Four Types of Search Intent

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Four Types of Search Intent

Danny Ryan:Hello, and welcome to the Two Bald Brothers and a Microphone Podcast. This is your host Danny Ryan with my cohost Tommy Ryan. Hey, Tommy Ryan.


Tommy Ryan:Hey, Danny Ryan.


Danny Ryan:How are you doing?


Tommy Ryan:Fantastic. I just came off of a latte, so …


Danny Ryan:Oh, good. Good. So you came off a latte.


Tommy Ryan:A two o’clock latte is pretty late for me.


Danny Ryan:Oh, really?


Tommy Ryan:Yeah, yeah.


Danny Ryan:So you’re not going to be able to sleep tonight then, huh?


Tommy Ryan:I’m at the homeless shelter, so I don’t have to sleep.


Danny Ryan:You’re at the homeless shelter. Good, good. So you’re going to head over there tonight.


Tommy Ryan:Yeah, yeah, yeah. Get a lot of work done when I go there.


Danny Ryan:Anybody else from ThreeWill going with you?


Tommy Ryan:No, not this time.


Danny Ryan:Okay.


Tommy Ryan:But I’m going to let people know to see if anybody else wants to join me next time around.


Danny Ryan:Nice.


Tommy Ryan:Yeah.


Danny Ryan:Very nice. Thanks for going to do that. It’s great stuff. So a quick topic today. You know, last time we … I’m going through the Yoast training, and I just wanted to share something that I picked up that I thought was … And I’ve heard this in various different types of formats, but it was just something good, amusing to really think about what content we’re creating for our website, and something that I picked up that I wanted to sort of walk through with you to talk about. And the concept is … And again, this can come in any number of different formats, but there are four different intent types. So there’s navigational intent. There’s informational intent. There’s commercial intent, and there’s transactional intent. And I want to talk about these different intents that people have and how that fits into what content that you have up on your website and how do you address these … basically the look. You want to create content based on these different types of intent.


Danny Ryan:So the first one is navigational intent. And I’ll just talk you through like you’re searching for the homepage for ThreeWill. And so you type in ThreeWill, and back comes the homepage for ThreeWill. So you reach You click on it. You go there. Your search intent is just navigational. You’re just trying to find something on the Web. And there’s really … for content for that, it’s typically your homepage. It’s typically a place that you’re going to. Or making it easier, if there’s a certain Contact Us page or a certain place where, if somebody … for navigation purposes, you want to make it very clear for them to how to find that specific thing.


Tommy Ryan:Right. Where it shows up as kind of sub-links underneath the main hit on Google Search.


Danny Ryan:Yep.


Tommy Ryan:Yeah.


Danny Ryan:And so there’s … So that’s the first one. That’s the easy one to get, to …


Tommy Ryan:Understand.


Danny Ryan:… to understand, as far as that one goes. And we can relate this like to maybe buying your Model 3 Tesla, talk through that whole process, and we’ll walk through it maybe with that.


Tommy Ryan:Okay.


Danny Ryan:I know it’s a little different where you don’t go to a dealership or anything like that. But you probably went through a lot of these intents. And this is a process that people go through in order to go … It’s sort of like the buying process months ahead and what people end up doing, and so you want to create the content for that. The second one, which everybody’s used to, which is creating informational content. We had a lot of informational content. So somebody’s trying to learn something. So we have a blog that has lots of content around do you want to learn how to do something. And so people will typically, as part of the buying process, want to go do research on the subject. So we’ll reflect on that.


Danny Ryan:For us, we just … people learning about Microsoft 365, learning about intranets, learning about how to do different things. So they’re learning about, “How do I migrate off of Jive and to Microsoft 365?” They’re reading up and they’re sort of learning about it. They want to learn about it first before they go and engage a partner, or they’re trying to learn about it themselves to see if they can do it themselves.


Tommy Ryan:Yeah, kind of like qualification. Yeah.


Danny Ryan:And so the first part of this whole buying process is … And I’m saying buying process. Really, it’s just a process of learning … is informational. So you’ve got to have plenty of good content that’s out there that people can learn from you. The next is commercial intent. Once you’ve decided, “Yes, I want to do this,” is you’re going to start evaluating options, you’re going to start researching options. So you’re going to look at this versus that and, maybe like for us, researching different SharePoint partners in the Atlanta area, or doing different … So you want to create content where people … where you’re providing them content that answers those types of questions as what makes a good Microsoft partner, what makes a good SharePoint partner. So they’re trying to sort of get to the point where they’re doing some … they’re almost ready to buy, but they’re looking at what are their different options for buying.


