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Understanding Keyword Intent: How Your Customers’ Searches Reveal Their Needs

In this article, we’ll explore the concept of keyword intent and how it can be used to maximise a business’s digital presence. We’ll delve into the different types of intent, how to identify them, and how to create content that speaks to each type. By the end of this guide, you’ll have a solid understanding of keyword intent and the tools you need to create a successful digital marketing strategy.

So, let’s dive into the world of keyword intent and discover how it can help businesses achieve their digital marketing goals.


So What is Keyword Intent?

Keyword intent refers to the underlying motivation behind a customer’s search query. By understanding the intent behind a search, businesses can create content that resonates with their target audience, ultimately leading to higher conversion rates.

There are four main types of keyword intent. Each type serves a different purpose. :

  • Informational keywords are terms people search when they want to find out more about a particular topic.
  • Commercial keywords are those that are directly related to buying a product or service. These are the keywords that result in high conversions and directly affect a business’s bottom line. Think along the lines of ‘Buy (x) now.’ By targeting these, businesses can improve their ROI and drive more sales.
  • Transactional intent is a cross between informational and commercial intent. These keywords work to inform your reader, but also prompt them to take action and convert them into paying customers.
  • Navigational intent refers to customers who already know about your brand and search for you directly. It usually signals a user’s desire to navigate to a specific website or web page.

These provide a useful framework for categorising search queries and designing effective SEO and PPC strategies.

Data-driven marketing has made understanding keyword intent more important than ever. Knowing the motivation behind a customer’s search query can be the difference between a website that ranks highly and one that is buried in the search results.

By tailoring content to meet the needs of customers with different intent types, businesses can create a more effective digital marketing strategy.

Why It’s Crucial to Target Commercial Search Traffic

You don’t need a crystal ball to know what your potential customers are thinking. By focusing on commercial-intent keywords, businesses can ensure that they are attracting potential customers who are ready to make a purchase.

Branded search terms are an essential part of a business’s keyword profile, and they can be particularly effective for driving conversions. According to Google, branded keywords have over two times higher conversion rates than non-branded terms. This is because people who are searching for a specific brand or product by name are typically deeper within the sales funnel and are closer to making a purchase.

However, it’s not just about targeting branded search terms. It’s important to understand how customers are discovering your products so that you can target the relevant search terms. For example, if you’re selling a fitness tracker, you may want to target keywords like “best fitness tracker for men” as well as branded keywords like “best Fitbit for men”.

To target commercial search traffic effectively, businesses need to work on their entire marketing funnel. This means optimising their website and landing pages for conversions, creating compelling ad copy, and using targeted keywords in their paid search campaigns.

In summary, targeting commercial search traffic is essential for any business that wants to drive sales and improve their ROI. By focusing on commercial-intent keywords and understanding how customers are discovering your products, businesses can improve their visibility, attract more qualified leads, and drive more sales.

What Should I Know About Information-Based Searches?

When it comes to searching for information online, users are becoming increasingly specific with their queries. Information-based searches are focused on obtaining knowledge and solutions to problems, rather than finding a specific product or service. In fact, 70% of all Google searches are for informational purposes.

To reach these users, it’s important to understand the questions they’re asking and provide them with the answers they need. This can be achieved by researching niche questions and creating content that addresses those questions. Here are a few tools to help with this research:

  • Answer The Public: This free tool allows you to enter a keyword and generate a list of related questions and phrases that people are searching for. This can provide valuable insight into the types of information users are seeking.
  • BuzzSumo Question Analyzer: While not strictly a keyword research tool, BuzzSumo allows you to search discussion boards and Q&A databases for popular questions in your niche. This can help you identify the specific questions your target audience is asking.
  • SEMrush: This all-in-one SEO tool offers a wide range of features, including keyword research, site audit, backlink analysis, and more. You can use it to find new keyword opportunities, analyse your competitors’ keywords, and track your rankings.
  • Google Trends: This free tool from Google allows you to track the popularity of search terms over time. You can use it to see how search volume for a particular keyword has changed over the years, as well as to compare the popularity of different keywords. This can help you identify seasonal trends and stay on top of changes in search behaviour.

Once you’ve identified the questions your target audience is asking, it’s important to provide them with the information they need. This could be in the form of a blog post, video, or infographic. The key is to make the information easy to digest and accessible to all users.

