Content marketing is meant to attract leads and drive business. So, you need to validate topics for it: what interests your audience, whether it solves a pain point, and (most importantly for your business) search intent.
You want to target keywords with high purchase intent. This means the person searching a topic or phrase is almost ready to make a purchase and just needs a little nudge to convert.
Targeting high purchase intent keywords should help your bottom line. By creating content that focuses on high intent keywords, your website will appeal to visitors who are at the buying stage of their customer journey.
In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into how you can use data to identify high purchase intent keywords for your content marketing.
What are high purchase intent keywords?
There are three basic types of user intent keywords: informational, navigational, and transactional. Typically, 99% of all search queries will fall under these three categories, with 50%-80% of all queries usually being top-funnel informational searches.
You should be able to work out the intent of a search query based on the keywords it uses. Examples of keywords within each of these intent categories are:
- Informational – How, what is, best way to, alternatives to, guide, tutorial
- Navigational – [Brand name] + website, [product name], locations near me, Twitter, reviews
- Transactional – Buy, top, order, discount, price, coupon
Informational keywords are considered low intent. People using informational keywords are looking for more knowledge on a particular topic to educate themselves, with no intention to purchase.
Navigational keywords have a clear intent, but not necessarily that of high purchase. Searchers are usually hunting for specific information about a brand, website, or social media page. Even though these may not directly lead to a purchase, it’s still good to have search result dominance for your own brand.
Transactional keywords usually lead to purchase options with highly branded SERPs. These keywords typically signify a searcher is ready to purchase and is looking for a way to do so. Therefore, transactional keywords show high purchase intent, whereas informational keywords show the lowest.
Note: There’s also a fourth type that some SEOs delineate called commercial investigation, which includes keywords like “best,” “top,” “review,” “comparison,” “[brand] vs. [competitor],” and the like.
By understanding different types of keyword intent, you can improve the SEO performance of your content marketing efforts based on business objectives.
Why use high intent keywords in content marketing
Google recognizes that users are no longer following a linear path from awareness to purchase. Instead, users are searching by intent and hoping to find immediate answers.
Featured snippets that display answers right in search results and the “People also ask” section that covers common FAQs both indicate Google prioritizing search intent and serving relevant information to searchers. As a result, keyword intent needs to be a critical factor when planning your content marketing strategy.
1) Target each stage of your funnel
Keyword intent can target potential customers at various stages of the buyer journey. Informational keywords should be integrated into informative content pieces aimed at consumers who are still in the awareness stage. Meanwhile, high intent keywords will reach consumers in the consideration and conversion stages of your marketing funnel.
By creating content tailored to each stage of the buyer journey, you can nurture leads accordingly and, in turn, increase conversions. This helps align your marketing strategy with your desired business outcomes.
2) Boost conversions and cost-efficiency
There are many advantages to including high intent keywords in your content marketing and PPC campaigns. PPC campaigns that incorporate high buyer intent keywords are significantly more cost-effective than campaigns using informational, or low intent, keywords.
In content marketing, the benefits of high intent keywords include increasing reach to consumers in the buying stage, boosting your conversion rate, and nurturing leads by supporting awareness and informational marketing campaigns.
How to identify high buyer intent keywords
Maximizing your visibility and generating website traffic with informational blog posts is great. But if those people aren’t converting, you need to start incorporating high intent keywords in your content marketing strategy.
From analyzing your existing keywords to leveraging data to identify new keyword opportunities, you can identify high buyer intent keywords by following the steps below.
1) Analyze the performance of your current keywords
Analyzing your existing keyword performance is a great starting point to optimize your content for user intent. Use keyword analysis to upgrade your existing content, find missed opportunities, and determine what type of search intent your content is optimized for.
By understanding which search queries qualified visitors use when they land on your website, you can customize your content marketing to increase traffic and conversion rates for your business.
Use Google Analytics to see how visitors interact with your site
Google Analytics is a valuable starting place to analyze the keyword performance of your existing website copy. You can use its Acquisitions table to explore your organic search data. This will show a selection of keywords that have driven traffic to your website over a given time period.
If you set the secondary dimension to “Landing Page,” you can see which web page users landed on when using each query. From here, you can then review various performance metrics to gauge the success of your content and whether you need to alter the keywords used in these articles.
The Behavior Flow report in Google Analytics helps you understand the behavior of your website visitors. It analyzes how they reach, traverse, and interact with your website.
How users interact with your website should inform your decisions on which areas of search intent need improvement.
For instance, when examining the Behavior Flow report, you may learn many users interact with informational content on your website, but don’t convert. In this case, you could create complementary content with high buyer intent keywords to warm these leads and encourage them to make a purchase.
Tip: If you want to dig deeper, you can use a tool like FullStory to see exactly how users navigate around your website.
2) Use keyword analysis tools
Although not the most exhaustive tool, the Google Keyword Planner is efficient for conducting keyword research.
When using the Google Keyword Planner, sort results by “Top of Page Bid” to see which keywords have the greatest cost. This is a dependable indicator of commercial intent.
