As a marketing professional and web designer, pretty much every client I work with wants to get a high Google search ranking. After all, “first page on Google” is the holy grail, right?
The Google algorithm is tricky and mysterious, though. Things often change. Sometimes, things go back to the way they were, making a high Google search ranking even harder to achieve.
These days, the algorithm is beginning to trend toward discovering a searcher’s “intent.”
Forget everything you know about the marketing funnel. Today, people are no longer following a linear path from awareness to consideration to purchase. They are narrowing and broadening their consideration set in unique and unpredictable moments. People turn to their devices to get immediate answers. And every time they do, they are expressing intent and reshaping the traditional marketing funnel along the way.
What This Does and Doesn’t Mean
First, it’s important that we don’t abandon sound marketing principles. This is not the time to jump ship on funnel development, keyword research, link-building, schema integration, and other search marketing best practices.
So it doesn’t mean we have to completely reinvent our marketing strategies. What it does mean, however, is we have a new variable to account for: extreme unpredictability.
Now, that sounds tough. And it is, in one sense. Technology runs on zero’s and one’s.
Humans, well, don’t.
Anytime we are attempting to use technology to deal with human behavior, there will be limitations. In another sense, however, this is good. Technological capabilities used to be quite limited, forcing us to use the Internet a certain way. As the tech expands in capability, the Internet becomes more natural to use.
This means that we can use our own brains to think through the different ways customers might want to interact with our brand, products, services, and content.
What we’re after, then, is a way of showing up in the Google search ranking based on the intent of a user.
Example: Bob wants to replace a headlight in his car. He searches for, “How to replace a headlight in a 2019 Toyota Tundra.”
The following is returned:
Now, why do you suppose it was not a blog post that came up?
Google realizes that the person who intends to replace a headlight is not likely to read a blog post before doing it. Rather, they’d like a visual representation!
If you want to have a high Google search ranking for this keyword, you will need to record a video. And this is just one factor out of many.
The format and angle of the content will need to be considered, as well as the important keyword(s) that are being used.
The User Intent Model for a High Google Search Ranking
In sum, here’s how to grab a high Google search ranking using intent-based marketing.
- Do keyword research.
- Discover the format of the highest ranking content (blog, video, audio, etc.).
- Find the content angle (how-to, listicle, in-depth report, etc).
The above will give you a HUGE head-start in optimizing your regular content pieces for the searches you’d like to rank for.