Now that you have some perspective about the important role of keywords in every stage of your online marketing, let’s take a look at what many marketers, feel is the most important factor in choosing your target keywords… keyword intent. "Keyword intent" relates to the type of interaction that a person is looking for when they enter a search term into Google.
Google sees keyword intent as so critical to the desired user experience that they actually use different algorithms and deliver very different types of search results based on the intent that is indicated by a keyword. If there is a disconnect between the intent that a user has when searching in Google, and the purpose and content on your webpage, then that user is highly likely to bounce right back to Google and look for a different page that is a better match for their intent. Therefore, it is critically important that the user experience offered on your webpage is a good match for the user intent... and the starting point for understanding the intent of the user is the keyword that they type into Google.
Generally speaking, there are five main categories of keyword intent. Of course there is an incredible variety of specific words within each group, but at this point we will just take a high level look at the five classes of keyword intent.
- "Buy Now" Keywords
- "Interested / Product Research" Keywords
- "Informational" Keywords
- "Local Business" Keywords
- "Freeloader" Keywords
Let's take a deeper look at each of the 5 classes of Keyword Intent.
- 1. Buy Now: This is when the core phrase that describes your product or service is paired with language like:
This group of keywords typically has the highest conversion rates. “Buy now” keywords indicate imminent action and the user may be looking to go straight to checkout.
Your Goal: Your goal on pages that are optimized for “Buy Now” keywords should be to sell them. Sell them right then. Use strong calls to action. Limit navigation off the page. Utilize testimonials and credibility statements or images such as Verisign, TrustE Certified, and payment logos such as PayPal, Amazon, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, etc… Make sure that your “Add to cart” or “Checkout” buttons are big and easy to see.
- 2. Interested / Product Research: This is when the core phrase is paired with language like:
- top 10
- specific brand names, products or models
Try not to be afraid of terms like cheap, compare or scam… these terms indicate that the person is giving serious thought and just trying to save money, make sure they are making the best decision and doing due diligence. Intersted / Product Research keywords are typically the second best converting after the Buy Now terms.
Your Goal: Your goal on pages that are optimized for “Interested / Product Research” keywords should be to provide information that paints your product or service in the best light possible compared to any other choices. This is a person who wants to buy, but they are just making sure that they are making the right decision. This is where pictures, direct product comparisons, spec sheets, testimonials, awards and credibility statements can all be very effective. Make sure to use strong calls to action on the page that encourage the person to take the next step and move on to the purchase phase.
- 3. Informational: Most keywords that people type into search engines are informational. These phrases indicate that the person is just looking for information about a subject. This group includes language like:
- how to
- instructions for
- guide to
- recipe for
- best way to
Now if you have an information based business such as teaching lessons, then these are the keywords for you! But, for most businesses these keywords don’t convert very well. However, these are often the terms that people use at the very beginning of the buying process and can provide you the best source of first introductions. Also, creating a wealth of content around these types of terms can go a long way to proving to Google that your site is a great resource within your niche. These terms simply cannot be ignored.
Your Goal: Your goal on pages that are optimized for “Informational” keywords should be to provide all of the information that the person could reasonably be seeking. Make sure that your webpage will seem like the ultimate resource for that visitor. Provide links to spec sheets, operation guides, step-by-step instructions, FAQs, videos and support forums. This person could actually be in the evaluation phase, but they may already be a customer and in need of support. Make sure that they get a great customer service experience and follow up to make sure that they found what they are looking for. This can be done by making the person sign in or provide their email address in order to access the information that they need. Then, you can use marketing automation to automatically send them a follow up email sequence.
- 4. Local Business: These terms are important for categories of businesses that only pull customers from within a reasonable distance, such as:
- food related like pizza delivery
Or, terms that pair a business category with a geo-location term such as a city or zip code like:
- San Diego Tax Attorney
Or, terms that use specific language like:
- close by
- near me
All of these terms trigger a search result page that includes the Google+ Local Pages business listings and map.
Your Goal: Your goal on pages that are optimized for “Local Business Pages” keywords should be to get the person to call or visit the business. Therefore this page should prominently feature contact information, store hours and directions. It can also be very effective to include customer testimonials and calls to action such as coupons with soon expiration dates on these types of pages.
- 5. Freeloaders: These keywords are great for affiliate sites or sites with a business model that revolves around free trials. This category includes language like:
However, if your business model is focused on trying to actually sell products or services then these terms are not likely to convert into customers.
Your Goal: Your goal on pages that are optimized for “Freeloader” keywords should be to provide a fantastic experience and free information, products or services that the person is looking for. However, do not just give the information away. Make sure that you get something in return. Get their email address. Get them to like and share the page on social networks. Then, follow up with the person and ask for a testimonial. You can never have enough testimonials. Once the person has connected with you through providing their email or liking your page, then you can begin to market to them on a regular basis and try to turn them into a more profitable customer.
We will get deeper into keyword intent and all of the different types of keyword modifiers that will make your job of keyword analysis easier and more valuable later in this lesson. But, right now let’s jump in and talk about the most important and fundamental keyword research tool that exists… the Google keyword planner.