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How to Figure Out Search Intent Behind Keywords

Keywords Content Concept SEO SEM Word Diagram

At the core of every content strategy lie two crucial elements — keywords and search intent. Keywords or queries are words or phrases users type into search engines. Search intent is what drives the user to search the Internet for the given keywords in the first place. To attract the desired audience and captivate their attention through content, you need to satisfy their search intent. While you research queries, you might struggle to figure out the other required aspects. In this article, you’ll learn how to discover the hidden search intent behind keywords.

Study the SERPs

The most common way of understanding search intent is by studying the SERPs. Enter your target word into any search engine and evaluate the results. They often reflect the user’s desire for knowledge. Some users might wonder about the definition, while others might look for inspiration. If it’s easier, you can make a list of types of search intent displayed on the first page. Based on featured snippets, articles, and reviews, you’ll make a list in no time. What you should keep in mind is that multiple search intents can be found in a single keyword. With that being said, adopting a holistic approach will help you pinpoint the most authentic intent of them all.

Check out Autosuggestions

Searching the Internet doesn’t end with typing the keyword. Search engines autogenerate suggestions to their users. They usually show what users also searched after the initial keyword. This aspect is useful for creating content because it shows whether users were satisfied with the initial search. Some of them might have ended their quest for knowledge, while others wanted to learn more or even make a purchase. To exploit this feature to its fullest, you don’t need any special tools. Search engines display autosuggestions based on their database, so it’s free to use. Therefore, refer to them when curating your next piece of content.

Analyze Modifiers

Most keywords contain modifiers that can help you discover their intent. Some of these modifiers include words such as how, what, where, locations, reviews, guides, sales, discounts, etc. Finding these terms isn’t that difficult, either. Today, there are many keyword research tools you can use to list them all in the blink of an eye. Most of them have filtering options, so you can research specific modifiers. In addition to that, they contain SERP features as filters. If you have a certain type of search intent in mind, you can find keywords ranking for that type.

Monitor Social Media Comments

The comment section on social media is another place you can comb through in search of queries. They connect customers more directly and openly with brands. That’s why customers like to ask questions, comment, and share opinions and experiences with others. If you pay close attention to their comments, you can get some idea about the type and quality of information they need. More importantly, you can join or start the conversation and monitor its direction. Even if you decide to stay out of it, you can still get a glimpse of their search intents. This can be useful later on when you start building your strategy.


Search intent and keywords go hand in hand. No content strategy can exist without them. That’s why it’s necessary to understand them both. With these steps, you can easily discover what search intent hides behind keywords. Then, you can use this knowledge to create the ultimate content for your audience. 

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