Keyword Intent Analysis
Keyword intent analysis may seem like an ominous term; in actual fact, it is not as nearly sinister as it appears to be at first sight. The process doesn’t require the researcher to be an expert, nor is difficult to master the art.
Simply put, keyword intent analysis is the first step to achieving better Google ranking, which, in turn, translates into higher engagement and conversion rates.
Getting Started With Keyword Research
Thorough keyword research is the first step to long-term success. It goes far beyond just the general notion of keeping informed about what customers are looking for online. What keyword research truly spells is a deep understanding of the market, completion and Google’s search patterns.
The easiest way to start is by researching average monthly searches per keyword and keyword difficulty. Remember, what you should be aiming for is a holistic SEO strategy, one that takes all variables into account.
Such strategies can be built upon rather than redefined from scratch every time a trend changes, so it’s best to do it properly from the very beginning.
So, what exactly are you trying to communicate? What target audience are you looking for? Once you know the answers to these two questions, look into what Google favors.
Performing a Thorough Keyword Research
Now, let’s see what the options are. Things are pretty defined, actually, which makes the process far easier when you begin.
However, keep in mind that users’ needs change over time and also during the buying process. The latter is known as “funnel” and is a parameter of extreme importance in online marketing.
To understand the nature of this change, it is best to use Google search results as a reference. The type of page that dominates the results is the type of page Google favors.
Now on to the defined parts.
There are three major query types satisfying user intent:
- Transactional queries
- Informational queries
- Navigational queries
Arguably the most important query type, transactional queries are what drives a powerful SEO strategy. Transactional queries come in different shapes and sizes, but, more often than not, they feature a call to action (in one form or another).
I.e., calls to action may be direct, creative, indirect and so on. Anything from “buy this supplement” to “cheapest car wash in Brooklyn” (note the mention of the location) serves the purpose.
In most cases, these calls to action lead directly to target category and product pages, guiding the customer to make a purchase.
By doing so, transactional queries lead the prospective buyer exactly where they need to come, but the downside to them is that they lack supporting content. That is where informational queries step in.
The role of informational queries is to provide direct answers to visitors’ queries. They address the queries of people who already know what issue they are looking to solve. An example of an informational query is “how to regain strength after surgery.”
In most cases, informational queries call for multiple answers. Using the example from above, it is not sufficient to answer it with “get plenty of rest” or “use cod liver oil.” Precisely because of that, informational queries should lead to long forms, such as are articles, guidelines, and blog posts.
These pieces are what provides supporting content to money pages. Try Googling it! The top five results are:
- 8 Mistakes After Surgery That Slow Your Recovery
- How to Better Recovery After Surgery
- Feeling Fatigued After Surgery
- How to Recover Faster After Surgery
- Regaining Your Energy After Surgery
As you can see, all of these are educational materials, articles/blog posts that provide context to the actual product you advertise. You will not find eCommerce results for such queries, and there is a good reason for that.
Navigational queries aim to aid the visitors who already have some idea on how to address the issue. I.e., people looking for means to regain strength after surgery may attempt to try more specific answers, such as:
- Natural Remedies to Regain Strength
- Best Supplements for Fatigue
- Acupuncture for Faster Recovery
Being quite specific in their nature, navigational queries serve the purpose of guiding the visitor to make the final purchase decision. That is to say that they should lead to category pages, comparison pages, blog posts, review pages or affiliate pages.
To fine-tune navigational queries, use specific long-tail queries coupled with modifiers that explain the keyword in more detail. Here are some examples:
- Review-focused words: review, compare, best, versus
- Modifiers: vegetarian, vegan, for men, for women, gluten-free
- Expertise words: consultant, teacher, facilitator, guru
Coming Up With Target Keywords
If you do not know where to start, that is okay. Not many people do, but fortunately, Google always does. The best starting point is SERPs.
While researching, pay attention to organic listings, ads and graph results.
Further out, there are numerous tools that will help you get started in the best possible way. Some recommendations would be Page Optimizer Pro, Website Auditor’s TF-IDF Analysis, SEO Surfer and Cora.
Not so difficult, as we promised. Enjoy the ride to a perfect SEO strategy!