Danny Ryan:And then you have the final one, is transactional content, which is they’re ready to move. What do they need to know? So what are the things that … They’re ready to engage with someone to move forward. Typically, this is addressed by people with, say, product pages. For us it would be our services pages. So it’d be information about, “What are information do we need to get started with the whole process?” or, “How do you contact ThreeWill?” or, “What do you need to do to move forward?” And the transactional ones for product are usually buy-pages for services. Might be a Book Now or a Contact Us Now or a Reserve Workshop or something along those lines where they’re ready to move forward.


Danny Ryan:And so that whole idea of this is to provide … look at those different areas within what content you’ve created and make sure that you’re creating the content for those. So if we took like … you’re doing research on … the easiest one is … Probably the first thing you did is you went out and maybe googled Model 3 or something like that. And it returned back to you and here’s the homepage for Tesla Model 3. And it got you where you needed to go for navigationals, and that was pretty straightforward. But then you probably read some blogs, and it might have been blogs from Tesla along with maybe some people in the community who are writing about things you need to know about the Model 3 before you buy the Model 3.


Tommy Ryan:Or the YouTubes.


Danny Ryan:YouTube videos about Model 3. Before you bought it, instead of me putting this into your mouth, what sort of things did you do before you bought the Model 3?


Tommy Ryan:It’s an interesting journey. I think a lot of it was watching YouTube videos on Elon Musk and kind of conceptually what he was doing. Watching reviews that people were talking about the car. I mean, the actual purchase process was more before even seeing the car itself. So it’s a little bit different of a journey than someone that would be looking today. Someone looking today, there is a page for the Model 3. Back when I put in the reservation, there was no Model 3 picture or page.


Danny Ryan:So you didn’t even know what it …


Tommy Ryan:Didn’t even know what it looked like.


Danny Ryan:If I could just market [crosstalk 00:07:16].


Tommy Ryan:The School of Elon Musk.


Danny Ryan:Yes, we want you to buy this service and put some money down on it, but we won’t tell you right now what it is. Okay. And this may be a very poor example, but … Yeah, the typical car-buying process is you’re going out there and researching first off which car do you want to buy. And then once you’ve decided on the car, what are the options for the car? And so once you’ve gotten done, you move from the informational to the commercial. I mean, the commercial part of this is you’re researching options for that [crosstalk] decided.


Tommy Ryan:Right. When it got to a point … They have a configuration, a flow that you can pick what are all the configuration options and what are the costs associated.


Danny Ryan:And then, if you were buying a car like a normal human being, you would be buying it from a dealer or a set of dealers where you would research buying it from the dealer that’s close by versus across town and doing …


Tommy Ryan:I don’t understand that, but, yeah, I guess people still do that.


Danny Ryan:But then maybe the transaction process itself, you’re making a reservation. And then with this, it’s sort of like an early buy-in type of thing. And then once you’ve decided to buy, you go back to the website and you configure it and you decide on all the options that you … Did you do research for deciding like … There weren’t a whole lot of different options.


Tommy Ryan:No. It’s color. It was the type of tire rim. There were two options there. And then there was the autopilot and enhanced autopilot. And so there weren’t a lot of options. And color, that’s kind of the typical, “Which color do I like?” And rim is not anything that special. And then the autopilot, I just researched and `talked to people that worked at Tesla to say, “Is this worth getting?” But what was interesting is you could either buy it when you set up the configuration of the car, or at a later date, post-purchasing the car, you could turn it on, but you had to pay an extra thousand dollars to turn on that feature.


Tommy Ryan:So it’s like a SAS solution where you have all the software there; you’re just licensed to use certain pieces of it. And if you pay a little bit more, then you get extra features that are already there. You don’t have to bring the car back in. It’s just an over-the-air update to do that.


Danny Ryan:So when I look at these, when I think of our website … So right now I’m thinking of like sort of a high-level menu and what goes … and trying to address what intent that person has. And so what I’ve come down to is is we have a … For the informational piece of this, it’s really our blog, right? Our blog has a lot of this informational type of content.


Tommy Ryan:Right.


Danny Ryan:And then from the last time we talked about … one of the key pieces of informational content is this idea of cornerstone content, which is the what are the four to five pieces of content on your website …


Tommy Ryan:You want to drive people to.


