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Why search intent matters if you want to write B2B copy that converts

When it comes to writing copy, one size doesn't fit all.


If you want your content to capture the reader's attention, you must write your copy to meet their specific needs and goals. In other words, it needs to address their search intent.


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Search intent is the underlying goal or motivation behind a user's search query. It's important because it can tell you what type of content your audience wants and the language they use to describe their problem or need.


When you write B2B copy, whether it's a blog, landing page, whitepaper, guide, or online case study, understanding search intent can help you create content that matches the needs of your target audience.


But to do this, you need to understand the different types of search intent; is the person just looking for general information, wanting to understand a topic, find someone who can help them, or make a purchase?


Once you understand these differences, you can tailor your content to match the user's intent.


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What is search intent, and how can you use it to write great B2B copy?


Search intent is why someone types a query into a search engine, and what they type indicates where they are in their buying journey.


If someone types in "underfloor heating," they're not looking for a specific product or brand. They could be researching the topic before deciding whether it's something they're interested in or if it's right for them. They could even be after some photos of underfloor heating.


So the last thing they want to read is a sales pitch.


They want something that explains the concept of underfloor heating, installation photos, or a simple how it works guide. They're not looking to buy it.


And that's what Google and other search engines will give you when you type 'underfloor heating' into the search bar. They understand you're not ready to buy.


But what if you typed in "underfloor heating installers near me?" That's an entirely different type of search. Understanding these different search types and the keywords used in the search queries will help you write relevant content that engages your audience and drives conversions.


So what are the main types of search intent for B2B customers?


There are 4 main types of search (or keyword) intent; navigational, informational, commercial, and transactional.


With navigational intent, the person is looking for a specific website, product, or link to a web page. They know what they're trying to find but need help figuring out how to spell the company/product name or the exact URL. This could be an account login page or a specific brand. For example, "Warmup underfloor heating" or Nu-Heat technical support."


As the searcher already knows what they want, there's little you can do to attract new customers with your copy as it's more about brand rather than content type.


For this blog, I'm focusing on the other three types where you can adapt your content and copy to meet the goals of each of these searches.


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Informational search intent - I'm just looking for information


This is the most common type of search. As the term suggests, people are mainly searching for information. They want to learn more about a topic, find specific information, or answer questions.


Going back to my underfloor heating example, informational intent search for underfloor heating would involve the searcher looking for information about the concept of underfloor heating, its benefits, and potential drawbacks.


Searches are often questions such as; how, what, why, and where.

  • "How does underfloor heating work?"

  • "What are the benefits of underfloor heating?"

  • "Why is underfloor heating more energy efficient than traditional heating systems?"

  • "Where can I install underfloor heating in my home?"


What type of B2B content works for informational search intent?


Industry related blogs, eBooks, how-to guides, FAQs, reports, and whitepapers are great for addressing informational intent, as you can create content to answer your target audience's questions.


You'll build trust and brand awareness by providing valuable information and answers, nurture the reader, and convert them into customers.


High-quality content will also help you rank high in informational search queries.


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Commercial search intent – I'm nearly ready to buy


If someone types in "best underfloor heating systems for the home," they're nearly ready to purchase but want to do more research before deciding on the right product or service for their needs. They're not looking for general information on underfloor heating but something more in-depth or brand/product specific.


They're trying to decide by looking for reviews, comparisons, and more product information, so they'll include keywords such as compare, best, reviews, and Vs.

  • Underfloor heating vs. radiator cost comparison.

  • Underfloor heating reviews.

  • Warm water or electric underfloor heating – what's best?

  • Which underfloor heating system works best with stone flooring?

  • What are the best underfloor heating systems on the market today?


What type of B2B content works for commercial intent?


With commercial intent searches, the person is narrowing down their options, so you want to create content that helps them see that your product or service is best for their needs. Product pages, reviews, comparisons, how-to articles, and listicles work well here.


Social proof, such as testimonials, case studies, and reviews, significantly impact purchasing decisions. Sharing real examples of how your product or service has helped other businesses solve a problem or achieve a goal demonstrates the value of what you're offering to potential customers.


If you're going to buy a new oven, how often do you look for reviews from people who have purchased the same model before you buy? B2B customers are the same; they want independent proof that they're making the right decision.



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Transactional search intent – OK I'm ready, let's do this


Transactional intent is similar to commercial intent but with one significant difference – the searcher is ready to take action.


Here the person wants to purchase, book an appointment or sign up for a service. They know what they want, so now they're looking for the best place to get it from.


Transactional intent searches often include keyword modifiers such as buy, discount, order, buy online, or near me in the query.

  • Buy an underfloor heating system online.

  • Underfloor heating kit price.

  • Underfloor heating quotes.

  • Book an underfloor heating installation.

  • Underfloor heating installers near me.

What type of B2B content works for transactional intent?


If you sell the product or offer the service the person is looking for, you want to be sure you rank high in searches.

People looking to buy won't be interested in a blog or an industry insight. They want to see quickly and clearly what you offer and how to buy it.


Product pages and landing pages that clearly show the benefit, features, and price (if possible) and have a strong CTA are ideal for transactional searches, as are discount offer pages and even free trials.


It's all about giving the right information at the right time


Your audience is looking for solutions to their business problems and has different goals when they carry out a search query. So the language you use and how you present the information are critical. If you write generic copy, you'll have little chance of ranking high in SERPs and converting searchers into customers.


By incorporating search intent into your B2B copywriting strategy, you can create more relevant content that meets the reader's needs and provides them with the specific information they want.


This will help you to improve your chances of attracting and retaining visitors and driving better results for your business.



Need help engaging with your target audience? I understand how to write informative copy that draws the reader in and answers their questions. So why not. Get in touch, and let's have a chat.


 


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