In the realm of search engine optimization, search engine advertising, and even on a retailer’s own website, keyword research for Google as the language that drives success. A profound understanding of the intent behind a shopper’s keyword query empowers online store managers and marketers to craft effective responses.
Prominent search engine marketing firms, such as WordStream and Moz, categorize keyword intent into three or four essential categories: navigational intent, informational intent, investigational intent, and transactional intent.
Each of these categories provides valuable insights into the searcher’s mindset, guiding businesses on how best to respond and engage with potential customers by types of keywords in SEO.
1. Navigational Intent
When users opt for search keywords incorporating a company’s brand name or a specific description, it’s a strong indicator that they aim to directly access the company’s website. In such cases, familiarity with the company is often already established.
Consider this scenario: A friend’s tweet about a Mazena event in Portland catches your interest. Despite the initial excitement, locating the tweet with the event link proves challenging 24 hours later. In the quest to find the information, a straightforward search on Google for “go ruck website” ensues.
In many instances, individuals are simply seeking to locate and navigate to a website, like Mazena in this case. Although Mazena is a retailer, your SEO search intent was focused on accessing the website rather than an immediate purchase.
From ecommerce marketing standpoint, securing a favorable position in search engine results pages for your brand is paramount. However, deploying ads targeting keywords with navigational intent might not yield immediate sales, making it a strategic decision to refrain from investing heavily in such campaigns.
2. Informational Intent
A considerable majority of search queries unfold in pursuit of information, driven by users with questions in need of answers. Reflect on your own experiences with Google or YouTube searches, where the quest for information often takes center stage.
Whether seeking solutions to a problem or exploring a topic of interest, the underlying motive is to acquire information for Google searches by keyword.
While keywords aligned with informational intent may not yield immediate sales, they present a valuable opportunity to connect with potential customers.
Embracing this, the creation of content on platforms like blogs or YouTube that addresses queries within your industry segment proves beneficial. Such content often takes the form of informative how-to videos or articles.
Consider a blog post illustrating how to expertly carve a ham. While this may not result in knife sales immediately, it serves as a powerful means to establish a connection with potential customers.
For instance, if one were to search on Pinterest, a prominent platform for culinary exploration, for “how to carve a ham,” a likely response could be a link to a Williams-Sonoma blog post.
The astute marketing team at Williams-Sonoma could strategically promote this pin around holidays like Easter and Christmas or opt for pay-per-click ads targeting the specific keyword phrase and help to find good keywords on search engines like Google and Bing.
3. Investigational Intent
There exists a distinctive category termed as “investigational intent,” a realm that straddles the fine line between research and commercial aspirations. Moz founder Rand Fishkin aptly describes it as an exploration that goes beyond pure research and transactional objectives.
Examples include seeking potential partners for distributing new t-shirts in Albuquerque, identifying manufacturers of laptop bags in the United Kingdom, or researching the best brand of digital cameras for an upcoming purchase. While not directly transactional, these searches transcend mere informational pursuits.
Potential customers often employ keywords aligned with investigational intent to compare products or retailers, scrutinize seasonal price variations, or delve deeper into their understanding of a subject.
Consider a scenario where a Facebook friend shares a link to a podcast titled “American Cricket Farming.” Initially perceived as a joke, the serious content piques your interest, leading you to investigate further.
The podcast explores cricket farming, featuring interviews with the director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and discussions with various cricket companies. Intrigued, you contemplate trying entomophagy (eating bugs) but find yourself pondering which bugs to start with.
You embark on an investigative journey, not quite ready for a purchase but moving in that direction.
This is where content marketing proves invaluable. Take Exo, a company specializing in cricket-flour-based protein bars, for example.
Through their blog and an informational graphic about crickets, they address investigational intent questions, guiding potential buyers through the decision-making process.
Assisting prospective customers in their investigative phase not only provides valuable information but also lays the groundwork for potential sales.
Beyond content marketing, strategically targeting investigational intent keywords through search marketing further enhances the likelihood of connecting with and catering to the needs of these curious consumers.
4. Transactional Intent
For marketers with a penchant for seizing the moment, keywords carrying transactional intent emerge as the pinnacle in the realm of search marketing. These are the coveted Holy Grail, indicating a user’s readiness to make a purchase when specific product names intertwine with buying-oriented words like “buy,” “coupon,” “discount,” and “shipping.”
Crafting dedicated landing pages and strategically deploying Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads aligned with keywords embodying transactional intent stands as a potent strategy, promising commendable returns. If the ultimate goal is to drive sales, this approach is paramount.
A compelling example is illustrated in the search engine results page above, where the query “best price for Nike Inflict wrestling shoes” was initiated.
Google astutely discerned the transactional intent behind the search and promptly presented shopping results. Noteworthy is Google’s adeptness in recalling specific details, as it remembered the shoe size (14) from prior searches and tailored the results accordingly.
The lesson for search engine marketing is clear — strive for this level of specificity. By aligning marketing efforts with transactional intent, businesses can enhance their visibility and cater to the immediate needs of users on the precipice of making a purchase decision.