Just as search engines are catering to user intent by ranking the most relevant results, businesses are working to improve their SEO efforts by optimizing around search intent. Different keywords have different intent behind them as people search for certain topics, which is why it’s important to optimize your content based on intent as opposed to simply pursuing the most valuable keywords.
A keyword could have a high monthly search volume and equally high competition, but ranking well for it won’t be truly beneficial if it doesn’t yield the specific kind of results you want, whether your goal is to increase traffic, attract new leads, or drive sales. If you want to succeed with your SEO campaigns and meet your marketing goals, you should always take search intent into account when deciding on the right keywords to help guide them.
What Exactly Is Search Intent?
Search intent is all about what people are actively looking for when they enter a particular query into Google or other search engines. Try to look at your business from the perspective of the consumer. Based on the stage a person is at during the buyer’s journey, they will be entering one of two main types of keywords as they seek certain types of information: informational keywords and transactional keywords.
Some people may not be entirely sure what your business does or even the specific problem that your offerings can help solve. At this point, they’re likely to conduct research around the problem they’re facing and possible solutions, which could entail entering informational keywords in the form of different questions. For instance, someone might want to know how they can automate certain marketing processes, in which case they may ask an initial question like “how can I automate marketing” or “how to automate marketing processes.” These searches may bring those users to lists and how-to articles that provide introductory information about inefficient marketing and general ways to automate various processes.
After people have had some time to research the problems they’re experiencing and potential solutions, they’re often ready to look for the best solution and make a purchase. At this point, search engine users will use various transactional keywords as they search for the best products and services. Expanding on that first example regarding marketing automation, the person searching for ways to automate marketing might begin looking for specific tools, which could entail entering queries such as “top marketing automation tools” or “best content creation automation tool,” among others. These terms should take users to product or service pages that lead them toward a sale.
Depending on your goals and the types of content you want to create, there are a couple of ways to use search intent to your advantage in your SEO strategies.
Appeal to New Customers with Sales-Oriented Content
While you may want to appeal to people entering the research phase as they first encounter problems, you should begin optimizing your content with transactional keywords. Starting here at the base of the sales funnel will give people a defined place to go when it comes time to make a purchase before attracting marketing-qualified leads early on. Target a variety of keywords revolving around your product and service offerings and optimize their respective pages to attract new customers who are ready to buy.
Think of optimizing for transactional keywords as laying the foundation of your website and sales funnel. If you don’t take the time to fully flesh out the bottom and gear it for success, people won’t be as quick to make a purchase if they start from the top of the funnel, falling out before they get to your product or service pages. Spending time and energy on sales-oriented content with transactional keywords can help keep your funnel free of leaks toward the bottom, driving sales in the long term.
Connect with People in the Research Phase with Top-of-Funnel Content
Once you’ve laid the groundwork with transactional keywords and content that can drive sales, you can begin focusing more on developing educational content that reaches people at the top of the sales funnel. Consider all the potential topics that people might search for when just learning about what you do and the types of offerings you provide. What questions could audiences have early on as they research your brand and products or services? What specific pain points are they likely to experience?
You can look at what competitors are doing to get some ideas for topics and subtopics to cover, and you may find that there are opportunities to cover topics that competitors haven’t touched, filling gaps in the market. The more topics and content you create in the form of blog posts or resource pages on your website, the more authority your website will have. Abundant high-quality and fresh content will not only appeal to people doing research, but it could also signal to search engines that your website is worth ranking over competitors as you develop into a reputable knowledge hub within your industry.
Complete the Funnel by Connecting Both Types of Content
With optimized content targeting both informational and transactional keywords, you can effectively move people through the sales funnel by including clear calls-to-action, which convert visitors into leads and leads into customers.
For example, someone performing initial research around informational topics in your industry might come across a blog post with helpful content.
After they’ve read that post, you may include a call to action at the bottom of the page that encourages people to fill a form for a free eBook with more information. From there, they can download the eBook to learn more, and you’ll be able to send more relevant information in the future via email. Eventually, you could convert those leads into customers, encouraging them to visit specific product or service pages based on their interests. Meanwhile, your product and service pages will also be attracting people who are actively looking for your products and services on Google.
Keeping search intent in mind as you develop your SEO campaigns can be invaluable as you attract new leads and customers. If you would like to learn more about how Vigor Seorchers can help you develop a winning SEO strategy to drive your online exposure to new heights, fill out our short marketing form today.