Most marketers know the importance of performing keyword research in today’s buyer-centric market. However, not many know the difference between the varying kinds of keywords out there, including perhaps the most important one of all: buyer intent keywords. These keywords can make all the difference in whether a customer decides to go through with a purchase on your site or seek out a competitor’s products or services.
Fortunately, finding the right buyer intent keywords for your business doesn’t have to be a long, dull task. In fact, there are plenty of online tools and resources that can make the process much smoother and easier for you. Moreover, taking the time to dig into buyer intent keyword research can assist you in better understanding your competition, including what’s working for them and what may be missing on the market.
This guide will cover everything you need to know about buyer intent keywords so you can begin maximizing your efforts today.
Understanding Buyer Intent Keywords
Focusing the customer journey on buyer intent can help drive the sale exactly when a customer is looking to buy.
Specifically, buyer intent keywords are search queries that show an individual is ready to go through with a purchase. With over 3 billion search queries performed every day on Google alone, it’s absolutely essential to optimize keyword usage to drive up both website traffic and sales.
However, there are a few stages of the buyer process that many individuals follow before making a purchase. Each of these stages come with their own set of keywords. Understanding each step of a buyer’s journey through search engine searches helps ensure you target the right audience at the right time.
The Buyer Process
The buyer’s decision-making process can be broken up into three separate stages:
- Informational: During this step, buyers are beginning to research a problem they are experiencing. They don’t have any intent on buying a particular product right now. They simply are looking for general explanations or some solutions.
- Commercial: At this point, buyers are educated on their problem and have a solution or two in mind to pursue. They may be looking to compare products or services or narrow down their options in general.
- Purchase: This stage is what can make or break a sale. It also consists of a smaller audience. These are individuals ready with credit cards in hand to go ahead with a buy. Buyer intent keywords come into play and, when used correctly, can lead to high conversions.
The Different Types of Buyer Process Keywords
The following list of buyer intent keywords reflects the intention of each individual during the buyer process.
While individuals who type in informational keywords may not have purchasing intent at this phase, using these keywords can help you capture and nurture potential leads. To target audiences using informational keywords, you can focus on creating great content for your site. Think educational blog posts or articles, useful e-books or e-guides, or interesting graphs and reports.
- “How to”
- “Ways to”
- “Best way to”
- “What is”
- “Tips and Tricks”
Search engine users using commercial keywords may lead to conversions, though nowhere near as often as those in the “buy now” phase. Instead, users here want to do a bit more research before making a final commitment. They want websites to show why specific products, services, or brands are the best choice. Consider crafting more in-depth guides, uploading product demonstrations, or writing product comparisons to reel in these users.
- [Product name] “vs.” [Product name]
- [Name of specific product]
- [Name of specific brand]
- [Name of specific product category]
- “Which is better”
- “Top 10”
Buy Now Keywords
Now is when users are looking to make a purchase. They are seeking out the best offer available to them at the current moment. Here, it’s less about content and more about the buyer intent keywords you utilize.
- “Buy [product] now”
- “Buy [product] online”
- “Free trial”
- “Free shipping”
It’s important to note that each industry will differ in the exact type of buyer intent keywords it uses. For instance, an individual looking for a lawyer won’t have any use typing in “free shipping,” whereas people ordering shoes often use that phrase.
Before looking at the different ways to track down the best buyer intent keywords for your company, put yourself in the mind of a potential customer. What kinds of things would you be thinking or have questions about regarding your business and its products or services? What words might pop up concerning these thoughts and questions?
Once you’ve come up with your own buyer intent keywords list, you’re ready to start making use of the internet’s vast amount of keyword tools, resources, and information.
How to Find Buyer Intent Keywords
No matter what market you are in, there are a number of common and very effective ways to find the right buyer intent keywords for you. Check out some of the best options below:
1. Do Away With Low Intent Keywords
Just as important as knowing what buyer intent keywords work is knowing which ones have a negative effect on your business. The most common low intent keyword is “free.” Individuals who use “free” when searching for a product or service are looking for ways to avoid making a purchase, which is bad if you want to increase sales. As a result, it’s not a good idea to use this keyword for anything that isn’t actually free on your site. On the other hand, if you offer a free trial or a type of freemium product or service, then using this keyword can lead to purchases from customers in the long run.
Other commonly-seen low intent keywords include “cheap” or “affordable.” While these can lead to conversions, users do not want to spend a lot of money, leading to less predictable sales. Lastly, avoid keywords like “torrent” or “download [product] for free,” as individuals who use these search terms are almost always attempting to steal a product or service and will never have any intention of buying.
