The next purpose of the search – Whiteboard on Friday


Fulfilling the purpose of search is a critical component of our daily SEO work. But if you don’t think ahead, what would a seeker be looking for po that the initial query is answered, you may miss it.

This Friday on the whiteboard, Ola tells you what the “next purpose of the search” is, why it’s important, and how to optimize it.

Click on the board image above to open the high definition version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Hello, Moz fans. I’m Ola King. I’m a user researcher at Moz and I’m excited to be able to join you today for the second edition of Whiteboard Friday. Today I am going to talk to you about the next purpose of the search. I mentioned it on the board last Friday three SEO bossesand one of the factors I mentioned that affect SEO is the search intentions behind each search.

So everyone who does a search in a search engine is looking for something, and the purpose of a search is the purpose of that search. As SEO, fulfilling this search goal is critical to the success of your content. Britney Muller has very in-depth board Friday already on this topic, so I will not cover it. Logan Bryant also has another theme called the hidden purpose of the search. So, this is something you should also check out.

But today I will talk about what happens when you fulfill the initial purpose of the search, i.e. the next purpose of the search.

What is the next purpose of the search?

So what is the next purpose of the search? Well, if you look at search as a journey, the next purpose of the search is the next step in the search engine path, which is what someone would most likely search for next after fulfilling the goal of a particular page.

So if the purpose of the search helps the search engine to stay on your site, the next purpose of the search helps the search engine to stay on your site.

Why is it important?

So why is this important? Well, SEO is not just about ranking. To really increase your SEO efforts, you need to start thinking about how your pages are converting, how pages move people to the next stages in your flow, i.e. stream optimization, what your users ’user experience is, what they like is the customer path and how they deal with the relevant content you want them to deal with, how it helps you retain your ideal customers or searchers and how each content internally connects to other pieces of content you have on your site and also traffic distribution, how so redirect traffic from the most successful pages to pages that may not be receiving as much traffic.

How to identify the next purpose of the search

So how do you perform the following search purpose? Well, the goal of the next purpose of the search is to actually figure out what people are most likely to look for next, and then encourage the searchers to take the next action. So you can do this with simple calls to action, page embeddings, and page-to-page links.

However, you can progress by customizing the navigation bar, making things a little customized, adding the following reading section to each of your pages, and displaying launchers. So many different ideas. Pretty much your goal is just to think about a particular page and as a user, as a searcher to think, “What would you most likely need next when I use this information?”

So some ways to get ideas are to understand your searcher’s personality, look at similar keywords that might be related to what your site ranks for, and look at other keywords to rank for. See what your competitors rank for, which you may not rank for. This can give you ideas about your blind spots for content that may not be relevant to your particular site, but other related sites.

Understand the journey of curiosity. So it’s like a customer’s trip, but instead of looking at your flow, you’re trying in terms of information, we call it a map, to look at what someone would like to know about the next one. Also focus on the user experience. Providing the most relevant information always helps with a good user experience.

Check out your Google Analytics to see which pages people visit when they come to a particular page. This will give you hints as to what the next page is or the next purpose they want. You can also look it up on Google. Just search for a keyword and for some keywords you can see that people are also searching for the next one, and this is the most obvious way to search for the next search.

Four types of search purpose

So how do you do that? Well, if you’ve watched Britney’s video or other information about the purpose of the search, you’ll understand that there are four main types of search purpose – informational, commercial, navigational, and transactional.


So informatively, your goal is to really provide a good user experience and optimize your flow so you can move people or searchers from one side to the other. You can do this by displaying related content and then linking to relevant pages on your site.


In commercial, your goal is conversion, because commercial is just a purchase intention.

You can do this by adding a comparison of your competitors ’products or similar products you have on your site, adding coupons, discounts, and responding to any objections someone may have. So be proactive about the information you would need before they need it, and then post it on your site.


When navigating, the goal is also a good user experience, to keep people on your site and to ensure that you optimize your route so that it is traffic and flow from one page to the most relevant next page. You can do this with launchers that appear when users perform certain actions on a page.

You can have custom navigation bars. You can set up sitelinks correctly to make it clear from search engines which page people can visit.


So for transactions, it’s someone who already knows what he wants and is just trying to buy things. Your goal in this case is just to convert and sell up.

So you want your related products to show that you have versions of your products and then make compatible purchases, for example, that Amazon people also buy a range of things. You can also set up a little demo version to help searchers who may be looking for how your product works in real life, so be proactive and have that on your side.

But yeah, so that’s really the next purpose of the search. If you have any idea that I may have missed, please do not hesitate to get in touch and I would also like to learn from you. The main key points to learn about this are when it comes to SEO, you want to think about things in a holistic way.

You don’t want to just look at one page on your site. You want to see how each page connects, and understanding the next purpose of the search allows you to bring value from one site that performs well to the other side of your site so that your entire site can flourish. But yes, thank you for joining me today and see you next time.

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