May 30, 2024

It is important to understand the relationship between keyword rankings and organic traffic to fully appreciate the value of SEO for your brand. Many people think that your keyword ranking is a good indicator of success. However, our Digital Marketing Agency feels that ranking for the RIGHT keywords has more value than ranking for a large number of keywords.

If your brand produces athletic shoes, you can use a variety of keywords to bring in traffic for each stage of the funnel. Commercial and transactional keywords, such as ‘running sneakers for sale’ or ‘workouts for women’ can be used to attract users who are ready for a purchase. Informational searches like “streetwear essentials” that relate to your customers’ lifestyle can be an excellent way to introduce them to your brand. Keywords like ‘data analysis’ or a ‘portable charger’, however, are irrelevant to your brand. Users will bounce off your site.

Search intent is important. We don’t just want to rank a lot of keywords. We want to rank keywords that are relevant for your brand AND match with the user’s intention.

What is search intent ?

It’s crucial to first understand what search intention is. The search intent, also known as keyword intent or user intent, is the goal or purpose of a query entered by a user into an online search engine. What are the users trying to accomplish with their search? Are they searching for general information? They are trying to learn how to do something. Are they trying to find a product or a service? When assessing Search Intent, it is important to ask yourself these questions. Understanding the user’s search intent is crucial when creating a successful SEO strategy.

Why Search Intent is Important

Search algorithms are continually recalibrating in order to provide the most relevant and best search results. In order to conduct a successful SEO campaign, it is crucial to understand the users’ search intention (and optimize towards that intent). The pages that appear at the top are the most relevant for the query. The quality of your website traffic will be determined by identifying search intent, and aligning it properly with relevant queries. The more qualified traffic you have, the higher the likelihood that it will convert.

How the wrong intent can hurt your site

It is important to fully understand the negative impacts of mismatched searches intent. Imagine you are an eCommerce brand that sells women’s footwear. You think that “best shoes for woman” is a great query to get your target audience’s attention. You want to let people know that your shoes are the best. What’s the problem? You’ll see the following if you search for this question on Google:

This query’s results have one thing that they all share: They show options of shoes from various brands and styles. The results are almost entirely informational and , not transactions. Google may not think that your store sells the most stylish women’s footwear. Ranking for a keyword with the wrong intent can have a number of negative effects.

  • Ranking in a competitive position- We know that you really would like to rank on the first page for “best women’s shoes,” but it is unlikely your store will be ranked for this keyword. It’s better to use longer-tail keywords that are relevant to your site’s transactional intent, such as “comfortable work shoes for women.”
  • Low Click Through Rate- If you are lucky enough to rank in a competitive position, but your keyword has mismatched intent, the user may not click on your result because your metadata might not directly speak to their intent (i.e. options, variety, and information).
  • High Bouncing Rate- Users may click on the result but will bounce away immediately when they realize that the page doesn’t address their needs (they want choices and all your shoes are the same brand).

Let’s take a look at the best keywords to use for your business now that you know what keyword search intent is and why it’s important.

How to choose the right keyword & search intent

The right keyword choice can make the difference between traffic that converts and traffic that does not. There is usually one keyword that has a high volume and is the “dream” to rank on page 1. However, it is also inherently difficult to rank. It may not be the best keyword to target, either. How should we choose the right keywords?

This manual search will allow you to select keywords that are relevant to the user’s search intent.

Decide the purpose of your page.

Collect your list of keywords and do some research.

Check your list manually by looking at the SERP results.

Revise the target keyword list based on SERP intention.

Let’s do this test with a hypothetical case of optimizing the category page for lightweight, high-end raincoats for an ecommerce client that is not optimized.

  • Look at the categories page. It’s very simple… sell jackets.
  • We’ve decided to avoid keywords that have a large number of informational blogs and other pages.
  • We are only looking for keywords which lead to pages in the transactional categories.
  • Check current rankings to see if you can leverage any keywords for your page.
  • Choose initial keywords according to volume, importance, and relevance of the product category page.
  • We notice unoptimized general metas. We would rather rank “rain jackets”, vs. “jackets”.
  • Search the category page to find additional keywords and common words such as “weatherproof” and “shell”.
  • As we get more specific, you’ll hear things like “rainproof shell jacket”, “all-weather jacket” and “rainproof jacket”.
  • Perform a manual keyword search for each term. This will allow us to determine if the category page is even going to rank for that term.
  • You should move on if you see only blog posts for a particular term in the SERP. Search for competitor category pages of rain jackets and add the keywords that are relevant to your list.
  • Use this list to optimize your category pages’ meta data, content on the page, and internal linking.

To avoid wasting future time and energy, you should apply this quick exercise to all your priority pages.

Delivering a SERP listing that matches a user’s search intent will increase the chances of someone clicking your listing. Google can be unsure about the user’s intent in some cases. Sometimes mixed intent, or shifting intent, enters the SEO equation. Mixed intent will result in SERPs that are a mix of product, informational and transactional pages. This keyword should not be the main focus of your SEO strategy. It is best to put it on hold until the intent becomes more consistent. You won’t waste time on keywords that end up changing the intent.

It can be confusing to have content that is written “for humans”, but it’s best to avoid this. Google’s BERT is now “self-learning” and tries to calculate intent. Intent will be constantly reanalyzed and may change depending on the user’s preference. This is best illustrated by “Workout Classes”, both pre- and post-COVID. Google displayed local classes on page 1 before COVID. Since COVID caused gyms to close, people are now searching for online workout classes …. even though the keyword did not change. This is an extreme example, but it still holds true. Google will match the user’s search intent with the page’s intention, even if users change their intentions over time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *