Intent-Based Keywords – The Basics

Keywords are the cornerstone of online search. Without them, people would have an incredibly hard time finding your website in search engines. However, not all keywords are created equal.

Search engines (like Google) are paying more and more attention to the actual intent that searchers are using keywords with. Enter intent-based keywords.

How to Find Keywords

Finding keywords for your website is as easy as using the Google Keyword Research Tool. The tool can help you to discover high-volume keywords for your company and is extremely easy to use. Simply visit the website for the tool and follow the on-screen prompts to get started. Please note, however, that before you can use the tool you will first have set up a Google AdWords campaign (you don’t have to actually pay for it or use any ads, but you will have to sign up for the service).

The Google Keyword Research Tool is also not the only keyword research tool available to online marketers and site owners. Some other popular tools to use to discover high-volume keywords include:

What are Intent-Based Keywords?

Intent-based keywords are simply keywords used by searchers whose intent matches your business type. For example, if you were doing keyword research for a law firm, you would want to find keywords that searchers use to find law firms online. This may sound simple, but it can actually get pretty complicated.

Let’s do a little bit of roleplay. Let’s say that we are running a law firm and are trying to find keywords that relate back to our services. During our research, let’s say that we found that the keyword “court” came up in the Google keyword research tool as a keyword with a relatively high search volume and click through rate. But, does the intent that is usually behind searchers using the word “court” actually finding a lawyer? Well, it’s pretty easy to figure out.

How to Find the Intent Behind a Keyword Using Google

To figure out the intent behind our chosen keyword of “court”, just search for the keyword in Google and see what the first few results are. Do they look like law firms? No? That is because the most common service that appears in Google search for the term “court” almost all point back to courthouses and legal definitions of the word.

This means that the generally accepted search intent behind the keyword “court” is not law firms, but courthouses. Even though the term is directly used by lawyers, and even though courthouses are definitely related to legal services, marketing with that keyword is not likely to bring converting traffic to your website. And what good is traffic and rank position if they don’t lead to conversions and/or sales?

If You Rank #1 on Google, Do Intent-Based Keywords Even Matter?

Short answer: YES! Even if you’re able to rank your law firm’s website #1 on Google using a keyword like “court”, it is not likely to lead to conversions or even decent traffic. When it comes to traffic and site visits, quality is more important than quantity. 10,000 site visitors don’t mean anything if none of those visitors decide to hire your company for your services!

Google (and other search engines) are exceedingly dedicated to matching and understanding searcher intent. From the perspective of the search engine, if an article/post/page is getting clicks for “court” and their site is related to courthouses, then they are less likely to want to show a result that relates to law firms. Again, Intent matters!

Is Intent Important for Both SEO and SEM Keywords?

Again, the short answer here is: yes. However, there is a difference between SEO (Search Engine Optimization) keywords and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) keywords. Let’s talk about those differences and how they relate to intent-based keywords.

SEO keywords are free to use, so you can be pretty liberal with what types of intent-based keywords you use for it. With SEO keywords, you’re generally pretty safe selecting any keyword that relates to your business and has a relatively high search volume (lots of people search for that keyword every month). Just make sure to be careful with how many SEO keywords you try to optimize for. Spam is generally considered worse for your SEO than poorly selected intent-based keywords.

SEM keywords can be expensive! Since SEM (Search Engine Marketing) relates to paid marketing on search engines, the keywords are expensive and you will want to be very careful about the intent behind the keywords you choose to advertise for. If the clicks you bring to your site don’t convert, then you’re just throwing money away by using the keyword in question. Again, intent matters!

Our Conclusion

Intent-based keywords are massively important in both SEO and SEM keywords. The better that your keyword matches the intent of the searcher, the more likely your site visits will convert to sales or services rendered.

And, if you want help managing your SEO and SEM intent-based keywords, then contact the SEO and SEM experts here at Goldstein Brossard. When it comes to intent-based keyword planning, research, and optimization, we have you covered!