SEO Training

Keyword Research And Searcher Intent

Most web developers have heard of keyword research and have a basic understanding of its importance in developing an effective SEO strategy. However, it is equally important to understand searcher intent when doing keyword research. Failure to do so can lead a well-intentioned SEO strategy off course, resulting in poor traffic and low-converting keywords.  I learned all about this while working at Click Minded. Click Minded is a great place to learn search engine optimization online if you’re a startup. Another option I recommend is Mike Piet’s SEO Book, another great resource for getting educated on SEO.

What is searcher intent and how does it affect your keyword research? Searcher intent refers to what is going on in the searcher’s minds as they search for what they want. What exactly do they want: a product, services, or information? What words are they likely to use and in what order are those words likely to be in when searching for what they want? Learning how to put yourself into the thoughts of the searcher will make your keyword research more effective, giving you an edge over competitors who fail to understand this simple principle.

Imagine that you’re building a website for a company that sells art supplies. You do your initial keyword research and discover that the keyword “modern art” has low competition but gets over a million searches per month. Without taking searcher intent into consideration, you might think this is a great keyword to target for your website. After all, you’ll be drawing art lovers to your website and these people might buy some art supplies.
When you reconsider this keyword in terms of searcher intent, however, you’re more likely to realize that someone searching for “modern art” may be looking for paintings, galleries, or other things along that line. They probably won’t be artists themselves, so even if they visit your website, they are not likely to convert to sales, and your site will not provide a good experience for them because it does not provide what they were searching for.

If you do your keyword search again with searcher intent in mind, you’ll find there are several keywords with low or medium competition that would create more effective search results for your company. Keywords such as “art paper” or “acrylic paint” have lower searches per month, but people searching on those keywords are more likely to buy your products when they reach your website, resulting in a higher conversion rate and increased sales.

The key to successfully using searcher intent to guide your keyword research is understanding what your company provides, whether it is products, services, or information, and determining exactly what people want when searching for what you provide. This way, you draw the people to your website that is most likely to buy what your company is selling. It is better to get 1,000 visitors and have 30 percent of those visits convert to sales than it is to have 10,000 visitors with only 1 percent converting to sales.

Another thing to consider when using searcher intent in your keyword research is optimizing keywords that will generate visitors looking to buy. For instance, someone searching for “acrylic paint” will be interested in looking at paint, but they may or may not buy. Someone looking for “blue acrylic paint” is searching for a specific product; therefore, they will likely buy it when they find it. Someone looking for “acrylic paint free shipping” is also more likely to be a person seeking to buy, not just look, at your product. Using these targeted keywords draws visitors to your website that not only generate traffic, but also convert to sales.

As you can see, keeping searcher intent in mind when doing keyword research will make your research and your SEO more effective and lead to long-term success. Matching what your company provides to what your visitors want is the key to creating search results that are a successful fit for both parties.