Search Intent should be a basic concept for digital marketing specialists: however, for sales experts it might not be the same.
In this post we are going to outline the importance of Search Intent, to define a shareable modus operandi and to understand how sales department can be very helpful for this activity.
Indeed, relationships between marketing and sales should be collaborative: marketing should provide the sales department with qualified leads, whereas sales should supply marketing with feedback that are useful to have interesting insights for the campaigns to come.
To refresh knowledge or to discover a new concept, we would like to start from the definition of Search Intent.
What is Search Intent?
Search Intent, sometimes called also Keyword Intent, is the study and the analysis of the final objective of a person who uses a search engine. Therefore, it is an activity aimed at identifying what a person expects to get as result pages. In order to undertake such an activity we will need to study the intent of the research and, at the same time, the possible queries or keywords that this person could use to reach his or her aim.
As always, within marketing sphere a significant advantage is given by the chance of intercepting a need in advance. That’s why being able to understand a user’s search intent, even before this person runs a research, allows a more precise approach in building the relationship or, in different cases, it can help to start a negotiation from a more favorable position than the competitors’ one.
In brief, this activity concerns the understanding of what the user might be looking for: his or her needs, problems or objectives. It is one of the marketing bases.
Different search modes on engines
In order to start a Search Intent activity, online we can find a multitude of tools that rely on past researches history and predictive algorithms. These software analyze time trends and the use of specific queries and keywords. In addition to that they can also provide data on future trends. However, this is not the topic of this post. If you want to deepen your knowledge on this subject we suggest an article on the Search Engine Journal.
Let’s now examine how Search Intent is differentiated. By tradition, Search Intent is divided into query clusters: navigational, informational and transactional cluster.
As the word itself suggests, these researches entail a need for information or in-depth analyses. However, usually the purpose of these researches is not only to collect information or in-depth analyses: they can indeed be a first approach to a purchase action or the search for the resolution to a problem. In this case, the task of the search engine is to help in the research path or to inspire.
These are researches that users run in order to reach an already known page, such as the one of a website or of a brand they have already viewed. In this case the user expects to find something that he or she has already in mind or already knows. The task of the search engine is therefore to accompany the user in the research activity.
The third case, instead, concerns researches that will have to help the user to take a specific action: in other words it is a transaction. It could be both a transaction of a product and of a service or a subscription: it is certainly a precise and defined action. In this case, the task of the search engine is to ease the transaction.
And the ones that do not clearly know what they are looking for…
Finally, there is also the case of users that do not know what they are looking for yet. In this case, tools such as suggestion tools, for example the well-known Google autofill function, help the user with the research. They channel the user’s intentions and display him or her the most plausible answers for the available information. In this last case, the task of the search engine is to help the user to find his or her way.
How to start a Search Intent activity?
As mentioned, we need to look for the user’s need. The need can define the situation of the potential customer: its state and its intentions. To deepen this point with a view to strategic selling click here Data analysis and intuition: how to choose potential customers.
Search Intent is therefore fundamental because it responds to a need: it meets a problem that has to be solved.
As previously described there are many tools online for the Search Intent activity. Here in Vehnta, beyond the contribution of software, we suggest to establish a close cooperation between marketing and sales with a view to collecting potential search intents and selecting the keywords that materialize those intents.
By using only software, indeed, we can conduct quantitative analyses connected to the massive use of the users. However, some other users, maybe niche clusters that are more expert and closer to the purchase transaction, could use more jargon and technical terms for their researches. In this case marketing tools may not be of much help; instead the experience of salesmen could be the right source of information.
Common sayings, jargon and technical expressions can indeed make the difference. Only who deeply knows the field and is used to talk everyday with customers and prospects can be a source of this kind of information. We are therefore talking about people who have strong and established business relationships. In short, a salesman.
Can a Search Intent activity therefore be defined as digital marketing?
According to what we have previously stated, Search Intent activity assumes characteristics that make it overstep digital marketing boundaries. Surely it is a concept that has its origin in the digital sphere, but it is also true that trying to speak the language of our own’s customers or potential customers is an aspect that the best salesmen successfully perform since ages.
Therefore, the point is to combine present and future of digital tools with the experience of the sales department. We have to find once again the cooperation that allows both departments to achieve their objectives.
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