If you want to leverage
search intent with SEO keywords on Google and other search engines,
it’s best to balance the methods with the false hopes.
In a moment, I’ll dive into the big intent types like
transactional, informational, and navigational.
Mostly, I want to share a perspective to help you suppress your
excitement about choosing the perfect
keyword scenarios for SEO.
Maybe you’re like me and think of searcher intent with the end
goal in mind – getting that conversion. Don’t we want to
minimize traffic that underperforms?
Here is a closer look at types of user intent keywords and some
other advice to keep in mind with your keyword choices:
- Your brand, product, or service
- Free trial
- I need to
- What is
- What are
- Best ways to
- White paper
Informational keywords include: I need to, how, what is, what
are, best ways to, says @MikeOnlineCoach.
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Possible combinations could include your products and services
and words like:
- Brand references
- Cost of
- Locations near me
How intent matters
Sometimes intent can cross over in different ways. Check out
what Moz founder Rand Fishkin writes about with commercial
investigation search. Some companies master searcher intent and
others barely find success, especially with transactional
Upwork, a freelancer hiring site, succeeds across the board. It
often ranks well for all types of user intent keyword phrases:
Assurant, an insurance company focused on protecting things from
major appliances to mobile devices, falls short with many searcher
intent keywords. But it ranks well for some relevant phrases:
Perhaps the lower search positioning occurs because searchers who
click find the landing pages basic and not too compelling.
Basecamp, which sells project management software, struggles
with user intent except for navigational searches referencing its
For Basecamp, search engine visibility is rare for non-branded
As you dig in with your user
intent plan to lead to results more like Upwork and less like
Basecamp, you’ll want to keep several variables in mind.
How to Make Your Content Powerful in Eyes of Searchers (and
1. Set priorities
Like everything else that’s imperfect in marketing, you can
only do so much at any time. Pick a section of your website,
including select products and services. The more you take on, the
more likely you’re going to mess up (i.e., hurt good
Oops! 17 SEO Misfires to Avoid With Website Content
2. Decide whether to focus on existing or new content pages
Focusing on searcher intent for existing content is a little
more troublesome. If you come up with some new keyword scenarios
that you’re sure will boost leads and sales, you’ll run into
some hurdles (they can be conquered). Question how the phrase will
fit into the existing text. What needs to change? The content
SEO page title? Images?
In other words, if you want to introduce a phrase, your overall
website content must back it up. How will the calls to action need
to be modified or replaced?
If you introduce a new keyword phrase, your overall website
#content must back it up. @MikeOnlineCoach #SEO
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Check your rankings. What pages already edge out competitors?
Performance is relative, right? Maybe the page ranks for general,
top-of-the-funnel phrases and the super high bounce rate won’t
win any awards. Or maybe the engagement isn’t half bad. Can the
page content be updated to guide users to other pages that will
give them more exposure to your brand and maybe compel them to
connect with you?
Regardless, are you willing to sacrifice rankings to gain new
ones? Understand the risk. What’s the net gain with rankings,
traffic, and conversions?
Before you tinker with keyword injections in the content, you
should have a firm handle on what natural search traffic landing
pages rank well and deliver conversions. Pace yourself.
A new page isn’t quite as problematic. You call the shots,
although you may want to honor some architectural standards and
templates. Again, think way beyond the phrase. How will the design
complement the keywords?
How to Get Ranked and Read With the Topic Cluster Content
3. Keep search volume in mind
I’m a big believer in embracing keyword phrases hardly anyone
uses. If there are only 20 estimated searches a month, do you
ignore those keywords? Why? As you weigh new searcher intent
keywords, you’re going to find low volume ones.
It all comes back to what you’re selling. Low volume words
abound. What if you rank in the No. 4 position for a low volume
word and the searcher who clicks signs a contract for a $300,000
order for B2B machinery? It happens.
High volume words should give you pause too. For starters,
they’re highly competitive. And they could have multiple
purposes. Your product or service may be only a small part of the
Here’s what I do. I check the search engine results pages on
Google. First, I cringe when I see those nasty paid ads that push
down the organic results. I only like paid ads when needed (and
yes, they do their job).
I scan the result to see if the target industry is well
represented. I don’t care if some results mix with other business
types. I just don’t want my industry to be only one of 10 natural
4. Be wary of the high volume, low competition advice
For years, online marketing experts have suggested pursuing SEO
keywords that have a high volume and low competition. Sounds good,
right? But it’s apples and oranges in a big way.
Pursuing #SEO keywords with high volume & low competition is
apples-oranges thinking. @MikeOnlineCoach
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Many people reference Google’s
Keyword Planner to capture search volume and a competition
rating of low, medium, or high.
Here’s the deal: Competition references advertising, NOT
organic searches. Competition is about how many other companies are
bidding and doesn’t involve SEO factors like backlinks, page
titles, page content headers, domain names, etc.
5. Understand the buyer’s journey
How does your content correspond with where a user might be
along the sales funnel? The searcher intent keyword phrases need to
match. And keep in mind that B2B and B2C consumers may follow some
unusual paths. Ann Gynn goes into great detail with her CMI
What to Do When Your Buyers’ Journey Isn’t Linear (Hint: It
Hopefully, your website is structured around a prospect’s
needs and not just page after page detailing how your company is
How does your navigation direct potential customers? For
example, what opportunities do they have..
Source: FS – Social Media Blogs 2
15 Search Intent Tips, Examples, and Resources for SEO Keywords