Creating SEO Content: Understanding Keyword Intent

Blog, Keyword Research, SEO June 10th, 2019

Welcome to Inseev’s video+post series! Today we are focusing on keyword intent and how brands can leverage keyword research and intent to create smart SEO content that converts!

Check out the video and post write up below!

Understanding Keyword Intent

The focus of this post is understanding keyword intent and how to use keyword intent to prioritize and choose content topics for your clients. This is not the same as choosing keywords for SEO, which we also have a post on.

There are a ton of different ways that people talk about keyword intent. There is a ton of different ways people group keyword intent or categorize keyword intent. Ultimately, we have our own way here, just like any other agency might.

Below is an example of keyword intent from WordStream:

examples of keyword intent
Keyword Intent from WordStream

I think this is a pretty good start. We’ll try to explain different types of content and where those fall within this.

Navigational (Branded) Keyword Intent

Navigational intent is generally branded stuff that’s sending people specifically to a place. The user is trying to get something done and they know exactly what they need to do. We’re not able to really capture that, other than be present in the paid search—branded auction.

Let’s look at an example:

Example of PPC conquesting on a navigational keyword

This would be an example of conquesting in Paid Search. Conquesting means they are bidding on your branded terms.

Informational Keyword Intent

As part of Inseev’s SEO services, we break up information keywords into a lot of different categories, based on where the user is at on their buyers’ journey. We’ll get on into that in a minute here. You see above that they have “signs of pregnancy”, “Austin home prices”, and “LCD tv reviews”.

High-Level Informational Keyword Intent

I would say those are very, very different when you’re thinking about informational keywords and what we might categorize them as. Signs of pregnancy is very high on the buyer’s journey for a company that makes Travel cribs, for example. Travel cribs ranking for the signs of pregnancy is probably pretty good, although that person is very, very early in the stage of needing a travel crib. They don’t even know if they are pregnant yet. Right?

A company that maybe would want to rank for “signs of pregnancy” would be like a vitamin company for pregnant mothers or something like that. That would be a great keyword for them to rank for. That would be something that they can actually convert their users on

Local Informational Keyword Intent

A great example of a local informational keyword is “Austin home prices”. If you’re a real estate company obviously, and you’re in Austin, you’re going to have some value for ranking for that. If you don’t sell in Austin you obviously do not want to be making content for this type of term.

Low- Funnel Informational Keyword Intent

“Lcd tv reviews”—I would call that almost bottom of the funnel type of intent. Somebody really knows they wanted an LCD TV and now they are trying to compare different ones—that is almost, in my mind, pretty close to the transactional bucket which we’ll call gray content. We’ll get there in a minute.

Transactional (Commercial) Keyword Intent

Transactional content is what we generally call commercial content, like buy something, or services keywords, like tax resolution services, tenant screening services. That’s kind of the first bucket we’re going to cover here.

Commercial content is generally focused around someone that knows what they need and our goal is to capture that person before they pick a brand. Take a look at this query:

If you’re looking at this query, one way to always think about commercial queries too is—you’re always going to see people buying that traffic because people are making money on it.

There is a direct correlation between a keyword and profitability for someone out there that has a product that can serve a need. If you’re just thinking about it in a basic sense—are there keywords on this page?—generally, if there are, it’s very commercially related content. Those are going to be the commercial pages that you want to go after. When you’re doing the initial keyword research phase, and you see there’s a bunch of people on here, that tells you, Okay. This is probably a good keyword that makes people money. If we could rank for this, my client would be happy. That’s not always the case, but generally, it’s a pretty good rule of thumb.

What Kind of Content Ranks for Commercial Terms?

If you’re trying to figure out what type of page you should be creating, you should be looking at the SERPs themselves.

In this situation, you see a ton of people having very, very large CTAs on top of the page, information about the product, very simple landing pages. Right? They are really just trying to get you there and get you to convert as fast as possible. That’s definitely the definition of a commercial page.