Danny Ryan:… you want everybody to see. You want everybody to go to this place, and you want everybody … These are your ultimate guides. These are your what’s ThreeWill the best in the world at. And you want them reading these things and really optimize those types of thing so that I’m creating a … starting to think of a guide section. And that’s our cornerstone content. Our product pages, which is usually where you’re researching options and you’re engaging the sort of last two steps of this, are our services pages. So those are the ones that you’re in services along with … I’ve got to tie in our workshops, which are like the first piece of our services, along with our accelerators or our tools, which is the … like our sizing tool and those types of things, so that when they’re ready to engage, what are they doing when they’re ready to engage? They’re going to go download this tool and take the first step in the sizing process.


Danny Ryan:And so I’m trying to sort of think about this entire process where … It’s funny how this plays out again. I get people who reach out to us and they already know everything.


Tommy Ryan:Right.


Danny Ryan:And part of it I feel like I’ve got to tell you more who ThreeWill is and what we do. And then like we’re done with it.


Tommy Ryan:We’re past that, yeah.


Danny Ryan:We’re past that, yeah. We know who your competitors are. We know what you do. We know how you’re different. Services business feels like you’re sort of one-offing everything. And from a marketing standpoint, that’s what we really need to do, is put the materials out there so that people can do their own research, and so that when they get to the point where they want to engage us, they’re well-informed. They know what’s going on. And that should shorten the sales cycle, too, for us as well.


Tommy Ryan:Right.


Danny Ryan:They’re reaching out to us when they’re in the transactional stage. They’re not reaching out to us for information about what’s Microsoft 365. Well, what’s Microsoft 365?


Tommy Ryan:Just a few of them do that.


Danny Ryan:I want to point them to our website and say, “We’ve got a great website if you really want to know what that is.” But it’s very early on. I mean, they’re six months out from when they really need to engage with somebody. And it’s expensive to engage them at that point. And part of the reason why we should put materials out there is because we want them to educate themselves. We want them to be educated and spend the time. We’re putting free materials out. Well, that’s nice for us to do that. But the reason why we’re doing that is because we want them to be educated, and we don’t have the time to walk them through what Microsoft 365 is, unless they want to pay us for this, which they don’t want to pay us for this, right?


Tommy Ryan:Right.


Danny Ryan:Most of the time of the time they don’t want to pay us for it. So, all right. That’s it. So this was all about the creating content based on the four intent types, which again were navigational intent, where you’re just trying to find a page on the Web. And so you’re searching for something. You search for ThreeWill and you find out what our homepage is. Informational, that is you’re trying to learn about something, so you’re trying to do some research, trying to spend some time learning before you buy anything. So you’re going out there and doing what … finding out what you need to about how to do the proper due diligence and research around what you want to do.


Danny Ryan:Then there’s commercial, where you’re at the point where you might have narrowed down the options for routes that you can go, and so you’re researching options. And then, even within a particular option, there may be different decisions that you need to make with that. So you want to have plenty of materials around commercial intent. And then finally, transactional. You want it to be very for somebody who’s ready to engage. Like I’ve put on our website … we’ve got the … The obvious one for us is the Contact page, right? It was one of the things, talking with Trisha a while back. She was like, “Thank you for putting … making it glaringly obvious that if I want to reach out to you guys, I know how to do that.” She’s like, “You’d be amazed at how many sites you go to, like I have no idea how to get in touch with these guys. I have no idea.” And so I have that along with … I also put our phone number up at the top and our email address …


Tommy Ryan:Hello.


Danny Ryan:… just to make it easy for people if they’re ready to engage. Shame on you if you don’t make it easy for them to engage with you, because they’ve done all the research and they’re ready to go. So make sure you have content on your site about that. That’s it for today. I appreciate everybody listening. Thanks, Tommy, for listening to me go on.


Tommy Ryan:You’re welcome, yeah.


Danny Ryan:Thanks for the time for going through these certifications. I’m hoping we’ll have some fruits next year for spending some time doing this and thinking about a lot of these very important subjects that we have, and just making it easy for people to engage with us and giving them the content they want to properly research and to be successful on these projects. Really, that’s what you’re enabling them to do. So thanks, everybody, for listening, and have a wonderful day. Take care. Bye-bye.


Tommy Ryan:Bye-bye.


Additional Credits

Intro/Outro Music – Daniel Bassett

Danny RyanFour Types of Search Intent

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