Understanding the Different Types of Keywords & Search Intent
For many brands in NZ, digital marketing has become a crucial part of their business strategy. Part of this strategy is keywords, which are an essential element of SEO, but there is more to it than simple phrases.
The categorisation of keywords allows search engines and marketers to understand the intent behind user searches. We break down the different types of keyword intent, their characteristics, and their place in SEO strategy.
Keyword by Length
Short-tail keywords are one or two-word phrases with high search volume. This is because they’re more commonly used by those earlier in the conversion funnel. Unfortunately, with all that volume comes competition. Short-tail keywords are more difficult to rank for as they are much broader. Short-tail keywords are typically harder to pinpoint a search intent as they are vaguer and lack detail.
Long-tail keywords are much more specific and generally have low volume. Long-tail keywords range between 3 and 5 words and are much easier to rank for in search engine results as they lack the high competition of short-tail searches. Long-tail keywords are specific phrases that indicate a searcher is close to conversion. More intent is included in the detail of long-tail keywords, allowing you to target specific users and groups.
Example: “aviator style polarised sunglasses”
These are keywords that are great for local SEO. They’re great for drawing people into a brick-and-mortar store and helping your business rank in local search results. Geo-specific keywords are an essential part of any local SEO strategy.
Example: “aviator sunglasses auckland”
Essential for any content marketing strategy, informational keywords show that the user is looking for a specific piece of information. Informational keywords are typically long-tail and represent a phrase or question that users type into the search bar. These are usually long-tail keywords that include more detail. For example, one would search: “are rayban sunglasses good quality?”
Targeting informational keywords in your content can help that piece rank for that phrase. Just provide a clear, concise, and accurate answer, and you’re on your way toward improving site authority. An extremely successful SEO strategy will see your content is to get a featured snippet in SERPs but to achieve this, it must be high-quality content.
Commercial keyword intent indicates that they are searching for a specific service but are still looking for their best path to conversion. These are generally short-tail keywords, like “sunglasses.” They highlight that the searcher has done their research and is ready to find the product or service. Keywords with commercial intent are ideal for product and service pages and e-commerce sites.
Transactional intention shows that the searcher is confident enough to make their purchase. They are ready to act and finally make their purchase. They know what they want and are looking to purchase it. Similar to commercial intent, transactional keywords are helpful for product landing pages and e-commerce sites. These phrases include an action like “buy” or “shop.” These keywords include more detail as the user knows exactly what they are looking for; they simply need a place to purchase it.
Users are looking for a specific place, whether local or online. If one were to search a branded keyword like “NZIE,” they are showing precisely where they want the search to take them. Whether that means looking for a brick and mortar store in their local area or wanting to go to a specific site, they know where they want to go.
The Right Keywords Will Make or Break Your SEO Strategy
For the best chances of success, targeting low-volume, long-tail keywords are your best choice. These will be much easier for your business to rank for, given the low volume remains consistent.
Commercial, navigational, and transactional keyword intent go hand-in-hand as a user reaches the end of the conversion funnel. They are often used on landing pages promoting a specific product or service. Blog content is ideal for including informational keywords. It is a chance for your brand to answer the question of a prospective customer while having the option for conversion waiting for them.
The right keywords will come down to the goal of your SEO strategy. Any SEO course will teach you that if you aim too high, you’re not going to see results. SEO is a long-term game; it takes a clear understanding of search intent to provide the most relevant and high-quality content to drive traffic. It’s not about who has the most keywords, it’s about who is providing the user with what they’re looking for.
Stay in the Loop
SEO and digital marketing are continually unfolding and evolving as the industries are still new. Google is constantly rolling out new features to benefit your business or changing its ranking factors. One of the most beneficial things you can do for your site is to stay up-to-date with the industry. Utilise the tools available at your disposal, and you will start to see the areas where you need to improve your SEO strategy.
Keen to receive templates, tips and industry knowledge to help you take your skillset to the next stage? Check out our range of courses: from short courses in social media marketing strategy and SEO to a full Digital Marketing Diploma. NZIE is waiting for you to take the next step in your career; and ready to support you every step of the way!