- Keyword Research
Search Intent Tips for Your Keyword Research
SEO is constantly changing and evolving to keep up with changes in search engine algorithms and marketing trends. It used to be enough to make a list of some relevant words, sprinkle them through your article and call it a day. But no longer. Over the past year, Google has made some notable adjustments to the both its search algorithm and the way it displays results, two things which every SEO professional needs to take into account. Another major development in keyword research is the evolution of intent based search optimization.
What is search intent?
This essentially means digging one layer deeper than simply trying to match the words that users are likely to search. Predicting the most popular searches allows you to use keywords to match those searches. This increases your chances of a high ranking as search engines are increasingly taking this into account. They want to provide results that correspond to the user’s end goal, not just match up the words themselves. There are three main categories:
These are searches where people are looking for answers. At this point, keywords can be more targeted to provide education and information.
These are mainly people searching for a specific site or business but these types of searches are unlikely to provide any end benefit for businesses besides that one.
This is where most businesses want to focus because it is where users are ready to make a commitment of some sort. Making a purchase or setting up an account, for example.
As one might expect, the keywords used to target these three areas are going to be notably different. Therefore, it is essential for every business to establish the intent of their target audience for every genre of content they produce, then use that as a guideline to choose keyword content.
Keyword Examples by Category
Knowing your audience and determining which category of search intent they fall into should shape the majority of your keyword choices. Here are just some of the typical keywords that match up with each category:
Whatever specific words you choose for your keyword content, always pay attention to how closely they will match up with the search intent of the users in your target audience.
What type of words should you be focusing on?
Keywords can be roughly grouped into six different categories, each falling at a different point along the process from first contact to customer conversion.
This group includes most of the traditional keyword choices because it is broad and tries to hit on the most common search terms. Here the hope is to generate traffic that will eventually progress into something more.
These are search terms that are related to your focus but slightly different. The goal here is to reach people looking for a similar product who may also find your content intriguing.
Here you are targeting people who are looking for something different than your product. However, they may be convinced to change their mind if they come across your site.
This method attempts to use the keyword terms of your competition to drive traffic to your site instead. It can increase your exposure, especially if the competitor is quite popular. However, it won’t necessarily be useful in getting you a good result ranking.
Here you start to get very specific. Depending on the product, this category could produce a large list or be very exclusive. Either way, this is the time to target exactly what your company offers. If you get hits at this point there is a good chance of converting to business.
Finally, you have narrowed down to exactly where you want to be. You are using your own brand name and specific products as keywords. People who search using this kind of information are typically very close to their purchasing point.
As always, the exact choices to fit your marketing strategy need to be carefully chosen. You need to match your product, services, and content to the stage of intent of your target audience. This may mean several different styles of content and keywords in order to maximize your SEO results.
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The ultimate goal of content marketing is offering your target audience information and materials that will engage them and motivate them to choose your business.
Seems easy, right?
Often, companies will simply share general content to please everyone. But let’s be honest: you can’t win them all. And that’s okay!
Rather than throwing a line and hoping the fish will bite, create Thought Leadership content strategically catered to your target market. Consider the people who would genuinely need or care about what your business offers, rather than wasting time, effort, and resources on creating general, unfocused content. Successful content marketing involves promoting your products and services to the people interested in the subject matter, who will read the content, click on your company website, and take action.
As an executive of an organization, you are a valuable piece of the brand. Consumers want to know about the human presence leading companies, in order to understand more about the company’s values and goals.
Take advantage of your position as an industry expert and share extra content to attract more attention to yourself as an industry leader and your company. Your quality content will build your reputation as a reliable voice to earn your consumer’s trust. However, if it’s not focused on your target audience, you won’t earn many conversions from your content.
Consider these techniques to guide your Thought Leadership content so it can expand and strengthen your loyal consumer following:
- Identify your target audience by reviewing your current consumer data and identifying who is investing in your business or reacting to your thought leadership materials so far. Look for trends to find why these people are interested and if others like them haven’t been reached yet.
- Conduct customer research to learn how they will respond to your thought leadership content. Request participation in surveys, polls, social media comments, and more to learn about your existing impression on your audience and how you can improve your platform.
- Create target audience character profiles. Identify their interests, demographics, pain points, needs, and desires, and write to them.
- Find where your current and potential audience is active online. Catch their attention by being active and sharing your content marketing materials on these platforms.
- Pull inspiration from other Thought Leader examples. Research other executives within your field who implement successful content marketing through their personal platforms. Learn what qualities make their content attractive and why readers respond to it positively. These examples can offer a base for you to visualize what you want to achieve.
- Recognize your strengths as a Thought Leader. Often, leaders aren’t necessarily aware of the unique talents that give them an advantage in their industry until asked. Reflect on what topics you know best and how to input your insights to humanize your materials, make them original and more engaging for your audience.
Case Study: How Strategic Content Marketing Can Broaden Your Audience
In our client strategy calls, our team will interview our expert clients to learn about their industry expertise and find out what’s meaningful to them, their business, and then identify who we believe to be their target audience. We use these insights to inspire our content subject matter and tone to create impactful content for their current and potential consumers.
For example, our client, Dr. Nitin Desai, approached our strategy team to create content to promote his COVID Pre-Check app. His innovative software is intended to help employers ensure their employees who enter the office are COVID-free, providing a safe environment by eliminating the chance of spread.
Our team of strategists recognized that with Dr. Desai’s thorough professional knowledge around the COVID-19 virus, he had the potential to become a reliable voice in a culture of people seeking answers. We created content for Dr. Desai that focused on sharing COVID-related insights to reach a wider audience, which has been a successful mission. Our thoroughly planned content reflected his industry expertise, which brought him attention from various media outlets and publications, including Forbes.
By reaching out to our professional content marketing team, Dr. Desai achieved his goal of promoting his groundbreaking app, while also positioning himself as an authoritative voice in his field. Our team learned about his voice, discovered what was meaningful to him and his target audience, and optimized this to create focused, engaging content that broadened his consumer scope.
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Let us help you strengthen and broaden your consumer base for continued professional success. Book a call today.