blog assessment for intent and more

I hope this has been a helpful insight to give your content another boost. It is also very difficult to assess your own website or content because you are so close to it. Therefore, do let me know if you would like a fresh pair of eyes. I’m happy to help.

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