Leveraging Intent Signals in SEO Keywords

Between 2016 and 2018, buy keyword searches that offer an intent to purchase – variations of ‘can I buy’ or ‘to buy’ ‘near me’ – grew by 500%. If you are not optimizing for these, you are losing out to your competition.

Leveraging Intent Signals in SEO Keywords

Using Buy Keyword Strategies to Escalate Conversions

Wouldn’t it be great if you could hone your SEO strategy to take advantage of SEO intent signals? This article will show you how to do just that, using buy keywords to capture more traffic from consumers who are ready to make a purchase.

Predicting When People Will Buy

The customer journey is evolving through the search intent marketing funnel. There is no longer a linear route from awareness to consideration to purchase. This presents consultants and coaches who are selling online with challenges and opportunities. 

For example, it is more difficult to design a sales funnel as customers now begin their buyer’s journey at different points. However, this means that you can interact with customers at different stages – the pathway to sales is open longer and wider.

Customer intent signals tell you at what stage the customer is currently. Learn to spot these, and you can build content that matches buy keywords with SEO intent signals, creating a killer combination that attracts people nearer to the point at which they make a purchase. The result is that you receive a bigger bang for your buck, with higher conversion rates.

Customer Intent Signals

Customer intent signals are not a new phenomenon. They have existed forever. Take a shoe shop as an example. Shop assistants quickly become used to spotting which customers they should approach – especially when they work on commission. Let’s say there are three customers in a shoe shop:

  • - The first is meandering aimlessly. They haven’t stopped long at any shelf, and neither have they picked up a single shoe.
  • - The second has stopped meandering, and is now stood in front of a display. Their head is moving up and down and across each shelf, like they are taking in a nice view of the Grand Canyon.
  • - The third has picked up a shoe. They have looked at the price label, and are now examining the shelf for different sizes.

The savvy shop assistant will approach the third customer. The decision to purchase has already been made. They have selected style and colour, and are happy with price. Now all they need is the right size. And this is what they will ask for when they are approached by a shop assistant. It’s a far quicker and easier sale. 

If the shop doesn’t hold the right size, the shop assistant can deflect to sell a near match, or take an order to reserve in the right size. The shop assistant’s job is far easier – they already know the customer’s style and colour preference, and their budget.

Selling a product or service online can work the same. The later in the customer journey you capture a visitor, the less work you will have to do to help them make a buying decision. You no longer need to capture customers early and cultivate them. Customers are continuously switching channels and devices. They may read blogs, search reviews, and watch videos.

Online Behaviour Gives Clues for SEO Intent Signals

Just as the way that customers behave in brick-and-mortar stores provides clues as to their intent, so, too, does the way that customers behave online. There is plenty of data to show how this works. 

For example, between 2016 and 2018, buy keyword searches that offer an intent to purchase – variations of ‘can I buy’ or ‘to buy’ ‘near me’ – grew by 500%. Examples might include ‘Where can I buy tyres near me?’. This growth has undoubtedly been propelled by Google’s ability to know where the searcher is located.

Another intent signal is the watching of videos online. For example, according to a 2018 Google/Ipsos global study titled “How people shop with YouTube”, more than half of shoppers say that online videos have helped them decide which specific brand or product to buy.

On the subject of YouTube, according to the August 2018 YouTube Internal Data, Global, MI Analytics Targeting Analysis, ads that are served with intent signals only have a 30% higher consideration lift and a 40% higher purchase intent lift than if they are served with only demographic signals.

How Do You Serve Customer Intent Online?

To take advantage of intent signals, you must build a content strategy that targets the intent search. You must identify what your objectives are, what buy keywords you must use to interact with customers most effectively, and then develop a process for taking data and using it to iterate your content strategy. These three steps outline how to achieve this.

  1. 1. Identify Your Business Objectives and Market for Them

Get real about your marketing. Identify your business objectives first and build your marketing strategy around them. Forget about the numbers game – a million visitors to your website sounds great, but if none are converting it is the same net result as having no visitors. Measure your campaign success in real terms –such as revenue, sales and profit.

Once you have identified your business objectives, it is then time to use tangible buy keywords that will encourage people to engage with your content. (See our article, ‘How to Do Keyword Research for Article Marketing’ for some tips and tricks to help you.)

With your list of keywords, optimize your existing content and produce content optimised for SEO intent signals. Optimize across all channels.

  1. 2. Focus on High-Value Segments

The data you collect will tell you a lot about your customers. Focus on those who produce the highest and most consistent returns, against your business goals. When measuring customer value, consider what they produce over the long term. A single large sale may boost your revenues, but it is the long-term customers who return for more time after time who provide your core income and have the capacity to become your brand advocates.

By focusing on producing the content that these long-term, high-value customers care about, you will attract more of the same type of customer. Consider what it is that you do that keeps your current high-value customers returning for more – and do more of the same.

  1. 3. Add in Machine Learning

Collecting and collating the reams of data available and necessary, and then discovering and optimizing for buy keywords is a lot of work. The only way to do this effectively is to automate. Utilise machine learning to identify patterns of behaviour in the market and across your media channels, identify buy keywords, and help you to optimize for your most valued customers in real time.

Use Search to Inform Your Online Strategy

By identifying how your target audience acts, you can interact with them at strategic points of their unique customer journeys. Like the shop assistant who approaches the hot lead, you will convert more easily and with less effort. The key to do this successfully is to leverage intent in SEO keywords, by utilising the power of data in an automated digital environment. The data will enable you to forecast intent and deliver the right content at the best time to convert. 

Do you need help to create your content marketing strategy? To find out more and discover how we help businesses grow, contact BlabberJax today.

In the meantime, tell us what you have found to be your biggest content creation challenges in the comments below. We’ll be happy to get in touch and help you find the solution.


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