Local SEO & Search Intent

Understanding search intent is very important, especially when considering local SEO.

Let’s say you have a Dentist in Liverpool and you want to rank in the top position in Google when somebody searches “Dentists Liverpool”.

Now you may hire an SEO agency to help you do just this, and with our experience, we can give you a great chance of attaining this position.

But please be aware a month-on-month increase in visitors will not necessarily correlate with revenue increases. Let us explain.


Local Search Volume

Search Volume for dentists Liverpool

In the image above we can see the term “Dentist Liverpool” has an average search volume of 2.4k per month. This data is from Semrush, a leading tool in the world of SEO which we use to measure search volumes.

Now say you we hit 1st position for this term, receive more enquiries and generate more business. This will in part be due to the user’s intent. See that column in the image that says “C”, this means the intent behind the search term is one of commercial intent.

Basically, somebody wishes to purchase something and these can be great keywords to generate revenue


User Intent

We can look at user intent as classified by Semrush as:


Navigational Intent

Navigation queries are when a user is looking to navigate to a specific page. So say we are looking for “BBC sport” or the login page of your dentistry website.


Informational Intent

Informational queries are when a user is looking for specific information on a subject. In our scenario, this could be queries such as “How much does dentistry cost?” or “What is a scale and polish?”


Commercial Intent

Commercial queries are when a user is looking for information before making a purchase decision. Searches such as “Dentists in Liverpool” or “The Best Dentist in Liverpool”. The user is looking around for a product or service they intend to use.


Transactional Intent

Transaction queries are when a user wishes to make a purchase. “Buy PS5” or “Order Pizza” would be classed as transactional search queries.

So from the information we have gathered, we can estimate that on average 2.4 thousand people are looking for dentistry work in Liverpool, with some form of commercial intent behind the search.


Not All Keywords Are Equal

Now in our scenario, we have attained top placement in Google, and our website visits have increased, all is going to plan.

Now we need to have a trustworthy, well-designed website that converts these people into paying customers. This is true of every site.

Now what next? We have achieved our goal but SEO is all about growing organic visibility

Well, we move on to other keywords. Let’s have a look at the next objective which is “Root Canal Liverpool”. But we can see the volume for this keyword is much lower compared to other searches.


Change in Volume and Intent

Root Canal Expanded

Now we can see the term “Root Canal Liverpool” gets a lot fewer searches per month at only around 30.

Semrush has not assigned an intent behind this query yet due to the low search volume, but we can deduct this to be a commercial enquiry.

Now to rank for this keyword we may need supportive content, so we will go about building more information on the website regarding root canal therapy. Informational pages such as “What is a root canal?” or “Root canal before and after”


Informational Queries to Build Topical Authority

Root Canal Liverpool Search Queries

We can see that “What is a root canal?” has 5.4k searches per month in the UK. But we need to remember the intent behind the search. This is an informational search query.

An SEO agency may decide to build a page on this subject as it increases topical authority on the subject. If we want to rank for the search term “root canal therapy” it will be very beneficial if we have pages covering different aspects of the procedure.

But these searches are placed all over the country, and the chances of someone in London finding your website and travelling hundreds of miles to Liverpool are slim. Why would somebody do this when they have an abundance of local Dentists to choose from unless the service was in some way unique or highly prized?

Now consider this, say we got 1st place in Google for this search term and theoretically site traffic increased by 5,000 searches per month, how many of these would be paying customers? Very few.

This is because the search terms are informational, and secondly the visitors would be dispersed all over the country. So here we can see how an increase in site visitors does not correlate with an increase in bookings to the local Dentist.


The Power of Local SEO and User Intent

If you get a top local position for commercial and transactional keywords it can really boost your revenue and paying customers visiting your shop or premises.

By concentrating on search terms that can drive a commercial profit, you may need to boost your website with informational pages to help build your topical authority around a subject. Often these pages can hold no real initial commercial benefit in terms of visitors through the door, but they do also help in other ways.

If you create informative pages people will find these on the web and link to them. This can increase your Domain authority and make you a powerful competitor compared to your local rivals.

From a search engine perspective having a topic covered comprehensively will also showcase your knowledge of the subject and help you rank beyond your current location.



Local search is very powerful if you wish to drive people to your store or enquire about a local service. By focusing on keywords of both commercial and transaction search intents, you can potentially boost revenue in comparison to other search queries geographically dispearsed. 

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