What is Intent Data

How Does Intent Data Differ from Web Tracking Data?

Understanding the intricacies of web tracking, including measurements, analysis, and reporting, can get confusing. Through web tracking, companies can collect, store and share information about a buyer’s activity on their website, allowing them to personalize the content that buyers see. With tools like Google Analytics, web tracking also enables you to use cookies to track specific users and IP addresses within your company’s website platform. 

Although similar, web tracking data should not be confused with intent data – intent data is aggregated across tens of thousands of websites. Intent data shows what a buyer is interested in and what they are likely to do or buy next 

Imagine targeting a buyer before they even start their buyer journey. With intent data, you can.

What Is Intent Data?

Intent data is a dataset that proactively identifies potential buyers searching online for similar products and services that your company is selling. When buyers search for particular topics or keywords, those create intent signals based on their searches or page views across tens of thousands of websites across the internet. For businesses, this means understanding when buyers are actively researching products and services, bringing them closer to a decision that will lead to a sale or conversion.

For example, you engaged in an online search to find information on intent data which led you to this article. You may have even started this search with the intent to take a specific action that could potentially lead you to a final buying decision on a product or service. 

What is Intent Data


Think about how your company would benefit from knowing when your prospects were researching a solution like yours shortly after starting their buyer journey. 

Typically, buyers narrow down their options before making a final decision. If the buyer never reaches your website, you never even had a chance to connect with them. When used correctly, intent data can provide buying signals across tens of thousands of websites that will help your team prioritize qualified accounts that are active in a buying cycle, positioning you to be the first in line to make your pitch.

Web Tracking Data vs Intent Data

Website tracking, or web tracking, collects, stores, and analyzes user activity across web pages. Most businesses turn to web tracking to measure website traffic, store website settings, track campaigns, analyze website performance and improve the overall user experience. 

You are probably more familiar with web tracking than you think. Using a proper web tracking tool like Google Analytics, you’ll collect various visitor insights like knowing when a user is on your site via desktop or mobile app. It also provides information such as: 

  • Unique clicks
  • Conversion rates
  • Click-through rates
  • Bounce rates
  • SEO performance 
  • Landing page optimization
  • Website traffic
  • Ad retargeting
  • And, more

Intent data goes beyond the basics of web tracking allowing you to identify early buyer interest. 

With intent data, online users browse the internet and leave a trail of intent signals, including page clicks, scroll speed, amount of content consumed, time spent on the page, etc. The strength of these signals indicates the amount of interest a user has in your product or service. These signals make up intent data, creating an invaluable dataset that is ultimately a game-changer for boosting conversions and sales.  It also provides information such as: 

  • Which companies have intent to buy your product or service?
  • How much is your prospect’s interest increasing?
  • Where did your prospect’s interest originate?
  • How much intent for your product or service has increased in the past week?

The Value of Intent Data

Determining the best course of action and the value of intent data is probably the most challenging part for sales and marketing teams. Intent data presents the opportunity to identify early buyer interest with intent signals. With intent data, you gain a competitive advantage by being able to build, filter, and prioritize targeted account lists, personalize outreach, and predict and weigh your lead scoring model. All this together can ultimately help you quickly build a larger revenue pipeline, increase conversion rates and acquire new customers.

First things first, your team should create a solid intent data strategy to help execute quality outreach campaigns. Sales and marketing teams can rely on intent data to implement effective go-to-market strategies, build ideal customer profiles (ICPs), personalize their outreach to specific buyer personas, and create more quality leads. Leveraging real-time visibility into what your prospects want amplifies your competitive edge. This allows you to proactively identify customer pain points, take advantage of up-selling opportunities, and stay updated on your competitor’s offerings.

Potential buyers have probably been trying to solve a specific pain point for weeks, maybe even months. By leveraging intent data, you have the chance to catch these prospects early before they skip over your website. Being the first to identify and solve their pain points puts you at the top of their list. Once you see prospects putting you first, you start to appreciate the value of targeting a buyer before they even start their buyer journey.

How to Operationalize Intent Data

When it comes down to it, understanding how to correctly operationalize and integrate intent data into your preferred choice of software can be confusing. Operationalizing intent data helps generate demand and quickly build a strong sales pipeline allowing you to make the most of your data to drive leads and revenue.

There are three types of intent data:

What is Intent Data - 3 Types

  1. First-party Intent Data: Used to track valuable insights of buyers’ online activity, such as their engagement with social media, email campaigns, and website interactions. You can easily track first-party intent data through analytics tools like Google Analytics, marketing automation platforms, or your company’s website.
  2. Second-party Intent Data: Information collected by another company. For example, any data that media publishers sell to advertisers is considered second-party intent data.
  3. Third-party Intent Data: This comes from an intent data vendor who offers add-on data or intent-driven solutions and gives a more holistic view of your prospect’s buying activity. Third-party intent data offers an extensive scale to help marketers access more new prospects and seamlessly transition them into your pipeline.

Check out this guide, Intent Data: How to Use it to Generate Quality Sales and Marketing Leads, on operationalizing intent data for a more in-depth overview.

How to Find a Quality Vendor for Intent Data

If you’re considering adding intent data monitoring to your business, you may have already begun the challenging and somewhat confusing task of selecting the best intent data provider.

When trying to find a quality intent data vendor, here is a list of questions you can use to help your evaluation and decision-making process:

  1. How broad is the coverage?
  2. How accurate is the data?
  3. How often can you pull new data?
  4. Can the provider deliver a thorough breakdown of how the scores are calculated?
  5. Where does the data map to accounts, leads, or both?
  6. Can this provider securely integrate with your existing CRM?
  7. Can you customize the topics and keywords you track?
  8. What is the cost and are there any guarantees?
  9. Is there efficient customer support?

If you need more clarification, this definitive guide for choosing the right B2B data provider will help you understand the differences between various vendors and which performance factors really matter to help increase your bottom line.

Change The Game With Intent Data

It’s essential to prioritize vendors not only with large-scale intent data coverage across tens of thousands of websites, but also to measure those vendors on the precision and accuracy of their results. It is also vital to learn how to choose the right data provider to help your sales & marketing teams effectively convert intent data into quality leads and customers.

Intent data enables you to broaden your reach to prospective customers who have never visited your website, target those with the highest intent to buy, and precisely filter the contacts who are the best prospects. When selecting the right third-party intent data provider, do your research and understand where they collect their data and how they help you operationalize it.

DealSignal’s intent data can help you uncover hidden buying teams, prioritize in-market accounts, and personalize your ABM to drive more conversions faster. The third-party intent data that DealSignal provides tracks millions of users across thousands of B2B websites to see if these users are showing interest or buying signals in product or service offerings like yours. DealSignal aggregates what all these users are searching and consuming by topic. If these users don’t visit your website, you will never know that those potential customers have an interest in what you offer. With the largest intent data network to surface unknown buyers and a 97% percent accuracy rate, DealSignal is ready to help you improve your go-to-market, lead generation and revenue pipeline development.

With DealSignal, you can prioritize your marketing and sales campaigns to catch prospects early in their research and decision-making process. Schedule a free demo to see firsthand how the DealSignal platform can fuel your revenue engine with higher-quality data.


Rob Weedn

Rob Weedn is Founder & CEO of DealSignal. Having worked in B2B marketing and sales for many years, Rob is passionate about helping revenue generating teams meet their goals by providing them with the immaculate contact and account data they need to target, engage, and convert prospects effectively. Follow Rob on Twitter @robweedn.

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