Understanding Keyword Intent: What Are the Best SEO Keywords for Your Business?

Keyword intent is about the intention of the people using that keyword when searching on Google. It involves understanding or predicting why those people use the keyword and what they intend to do. Any top SEO company will emphasize the importance of keyword intent to your online strategy. Why?

Keyword intent is helpful in SEO and digital marketing in a number of ways:

  • Helps ensure you target keywords that will deliver the best returns.
  • Helps you match the content on your pages with the intentions of users, delivering a better customer experience.
  • Helps you understand conversion rate issues, particularly when conversion rates on a page start to drop.
  • Improves the overall quality, relevancy, and authoritativeness of your website.

Types of Keyword Intent

  • Buying or commercial intent – indicates a person is ready to buy now. Examples of keywords with buying or commercial intent include phrases containing words like “buy”, “deals”, “cheapest”, or “offers”.
  • Transactional or buying research intent – these are keywords that people use earlier in their buying journey when they are still deciding what they want to purchase. Examples of this type of keyword intent would be keywords containing words or phrases like “review”, “best”, or “top”.
  • Information intent – this involves people using keywords to find out information. There is a vast range of reasons for using keywords with this type of intent, from students researching for a project to someone looking for a recipe or guide on how to fix something in their home.
  • Navigational intent – these are keywords where people know where they want to go, but they don’t know the URL. Keywords with this type of intent almost always include brand names.

High Intent vs. Low Intent Keywords

In the world of online marketing, we talk about keywords with high intent and low intent. When we use these descriptions, they refer to buying intentions. In other words, keywords that indicate a high intent to buy or keywords where the intent to make a purchase is low.

High intent and low intent descriptions can be applied to the types of keyword intent mentioned above:

  • Buying or commercial intent – clearly the most high-intent type of keyword.
  • Transactional or buying research intent – while not as positive or clear as a keyword with straightforward buying intent, a keyword with transactional or buying research intent still strongly indicates an intention to buy.
  • Information intent – low intent keywords used by people who aer not in a buying frame of mind.
  • Navigational intent – low intent keywords unless they include your brand name.

What Are the Best SEO Keywords for Your Business?

Taking keyword intent into account, what are the best SEO keywords for your business? For most businesses, the answer will be high intent keywords – those that indicate a strong or very strong intention to make a purchase.

However, there are other things to consider too:

  • Keywords with high buying intent are often highly competitive. This doesn’t mean you should ignore them, but the level of competition should factor into your decision making.
  • Keywords with a low buying intent can still be useful. In fact, for businesses in many industries, they can be highly beneficial, particularly when an important part of your sales process involves building a relationship with potential customers. For example, you could write blogs targeting popular low intent keywords that apply to your business. Those blogs can establish you as an authority in your field, resulting in people directly coming to you in the future whenever they are ready to make a purchase.

How to Use Keyword Intent to Optimise Your Website

The first step in using keyword intent to optimise your website is to put together a list of keywords that your website targets, as well as additional keywords you identify in your keywords research for buying intent. 

For example, you might currently target the keyword “LED torch” because that is a product you sell. However, your keywords research might find that “cheap LED torch” or “buy LED torch” are keywords you should also target.

Once you have the list of keywords, organise them according to keyword intent. From there, you can make decisions on optimising your site.

  • Buying or commercial intent – as these keywords offer the strongest purchasing intent, they will usually be a top SEO keyword that your company should target. The best places to include them is typically on your product pages or product category pages.
  • Transactional or buying research intent – you should use these keywords to create specific content pieces. Examples include FAQ sections where you can answer the queries directly. Product comparison articles, top 10 blogs, and buying guides are other examples of content types that can target transactional or buying research intent keywords.
  • Information intent – use these keywords to create evergreen blogs that directly address the phrase. For example, a blog on how to clean your bike if you are a bike retailer, or a blog on the benefits of life insurance if you are an insurance broker.
  • Navigational intent – make sure your website directly answers navigational intent keywords that include your brand. For example, “<your brand> opening hours”, “<your brand> login”, or “<your brand> spin class timetable”.

Regularly Review Keyword Intent

Assessing and adapting your content and page optimisation efforts according to keyword intent is an ongoing process. You need to move with trends and changing consumer expectations, while also ensuring your content is fresh and up to date. The payback will be higher traffic levels and increased conversions.