Search Intent Vs SERP Intent: Which One Should You Follow?

search intent

What is Search Intent?

Search intent is about figuring out why a user is typing a particular keyword or phrase into a search engine. For example, if someone searches “how to make chicken wraps,” they’re probably looking for recipes or videos on making chicken wraps.

What is SERP Intent?

SERP (Search Engine Results Page) intent tries to understand what kind of content a search engine thinks is relevant to the user’s query.

So, for the chicken wrap example, Google might show recipe articles, videos, and related searches, adjusting its results based on what users have found useful before.

Machine Learning’s Role in SERP

Search engines use machine learning to refine the SERP, ensuring users get the most relevant and useful content for their queries.

For instance, a search like “personal injury lawyers near me” will likely show maps and local businesses, recognizing the local intent behind the search.

Three Key Aspects of Keywords When picking keywords for your SEO strategy, it’s crucial to consider:

  • Search Intent: What is the user after?
  • SERP Intent: What Google likes to see in the top 5?
  • Difficulty: How hard will it be to rank for this keyword

Keyword tools will tell you the difficulty score, but that’s not exactly accurate.

Hear me out

 If your content doesn’t match the SERP Intent, then it doesn’t matter how many backlinks you build.

 You’ll have an extremely hard time to rank it.

 EVEN if the keyword difficulty is “easy”, according to keyword research tools.

Bringing It All Together

Your SEO strategy should be a blend of understanding user intent, SERP Intent, and the practicality of ranking for chosen keywords, ensuring that the content you create resonates with and serves your target audience.

Action Steps

  • Evaluate Your Keywords: Consider both intent, volume, and difficulty.
  • Align with Business Goals: Ensure keywords resonate with your offerings and target market.
  • Monitor & Adapt: Keep a close eye on performance data and be ready to pivot your strategy as needed.
  • Evaluate the SERPs: Understand what Google wants to see and compare it with what the user thinks they want.
  • Create User-Centric Content: Ensure your content not only aligns with SERP intent but also fulfills user needs and expectations.

Keep this in mind next time you’re doing keyword research.

It will save you a ton of trouble.

Choose your keywords wisely.

It’s all in front of you (Google’s top 5).