About the Author

Corey Morris

President / CEO

Corey is the owner and President/CEO of Voltage. He has spent 18 years working in strategic and leadership roles focused on growing national and local client brands with award-winning, ROI-generating digital strategies. He's a recent recipient of the KCDMA 2019 Marketer of the Year award.

Over time, a user’s purpose when using a search engine, known as search intent, holds significance when it comes to understanding your target audience. SEO relies heavily on understanding the user’s journey through the funnel and what better way to find that out than through their intended searches? Four primary search intents lead as the foundation for SEOs: commercial, transactional, informational, and navigational.

We want to change that narrative. Many argue that search intent goes far beyond the four confined walls of Google’s well-known categories. In my Search Engine Land article “There are More than 4 Types of Search Intent,” I expand on a more accurate list of search intents provided by SEO Professional Lily Ray. Below, I’ll highlight a few of the sub-intents explained in full article, which may help SEOs better define their target audience.

Compare Products:

Originally, some would categorize comparing products into a commercial, informational, or even navigational category. However, the four search intent categories are just too broad for a search intent of this kind. Therefore, comparing products can be narrowed down to a category of its own.

From the article:

Before making a purchase, people will do their due diligence. They review pricing, specifications, reviews, and more around products, brands, and retailers.

Find Tutorials or Tips:

For SEOs, categorizing tutorials or tips as their own search intent – whether for a search query related to a specific project, hobby, or task – makes things so much simpler. 

Enthusiasts of various hobbies, such as gardening, photography, cooking, and gaming, use search engines to find tutorials, guides, and communities related to their interests.

Get Directions:

Users turn to search engines not just for information, but for actionable guidance on how to reach their destinations.

Whether planning a trip to a friend’s house or a trip cross-country, people use search engines to find accurate directions, maps, and real-time traffic updates to navigate their journeys.

Cook Something Delicious:

Search engines serve as a digital cookbook intended for users looking for convenient information about recipes and cooking ideas. This sub-intent recognizes that search engines aren’t merely information hubs, but digital cookbooks tailored to users seeking culinary inspiration.

Search engines make it simple to discover new recipes and cooking methods from both amateur blogs and world-renowned chefs.

Plan Their Next Trip:

This sub-intent acknowledges that search engines extend beyond general information by allowing users to become virtual travel agents or find their ideal one. By incorporating “Plan Their Next Trip” as a distinct sub-intent, SEOs gain the ability to tailor their marketing strategy, meeting specific user needs by focusing on this niche category.

Travelers can almost do it all directly from search engines – research destinations, flights, rental cars, and hotels and find tourist attractions and tips.

Read this article and the rest of my related articles on searchengineland.com.