2. Consider Using Risk-Related Keywords
Keywords that are often mistakingly mixed with low intent words or phrases are risk-related keywords. Think “returns policy,” “returns process,” “returns fee,” “refund,” or “exchanges.” At times, potential buyers may be interested in trying out a product but may have some reservations or are just worried about reliability. Incorporating these keywords can assure the hesitant buyer and even secure more conversions along the way. Utilize these keywords on product and service pages where you offer refunds, exchanges, or refunds.
3. Maximize Google and Its Resources
Google has a nearly 93% market share of the search engine market, proving that it remains the champion of all internet searches. The good news is the search engine giant also has numerous invaluable tools and resources to aid you in discovering the most effective buyer intent keywords for your company.
The easiest and quickest way to use Google for buyer intent keyword research is to check out the search engine’s autocomplete suggestions. These suggestions are the words or phrases that pop up when you begin typing out a search query in the search engine bar. You can type in a keyword you have in mind and see what recommendations appear. These recommendations represent what keywords people are actually using, giving you access to real-life and real-time info and data.
Another way to optimize Google Search is to input your keyword and see what ads appear. If you see a few ads surrounding that keyword, there’s a great chance the keyword in question has a high-buy intent. After all, numerous businesses are trying to compete for high-ranking ad space on the search engine results page. On the other hand, if you see only one ad or none at all, it may be best to skip over that keyword.
Last but not least, it’s also a good idea to look at the “related searches” at the very bottom of the search engine results page. Here, you’ll see similar searches to the keyword(s) you’ve typed. These related searches can give you further ideas for content research or keyword usage in general.
Google Ads Keyword Planner
If you’re looking to up your keyword research game using Google, the Google Ads Keyword Planner is your next go-to. You can access the Keyword Planner tool by setting up a Google Ads account, 100% free. After typing in the name of a product, service, or product category, the tool will drum up several important keyword metrics for you to analyze. These metrics include keyword search volume trends, suggested successful buyer intent keywords, the current price of competitor bids on relevant keywords, and even predictions of your own performance should you choose to use select keywords.
If you’d like to get a more personalized view of your own buyer intent keyword performance on Google, you can use Google Analytics. In Google Analytics, you can see your overall keyword performance, including an overview of your top-performing keywords or those that bring you the most conversions. Google’s Keyword Planner provides invaluable insight into what the billions of Google users worldwide are interested in searching for.
4. Scope Out Competitors
A big part of buyer intent keyword research, in general, is understanding what’s working (and not working) for your competitors. While there are several ways to go about competitor keyword research, one of the simpler ways is to look at reviews for your competitors’ sites. Are there any keywords that show up again and again in the reviews? If so, are the words talked about in a positive or negative light? Are there keywords you notice are missing from these reviews, words that relate to the products or services you provide?
Your competitors’ negative aspects or any notably missing keywords can be used to your advantage when used in your own content, ads, and product or service pages.
5. Check Out Your Own Company Reviews
Speaking of reviews — taking a look at your own can also provide invaluable insight into what’s bringing you success. Not only can you analyze the reviews for keywords (or lack of keywords), you can also see what solutions you provide your users. Understanding the solutions helps you, in turn, target future customers’ pain points. You can then select buyer intent keywords that specifically target these pain points. Of course, you also have the opportunity to see what you can work on improving as well.
6. Gather User Feedback via Surveys
To get direct feedback from your customers, consider sending out customer surveys. Your surveys can be short and simple questionnaires asking customers how they found your website, product, or service, what pain points you were able to solve for them, and what they may be looking for in the future with your company.
Surveys provide you with an enormous amount of information extending far beyond what keywords your customers might use. For instance, you can see which search engines or other websites lead them to your site. Perhaps customers tend to come across your company on social media sites like Facebook. From this point forward, you can focus on keywords there.
Other feedback can let you know if customers would like more discounts, more features or benefits, a lower-priced model, or solutions for other pain points. Armed with this feedback, you can use the appropriate keywords to draw in the audience and focus on creating content or other products or services that will meet customer needs.
7. Make Use of Keyword Research Tools
Fortunately, there’s also a good amount of other in-depth keyword research tools out there to help you out with buyer intent keywords. Each varies in the services it offers as well as its price and capabilities. However, the six listed below serve as your best options.
