Intent-Based Keywords – The Basics

Intent-Based Keywords are the cornerstone of online search. Without them, people would have difficulty finding your website in search engines. However, not all keywords are created equal.

Search engines (like Google) pay increasing attention to searchers’ intent when using keywords. 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 discover high-volume keywords for your company and is extremely easy to use. Visit the website for the tool and follow the on-screen prompts to get started. Please note, however, that before using the tool, you must set up a Google AdWords campaign (you don’t have to 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 get pretty complicated.

Let’s do a little bit of roleplay. We are running a law firm and trying to find keywords related to our services. During our research, let’s say 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. Is the intent 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 determine the intent behind our chosen “court” keyword, search for the keyword in Google and see the first few results. Do they look like law firms? No? That is because the most common service in Google searches for the term “court” almost all point back to courthouses and legal definitions.

This means that the generally accepted search intent behind the keyword “court” is not law firms but courthouses. Therefore, even though lawyers directly use the term, and even though courthouses are 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 or sales?

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

Short answer: YES! Even if you can rank your law firm’s website #1 on Google using a keyword like “court,” it will not likely lead to conversions or decent traffic. Regarding traffic and site visits, quality is more important than quantity. Ten thousand 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 dedicated to matching and understanding searcher intent. From the search engine’s perspective, if an article/post/page is getting clicks for “court” and its site is related to courthouses, it is less likely to want to show a result about law firms. Again, Intent matters!

Is Intent Important for Both SEO and SEM Keywords?

Again, the short answer is yes. However, there is a difference between SEO (Search Engine Optimization) keywords and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) keywords. Let’s discuss 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. With SEO keywords, you’re generally pretty safe selecting any keyword related to your business and have a relatively high search volume (many people search for that keyword monthly). Just be careful with how many SEO keywords you try to optimize for. For example, 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 costly, 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, you’re just throwing money away using the keyword. Again, intent matters!

Our Conclusion

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

If you want to help to manage your SEO and SEM intent-based keywords, contact the SEO and SEM experts here at Goldstein Brossard. We have you covered in intent-based keyword planning, research, and optimization!

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