When you’re thinking about the other side of the spectrum, you’re thinking about editorial content. How does Time Magazine monetize? They don’t monetize through selling something generally, besides the subscription. Right?

Creating Editorial Content For Conversions

Sites like Time Magazine monetize through ad revenue. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be creating editorial content for sites that don’t monetize only through ad revenue. You can connect with people at different points in their buyers’ journey or at different points in just their day. Right? That could be very specific to what the product that you’re selling is, and they might be interested in it.

A great example here is “Running Songs”:

It’s a pretty large-volume term. You know that the people surfing for best running songs are runners. Right? As soon as I get those people on their page, I can re-target to them. I can try to get emails from them, and all kind of stuff like that. I can even try to sell them different running products, like the armbands that people wear—or whatever those are called—when they’re running. They could like those so they can put that all over the page. This is a very, very editorial page. It’s not intended to convert someone right off. You might get a couple of like… You might get a very small number of conversions. I think this page probably gets like 10 thousand hits a month and gets like one or two conversions. I’m talking very, very minuscule.

You can create editorial content like I said, if there’s an intent to try market to them in a different way, or if the client just can’t start getting traffic and getting visibility. Some clients care a lot about them. If you’re creating editorial content, you’d better know why you’re creating it, and you’d better have a good reason. Because, if you get 10 thousand users, and it doesn’t make them a dollar, and they spent a lot of money, try to hit that post to ring. If all they care about is the revenue number, you’re going to be in a situation where you’re going to be saying, Well, I thought we just needed the traffic. Well, no. You should be thinking about that before you create a piece of content. 

Intent Within Editorial Keyword Intent

The editorial bucket is very, very important. The intent within the editorial bucket, as we like to talk about it, really comes from where they’re at in the stage of the buyer’s journey. If you’re somebody that’s like, How do you travel?, you type in How to Travel with a Kid? You already have a kid, and you’re trying to figure something out. Let’s actually do it with “how to travel with a baby”:

If someone has a baby and they are searching for this, there could be an opportunity to sell them a travel crib. This keyword intent is at the top of the funnel where they’re kind of in the problem stage, but you could certainly service their problem with a product on that page, if you could get the user on the page.

Gray (Quasi-Editorial) Content Creation

Let’s look at an example of editorial content that we can convert the user on. We call this gray content or quasi-editorial content. The jist of it is where you have a lot of content on the page but you can also feature some products—because those are really the solutions to people’s problems. Here is an example with someone looking to make a bug out bag:

They are really asking an editorial query, or they’re trying to learn about, or fix a problem they have. A company that sells bug out bags could rank for this term to help people out and say, “oh hey, we sell the bags too if you don’t want to make your own”.

Another really good example right here is “choosing running shoes”. This is someone’s already decided they want to be a runner. They are not in the phase of trying to be like, How much weight can I lose from running two miles a day? Maybe they are a little bit obese and they think they want to go out and they want to surf running. They say, Okay. I’m going to learn how much I need to run. They hate running. They are going to say, How much I need to run to actually lose weight? Then they say, I’ve read this article. Now, I’m going to start running. Now, they’re saying, How do I even choose running shoes because I’ve heard with running shoes, you’ve got to get the right fit.

They type that in and they land on our client’s page here. This page actually converts pretty well. It converts about a half to one percent, which is pretty decent shoe content. It drives probably a couple of grand of revenue a month. A good incremental revenue. A good win for them to be ranking for this. Really, in that grey area, where you’ve met someone great when they’re trying to solve a problem, and you have the products set to meet it, but it’s not like black Nike running shoes. If someone knows exactly what they want, they’re just trying to shop through different options and they buy it online.

Really, when you’re thinking about what type of content you want to create, you want to think about—how do the client’s products set or service set or the way that they monetize, tie back into the keyword intent and where the people are at their buyers’ journey? If you think like that, you’re going to be successful. You’re going to be able to create a content strategy that ladders up to real business KPI growth for your clients.

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