Megan Grant

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Search Intent for Freelance Writing

February 17, 2021

As a freelance writer, one of the best things you can do for your content is make sure it satisfies search intent, also called user intent.

Let’s talk about what this means and how you can do it. This is something I discuss in my new mini-course, Writing Wizardry , which is now open for enrollment, and it’s really important, so I’m sharing it here too.

Psst! If you prefer video, here it is.

First of all, what is search intent?

Put simply, search intent is the reason behind a user’s query. It refers to what they’re trying to find when they look for something online.

For example, if someone goes on Google and searches for “how to stay productive when you work from home,” then they want to know… how to stay productive when they work from home. Big shock — I know. 😉

Your eyes might be glazing over right now. “Of course, that’s what they’re looking for!” you’re saying.

But! It’s not always that clearcut.

Let’s say, as another example, that someone goes on Google and searches “keto diet.”

Now what are they looking for? We have no idea.

Are they looking for a definition of the keto diet? How to do it? What you can and cannot eat? What the pros and cons are? Who knows?

In this case, user intent might not be that obvious.

If you’re a freelance writer, or anyone who’s creating content for the internet, you have to care about this. Here’s why.

Why does search intent even matter?

Let’s say you’re writing a blog about the keto diet. And when people search “keto diet” on Google, you want to show up on page one.

If you don’t satisfy search intent — if you don’t give people exactly what they want to read when they search for “keto diet” on Google — then you’re never going to rank on page one.

Why?

Google won’t put you there.

You have to remember that Google’s #1 priority is user experience. They want to perfectly answer users’ search queries, fast. That’s what keeps people coming back to Google. They get the information they need, quickly.

If Google search results sucked and weren’t accurate, people wouldn’t use it.

So, that is why you need to care about search intent, if you’re creating content. If you create content that satisfies user intent, then the user will be happy, then Google will be happy, and Google will rank you higher.

Conversely, if you’re creating content that doesn’t give Google’s users what they want, Google will bury you in search results and your content will never be seen. This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make that will kill your blog traffic.

By the way, I’ve got a video on other common mistakes I see writers make — check it out.

Alright. So you know why search intent is so important if you’re a content creator. Next up…

How can you make sure you’re satisfying search intent?

It’s a lot easier than you probably think.

Google already tells you, point blank, what the best content is for any given search query.

It’s the content that it ranks on the first page.

Mindblowing! 🤯 Except… not really.

That’s it. So, if you’re creating a blog about the keto diet and you want to know exactly what people are looking for when they search “keto diet,” Google that term, keto diet, and look at all of the results on page one.

What exactly are they talking about, in regard to the keto topic? What topics? Are they using a lot of pictures, videos, infographics? Roughly how long are these pagess (meaning their word count)?

You already know that those pages are satisfying search intent. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be ranking so well. Those pages give users exactly what they want. So, Google puts them on Page 1.

Therefore, those pages are your inspiration.

Do NOT copy them. Never copy. Be better than that. Instead, read through those search results, on page one, and ask yourself: Why are these so good? What are they doing right?

Take that, and then find a way to do it better. This is what’s going to get you on page one of Google.

Research is the first step of creating content that performs well on Google. How can you give readers what they want, if you don’t know… what they want? That’s why before you start writing, you need to zero in on the right (1) topic and (2) keyword.

If you need help with blog research, check out my new mini-course Writing Wizardry . You can use the code launch10 to get $10 off. There is a limited number of those discount codes, so if you’re going to enroll, do it now.