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If you’ve even dipped your toes into the waters of SEO, you’re likely familiar with the idea of keywords—those little words and phrases that tell search engines what your web content is about. You likely also realize that those keywords, in part, determine how high your page appears in search engine rankings. What’s often murkier is the specifics: what keywords should you target? High-Intent Keywords or High-Volume Keywords?

One simple strategy that can help clarify your SEO strategy is to strategically employ high-intent keywords. Where it may be tempting to focus only on high-volume keywords, or the terms that net the most searches, searcher intent can sometimes be far more lucrative.

High-Intent Keywords

The basic idea behind high-intent keywords is that the searcher using them is nearing the end of the buying cycle. That is, they’ve researched and contemplated and are just about ready to spend some money. For instance, if you sell computers, a high-intent keyword might be “buy gaming laptop,” with the word “buy” indicating a strong intention to purchase your product. Obviously, if you can bring these users to your website, they’re more likely to convert than those who are passingly curious in your product. Therein lies the value of high-intent keywords: if you can strategically target high-intent keywords and bring eager buyers to your site, you can likely increase your conversion rate without competing for the hottest (and priciest) keywords. The search volume may be lower, but so is the level of competition for ranking, along with the amount of convincing you have to do to generate a sale.

To begin to brainstorm high-intent keywords, you should put yourself into the shoes of your buyer persona. What would your typical customer search for right when they’re nearing a decision point? Think about specific brands and features that you offer as well as terms like “shop,” “buy,” and “price” that can indicate specific intent. Don’t overlook terms like “review” or “comparison” in the context of a specific product, either. While these customers may not be imminently ready to buy, they’re still demonstrating a higher level of intent than those looking for broader overviews and shows that they’re farther along the marketing funnel.

High-Volume Keywords

Of course, you shouldn’t completely neglect high-volume keywords, which are the ones getting the most search traffic overall. By employing high-volume keywords, you drive more net traffic to your website, which can be beneficial in terms of gaining recognition and establishing your credibility. In certain industries, it can also be helpful in generating ad revenue. But in most cases, your chief priority should be gaining conversions, in which case high-volume keywords can be less value. These keywords also tend to be far more competitive because they are broader and more popular, which can make it challenging to rise through the rankings.

Why Does it Matter?

If you haven’t developed a keyword strategy, you’re not doing everything you can to drive traffic and conversions. It’s as simple as that. Developing a strategy that balances both high-volume and high-intent keywords is one of the best ways to not only optimize your search engine ranking but to optimize your rank for those keywords that trigger sales.

We take these things into consideration when helping you design a new website, or make updates to an existing one. If you need help, contact us for a free consultation.

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