But don’t stop there. Once you’ve provided the information your audience is looking for, you can then introduce them to your products or services. For example, if you’re providing information on removing pet stains from carpet, you could then offer a carpet cleaning service or sell a pet stain remover.

Understanding the questions your target audience is asking and providing them with the answers they need is key to succeeding in information-based searches. By researching niche questions and creating valuable content, you can establish yourself as an authority in your niche and convert users into customers.

Why It’s Important to Target Both Strategies

To succeed in today’s digital marketplace, you need to focus on both target commercial search traffic and information-based searches. Both strategies play an essential role in increasing a company’s visibility, building trust with potential customers, and ultimately driving sales.

Commercial search traffic refers to the use of keywords that are directly related to a product or service that a business offers. By optimising your website with these keywords, you can increase your visibility to people who are actively searching for what you sell. For example, if a business sells running shoes, they might optimise their website for keywords such as “best running shoes” or “affordable running shoes.”

Information-based searches, on the other hand, target people who are seeking information or answers to their questions. By creating informative content that addresses these questions, you can establish your business as an authority in your industry and build trust with potential customers. This type of content can include blog posts, how-to guides, and informational videos.

Using both of these strategies is essential for increasing your online presence and driving sales. Here are a few reasons why:

The best approach is to find the happy medium between both commercial search traffic and information-based searches through a strategy called transactional intent.

Transactional intent refers to a type of intent that a user has when they want to perform a specific action or transaction online, such as buying a product, booking a hotel room, or subscribing to a service. In other words, the user has a clear goal in mind that involves completing a transaction or conversion.

This type of intent is typically associated with e-commerce websites, online marketplaces, and other websites that involve financial transactions. Users with transactional intent are generally more likely to convert and complete a purchase or other action than those with informational intent who are seeking information or guidance.

For businesses, it’s essential to understand the user’s transactional intent and provide a seamless and intuitive user experience to increase the likelihood of conversion. This involves making the process of completing a transaction as easy and straightforward as possible, such as by streamlining the checkout process or providing clear product information and pricing.

How About People Who Directly Search for My Brand?

When a user types a navigational-intent query into a search engine, they are typically looking for a specific website or web page. For example, a user might type “Facebook login” into the search bar when they want to log into their Facebook account.

As navigational-intent queries are so specific, they typically have a high search volume and a high click-through rate (CTR). This means that understanding and targeting navigational-intent queries can be a highly effective SEO strategy.

In addition to being effective for SEO, navigational-intent queries can also provide insights into user behaviour and preferences. By analysing the navigational-intent queries that users are typing into search engines, businesses can gain a better understanding of which websites and web pages are most important to their target audience. This information can be used to inform website design and content creation, as well as marketing strategies.

Overall, navigational-intent queries are an important component of understanding keyword intent in SEO. By targeting these queries, businesses can improve their website’s visibility in search results, gain insights into user behaviour, and create content that meets the needs of their target audience.

Discover More Helpful Tools for Keyword Research

Now that you have a better understanding of the type of keyword research you should be doing, the next question is how to simplify the process. The answer is keyword research tools, of course. This list includes tried and tested tools that have become the superheroes of the marketing world:

  • Google Keyword Planner: It may seem obvious, but Google Keyword Planner is a must-have tool for any keyword research list. Developed by Google itself, it’s free of charge and deserves the top spot.
  • Google Search Console: If you haven’t used Google’s Search Console before, think of it as a way to refine and optimise the list you obtained from Keyword Planner. It’s a great way to narrow down your scope.
  • Longtail Pro: With Longtail Pro you can not only check how profitable certain keywords are, but also how challenging they are to target, which is quite handy.

By creating content that addresses the specific intent behind each type of search, you can improve your relevance, authority, and conversions.

Drive More Conversions and Sales Than Ever Before

Remember, keyword intent is not a static concept, and it can evolve over time as user behaviour, technology, and market trends change. Therefore, ongoing research, testing, and adaptation are necessary to stay ahead of the competition and provide your customers with the best possible experience.

That’s where we come in at Kia Ora Digital. With our experienced team of SEO experts, we’ll help you stay ahead of the curve and up-to-date with current search trends so you’ll always be able to match the user’s intent.

Ultimately, by putting yourself in your customers’ shoes and anticipating their needs, you can build a strong and sustainable online presence that drives growth and success for your business.

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