5 Helpful Signals of User Intent And Purpose


Understanding user purpose is essential to ensuring that your proposition, marketing, and sales align with what is most important to your customers. It’s all too easy to build an online presence that aligns with our perceived understanding of the customer’s purpose, rather than aligning with their real expectations.

Measuring user purpose is key to online success. Here are some basic areas of interest to help you get started analysing what your customers’ intent is.

1 Search Data

Google Search Console and its Bing equivalent are ripe for the picking. Think of each search term as a little hint to what they were hoping to achieve on your site. Terms that pose questions are incredibly insightful. Try turning generic long-tail search terms into questions.

2 Landing Pages Engagement

Pay particular attention to engagement measures on landing pages. A high bounce rate, low engagement times, a lack of click interactions, and minimal scroll depth are all signals that the content’s purpose may not be meeting the user’s purpose for visiting.

3 User Journey Flow

It’s important to understand how users are navigating and flowing through your site. Users that engage with content and then move to navigation hubs on your site before abandoning are red flags to watch out for! It’s a signal that they were looking for something and couldn’t find it.

4 On-Site Search

This can be a legitimate way to navigate pages, but special attention should be paid to patterns. As with other search terms, each query gives a little insight into what the user was hoping to achieve. Consider where they were on the site when they initiated a search; try to reproduce the experience for yourself. Are you just missing an obvious link placement or signposting?

5 Referrals

Keep an eye on the content that is driving traffic to your site. Many content pages can serve more than one purpose, covering what, when, and why of a subject. However, if the user is clicking on a link that says, “learn more about how scuba tanks work,” then it’s a lot easier to narrow in on what they intend with their visit.

Bonus Areas to Look At: Exit Pages, Abandoned Carts, and Audience Segments. These areas are also rich with purpose and intent ideas.

Hopefully, this gets you started exploring user purpose and intent.

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