The goal of any website is to get traffic, but there are different types of traffic online that you should be aware of. These different types of traffic in a content marketing and SEO term are called Search Intent. To marketers, this term refers to the different reasons that a user will type a query (your target keyword) into a search engine like Google and is the focus of our digital marketing focused post today.
As an example, a user who does an informational search and types in “how to bake” has a different intent than a user who types in “baking recipes.” Search intent can help you to better understand the user intent behind a search query and help you to optimize your content for a particular search term. A good way to understand search intent is to think about why you search for certain terms. You may type in “how to tie a bow tie” as you are getting ready to attend a black-tie event, but you may type in “bow-tie” if you are doing a transactional search and shopping for a gift for someone.
Why is search intent important?
Search intent is the psychological state or feeling that a user will have when they search for a particular keyword. This intent will influence which ads they click, which in turn will influence your sales. Not only that, but it will allow you to see how people are searching for a particular product, which can influence your marketing strategy.
You should be aware of the search intent of a navigational query when choosing your keywords and creating your content. It’s the reason why SEO is so important. You want to offer the best answer or product with your article or blog posts that will be focused on transactional queries. This content marketing strategy of creating pieces based on the keyword intent will help potential customers find the solutions you are offering and hopefully purchase from you.
These are different from informational queries or navigational queries as those are not focus on a conversion action, but are further up the funnel in the discovery and research phases of a searcher’s journey. Deciding which direction you want your content to go will determine which searcher sees your landing page and starts all the way back with keyword research.
What are high intent keywords?
In simple terms, they are the keywords that you should be using to develop your online business.
High intent keywords are the ones that will allow you to target your market better and find buyers who are at the point of purchase. They are ready to buy and are looking for a vendor to help them make a purchase.
High intent keywords are great for SEO because they are highly targeted search terms. The actions behind the search term are what makes it high intent.
There is a second level to this concept, however. When you think of keywords as being low or high intent, you are thinking of them in a vacuum.
What you need to do is look at intent within the context of your own website.
If you are looking to make money online, for example, you may be using keywords that are low intent. For example, if you build a site about “how to make money online,” you are using a low intent keyword.
Whereas, if you’re looking to sell a product, you want to offer content that lets the users know that your product is the best.
How do you find search intent?
“I want to find out what people are trying to find on Google” I’ve spoken to a number of people who are new to SEO, and many of them have this misconception that SEO is simply about manipulating Google’s search algorithm.
This is a huge mistake.
You see, search engine optimization is all about understanding the needs and wants of your customers.
The reason Google’s search algorithm is so important is that it allows you to get your message in front of people who are actively looking for what you have to offer.
If you can get your message in front of those people when they are thinking about a product or service… YOUR product or service… you are going to see sales, leads, and other opportunities come your way.
The best way of finding which type of content will trigger the search intent you’re looking for is by using Google searches and seeing what type of search results it returns.
Adding variables to your core keyword will yield different search results and help you to understand the types of queries and topics you need to target to focus on that transactional search intent.
How do you find commercial intent keywords?
The concept of a commercial intent keyword is relatively simple: keywords that have a definable business or commercial outcome attached to them. For example, if you are running a business that sells dog food, are you more interested in driving traffic to your website to generate sales leads, or to your site to generate brand awareness? You need to know the answer to that question to effectively set up a commercial intent keyword campaign and boost your SEO and PPC.
You can’t just find any old keyword and expect it to be a commercial intent keyword. Commercial intent keywords are ones that are related to buying. This would mean they are more likely to convert, and therefore they are much more valuable to your site and your campaign. There are a few things you can do to find commercial intent keywords. The method you choose will depend on the type of website. On smaller sites, you will have to do more research, but you will get there much quicker.
Here are some examples of transactional keywords triggers, or terms that should appear around your target terms:
- Brand/Product Names
Here are some examples of informational keyword triggers, or terms that should be avoided if you are looking for sales/conversions:
- How to
- How can I
- Best way to
By understanding the search intent of your audience you’ll be able to drive organic traffic or paid traffic to content that has relevant calls to action or offers to purchase.
How can you take your content to the next level?
You can have the most amazing content, but if it’s difficult to read, you won’t get the results you want. You also want to make sure that your content is visually appealing to your audience.
Make sure you utilize a keyword research tool (Google Keyword Planner Tool and Ubersuggest are a few free options), to help you find a target keyword that is focused on transactional searches by using the modifier above to help seed keywords.
Give simple answers but don’t neglect details and you might win a rich snippet and drive more traffic (there’s a whole SEO strategy around this we’ll discuss in another article). Be thorough in your answers to cast a net to a wider audience. Create content that links to other resources.
Lead folks through the customer journey of owning your product or buying your service. Take every opportunity to set expectations and help visitors understand how they can benefit and what life will be like if they choose your solution.
For 15+ years now Adam has helped business brand, plan, and grow.
With a background in media buying and specializing in data-driven marketing he founded the Painted Brick Digital Agency to act as your in-house marketing and advertising department.
“Cookie cutter doesn’t work in a world that is constantly evolving.”