Results with an elevated Top of Page Bid are likely high buyer intent keywords. You can test this by typing those queries into Google and analyzing the search results.
To obtain the best results from your keyword analysis, you can use paid tools like Ahrefs and Moz to conduct more in-depth keyword research.
SEMrush is useful for determining keywords with high intent. Look at the keywords your company ranks for and review their level of purchase intent.
You should also look at your competitors’ profiles to see what content drives the most traffic for them, analyze how high the purchase intent is for their keywords, and work on improving your own for your blog.
With the Ahrefs Keyword Explorer tool, you can use keyword modifiers (i.e., “buy,” “how to,” “top”) to filter for keywords with specific intent. You can then analyze the results based on Competition and Search Volume to determine which ones you want to include in your content marketing.
You can also use Ahrefs Keyword Explorer to find keywords that align with the conversion stage of the customer journey. Filter keyword search results to only include results that contain shopping SERP features. Search queries that generate shopping ads in Google are an indicator of keywords with high commercial or transactional intent.
Tip: Ahrefs is also great for backlink analysis, so you can view your competitors’ backlink profile and reach out to the same companies to see if they’d like a guest post from you as well.
The Keyword Explorer tool by Moz is another solid choice to gather data for intent-focused keyword research. Use the Moz Keyword Explorer tool to stay ahead of the curve by researching long-tail keywords with high relevance.
Long-tail keywords with lower search volume are most likely to be used by consumers in the transactional stage of the buyer journey. By identifying these long-tail keywords, you can increase your website’s conversion rate.
The Moz Keyword Explorer tool can also analyze your competitors’ keywords. This enables you to see which keywords your competitors rank for; if your competitor ranks for high buyer intent keywords, you can analyze their content to inform your content marketing strategy. The Keyword Difficulty score will give you a good idea of which keyword phrases you have the best chance of ranking for.
You can also check out other paid tools like Wordstream if you need additional options.
Once you’ve gathered your list of high buyer intent keywords, along with the search volume, keyword difficulty, and competition data for them, you can craft relevant content to target users based on transactional intent.
Bonus tool: Surfer SEO
Similar to Google Docs, Surfer SEO allows you to write and edit articles and web copy online, plus make updates and collaborate with writers and editors in real-time.
However, it also offers vital SEO advice, such as suggested keywords and formatting tips. These recommendations are based on search data and analysis of what has performed best historically, and it makes it easy to follow SEO best practices.
Tip: Be careful to write for readers instead of following suggestions blindly. Since they’re built on search history, there could be errors like typos in the suggested keywords, especially if a keyword is commonly misspelled by searchers.
Incorporate high intent keywords into your content marketing strategy
1) Use different types, formats, and angles
When incorporating search intent into your content marketing strategy, you need to consider:
- Content type
- Content format
- Content angle
Different types of user intent keywords are more suitable for different content types, formats, and angles.
For example, when optimizing for high buyer intent keywords, you could expand your product category pages, create a blog article that acts as a buyer guide, or showcase product reviews on your website.
Covering different content types, formats, and angles will ensure your content aligns with user expectations when they research online.
2) Capture attention with high emotion headlines
The Advanced Marketing Institute has a headline analyzer that measures the emotional marketing value of your titles.
Channel your keywords in a way that will grab attention and pair them with words that clearly explain your article’s purpose. Some common examples include “ultimate guide” and “actionable tips.”
You can also format your keyphrases as a list by adding a number count for tips or different stages.
3) Answer questions
Your content needs to answer whatever questions or pain points searchers have.
Google understands and prioritizes search intent when determining which pages to show in search engine results. So, your content should be optimized for high buyer intent keywords and fulfill searcher needs. This will increase your chance of securing high page rankings for these search terms.
4) Serve high-purchase intent, support the rest
You should build a content marketing strategy that targets all types of search intent to reach customers at every stage of their buyer journeys.
This will lead to a well-rounded content strategy and improved customer retention. You will continuously communicate with your audience as they transition from awareness to the conversion stage of the funnel.
Your transactional keywords close deals, but your informational keywords can introduce your brand as a trusted ally.
5) Share on multiple channels
Once you’ve published your high buyer intent-focused content, you can expand its reach through social media, paid advertising, and email marketing.
Multiple touchpoints can increase positive brand affinity and keep you in front of your audience thanks to the mere exposure effect. The more someone sees your content, the more familiar they become with your brand, and the more likely they are to trust you (and make a purchase).
Integrating multiple touchpoints into your content marketing distribution strategy can also increase your chances of being selected over competitors.
6) Monitor performance
Remember to monitor and analyze the performance of your content over time. This ensures it fulfills user needs, ranks for the high buyer intent keywords you incorporated, and generates the desired business outcomes.
If your content is not performing as expected, you may need to conduct further keyword research to determine how best to optimize it.
Targeting high purchase intent keywords can help you create content that converts, empower your audience with the information they’re looking for, and rank for keywords that drive business goals.