Different types of search intent

Different types of search intent


Nowadays when people want to know something, where do they turn… Google. Long gone are the days of encyclopaedias; search engines have truly taken over. The question is, why do people type a query into Google in the first place?

What is search intent?  

Search intent is the reason why someone types a query into a search engine like Google. Every user has a goal in mind and it’s up to Google to meet it. They could be looking for a specific website, browsing a product or wanting to know more about a certain topic. Knowing the reason behind search intent is important.



Often people turn to the internet to find out information, for example ‘what is equity release?’ or, ‘when can I renew my mortgage?’ Informational intent is usually question-based or centred around a specific topic. People want to find out information quickly and easily. This is where featured snippets come into play. A featured snippet is a short piece of text that appears at the top of the Search Engine Results Page or ‘SERPS’. This text is pulled from web pages in Google’s index and quickly answers the users search query without needing to click through to a website. A completely clickless search. It couldn’t be easier!



Online shopping is rapidly becoming more and more popular, because let’s face it, browsing from the comfort of your own home is hard to pass up. Whether you’re browsing or already know what you want, there is an intent to purchase behind your search query. This search term may include a brand name or specific feature that your brand is known for. It can be both specific and general, for instance ‘buy to let mortgage lenders’ or just ‘mortgage lenders’.


Commercial investigation 

Search engines are a great tool to conduct research, especially if you’re undecided about a particular product or service. For instance, when looking into mortgages you might type ‘best mortgage rates’ or ‘best independent mortgage broker’ into Google. There’s no harm in weighing up your options. It’s Google’s mission to help you come to a solution.



Perhaps the most straightforward search intent, navigational is the go-to when people want to find a specific website. Usually people will type in the company’s name directly as they know exactly where they want to go. You want people to be searching your brand name as this implies brand recognition, and you want to come up first on the search results. This helps when the product/service you offer is in your company name, such as Garden Room Designs.  


There are many reasons why people type search queries into Google and the intent behind the search impacts the results that are shown. Google wants to provide you with the most accurate and relevant information. Have you nailed your users’ search intent? We’d love to help you out, give us a call on 01603 859007 or email us at hello@nuimage.co.uk

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