Understanding Keyword Intent

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What is keyword intent?

Keyword intent is one of the most crucial elements of both Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Without understanding your visitors’ intentions, even the most well funded digital campaign will fail. Keyword research is about understanding how humans interact with search engines and your website.  When your potential client opens a web browser, they already have an intention. There are 3 main types of keywords based on intention:

Informational keywords:

We use them to learn and find information.

  • “Symptoms of flu.”
  • “How to create a website.”

Navigational keywords:

We want to reach a specific website:

  • “City hall website.”
  • “amazon.com”
  • “eBay”

Transactional or Commercial intent keywords:

We use them when we are ready to buy.  This is the category of the highest intent.

  • “get car insurance quote.”
  • “order supplements for weight loss.”

Commerical intent keywords have several variations too. They cover:

  • Product keywords”review,” or product categories like “city breaks,” “organic makeup.”
  • Buy keywords uses such words like “cheap,” “the cheapest.” “order” “the best.”
  • Branded searches for specific recognizable brand names.

Which type of keywords should you use on your website?

The short answer is that you should use all 3 categories to drive demand and generate leads.

Informational keywords belong at the bottom of the sales funnel, but by providing the information you also generate interest in your brand.

Why should you focus on informational keywords?

First of all, commercial intent keywords are very competitive, and their pay per click cost is much higher. However, informational keywords can create a perfect base for the sales funnel and inbound marketing strategy.

How can you use meaningful informational keywords?

There might be over 100,000 keywords that you could relate to your industry, product, and services. However, you should filter your informational keywords based on your buyer persona’s challenges, frustrations, and barriers for choosing your product or service.

How should you choose keywords?

Use modifiers with keywords and make sure that they match the landing page and lead magnet. After all, you want to convert your website visitor into a lead. For example, a “how to ” modifier for a keyword “whiten your teeth” can link to the blog post, and offers information on “different teeth whitening methods by X dentist in X city.”

Is having the right keywords in your SEO and PPC strategy enough?

The real secret is to create a landing page for visitors that meets the expectation of the keyword. For example, if you search for “ mirrorless camera vs DSLR” you expect to see a well-written comparison article with a comparison table outlining the differences.

On the other hand, if your landing page sells one of these types of camera, with no information on the other, the user will get frustrated and abandon your website. Not only is this a bad experience for the user, but it also signals to Google that your page is irrelevant.

Now you can see how important is to develop separate landing pages for the groups of keywords. When performing keyword research or outsourcing this task, plan for all 3 categories of SEO keywords to be implemented throughout your website.

What about Pay Per Click?

PPC revolves around having the right keyword mix. However, your PPC account will suffer if you don’t use Negative keywords. What are negative keywords? Negative keywords exclude the terms that you don’t want to be found for.

If you decide to launch a PPC campaign based on commercial intent keywords, then make sure that you generate a good base of negative keywords. We have one available in our resource section as a starting point. Use our universal negative keyword list and see how it affects your conversion rates.

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