Ahsrefs offers one of the most in-depth keyword research tools on the market. By typing in a keyword, you receive a wealth of useful information, including:
- Keyword suggestions: Receive thousands of keyword suggestions and ideas. Even better, when entering multiple keywords, you can get suggestions for alternative phrases, autocomplete search queries, and phrases restructured as questions.
- Search volume: Know the most up-to-date search volume stats for one or more keywords. The higher the volume, the more times the keyword is being searched.
- Clicks: See both the number of organic and paid clicks for the keyword per month, as well as which keywords get the most repeat clicks.
- Keyword difficulty: Ahsrefs uses a keyword difficulty score of 1-100, with 1 representing the most difficulty you would have ranking for your designated keyword. A high-volume but low-difficulty ranking keyword would be ideal for buyer intent.
- Top-ranking results: Get insight into your competitors by seeing the current top-ranking search engine results for a keyword. You also can view a competitor’s SEO metrics, including what keywords are working best for them.
SEMrush is often touted as being the number one keyword research tool for all your keyword needs. Like Ahsrefs, SEMrush displays various essential keyword information, including keyword search volume, paid vs. organic clicks, keyword suggestions, and insight into your competitors’ keywords. SEMrush goes a bit deeper when it comes to understanding what’s working for others in your field.
For instance, you can see the traffic value of other companies’ web pages that feature the keyword in question. You can even see the trends of keywords over time as they either gain or lose popularity. This feature is great for keywords that tend to spike during seasonal times.
Alexa, owned by Amazon, offers another comprehensive choice for you. What makes Alexa stand out is its “buyer intent keyword” filter. This allows you to see what buyer intent keywords your competitors are using to rank highly, heavily narrowing down your keyword research time.
Speaking of competitors, you can also analyze specific websites to see what keyword gaps the website owners or contributors may be missing out on. You can then use this gathered information to devise keyword strategies that you know will actually be effective.
Neil Patel’s handy keyword research tool, UberSuggest, can show you keyword suggestions (including seasonal words), volume data, keyword ranking difficulty, and plenty of info on your competitors. Using this tool, you can also see the number of social shares that other high-ranking sites get on Facebook and Pinterest. This offers good insight into what users believe is worth discussing on their personal social pages, giving you another idea of buyer intent keywords to pursue.
For a free alternative, look no further than WordStream. WordStream provides you with new keywords to try out as well as competition scores of competing sites. The tool is Google-focused, tailored to help you improve your Google Ads account. You can save the keyword research you gather into a CSV file to use later on Google Ads. Finally, WordStream can analyze your own website to see what keywords bring you views and which ones aren’t. This keyword research tool is good to use if you want to focus solely on keyword optimization for Google itself.
Moz’s Keyword Explorer offers hundreds of millions of keyword suggestions and is one of the most accurate keyword analysis programs out there. You get all your needed keyword metrics in the program, including keyword difficulty, paid vs. organic click scores, and search volume. Moz also enables you to save keyword lists to plan out your keyword strategies for future use.
8. A/B Test Keywords
Finally, once you’ve gathered a list of buyer intent keywords and researched keywords on one of the handy keyword tools, it’s time to start A/B testing. This testing refers to the process of testing one item against another. In this case, it means testing out one or more keywords against another. You can test out keywords on your web page, in web content, or through paid ads. For example, you can use one keyword in a paid ad and another in a similar paid ad.
Many of the keyword research tools mentioned above provide keyword monitoring services that allow you to track your performance. If you used the example above, A/B testing two ads, you can track the number of clicks or conversions you get over a week or a month. From there, continue using the ad that brings you more success. You can also come up with other marketing strategies that use the impactful keyword.
It’s also a good idea to think in terms of niche problems/solutions. While you may have a general audience with a common set of user pain points, is there a portion of your audience that might be interested in solving a very specific or even rare problem?
You can browse your competitors’ sites to see what they are talking about on their blogs or in articles. Chances are, they may be talking about many of the same things as you are, but are they lacking insight or tips that you can expand on. This step often requires thinking outside of the box but can lead to powerful results.
Use Buyer Intent Keywords to Boost Your Business
By optimizing your buyer intent keyword usage, you can start to see some pretty amazing results. Not only will you increase the chances of website traffic and conversions, but you will also provide a more relevant buying experience for your customers. After all, the modern-day web user expects a smooth and personalized buyer journey from start to finish.
If you’d like to start using buyer intent keywords but aren’t quite ready to jump on board with any keyword research tools, check out Redstitch’s article on how to attract leads using buyer intent keywords. You’ll get even more insight on buyer intent and can reach out if you’d like more personalized (and expert) keyword advice.