Last updated on February 22, 2019 at 08:54 am

How to Optimize Keyword Research by Understanding User Intent

SEO has become increasingly competitive as the years go by, with new techniques, algorithm updates, and tools that help give you an edge over the competition. There are many ways to craft your own winning strategy with the right combination of tools and techniques, and this certainly rings true for keyword research.

Keyword research will always be the most crucial element in the success of your SEO efforts, especially at a time where search has become more versatile than before. With voice search gaining a more significant presence, the traditional practice of finding keywords that have high search volume is at times not as effective as before. The factors that we have to consider when looking for the right keywords have increased, with user intent becoming one element that makes a difference in your success in search rankings.

When it comes to user intent, there are a number of factors to consider when implementing the right strategy. Here are ways you can optimize your keyword research with user intent in mind.

What is User Intent?

User Intent is the reason, motive, or intention for conducting a search query. User intent looks into why and how users conduct search queries and use this understanding to formulate the appropriate keywords. User intent can be classified into at least 4 types depending on where you look, along with being the most popular queries, and they are as follows:

Commercial – This refers to search terms with the intent of browsing through a variety of brands, products, and websites without conducting a purchase. This type of intent is from users who want to research about the products that they might purchase in the future, and find the best results.

Transactional – Related to Commercial Intent, Transactional Intent refers to users who conduct search queries, with the goal of finding e-commerce websites, and purchasing a product online. This and Commercial Intent tend to be used to search for business and commerce websites.

Navigational – This refers to the intent of searching for a specific website by directly entering their names. This tends to be effective in generating traffic once you have garnered a significant online presence for your brand.

Informational – Informational refers to search queries whose goal is to provide users with information. This information varies from the news, facts, tips, lists, and other related queries. Content such as blog articles and infographics tend to be the target of these keywords.

Understanding User Intent

By understanding how, what, and why people search, you would be able to find the best keywords that would drive organic traffic to any website. There are many ways to help you understand user intent for your keyword research, and some of them are handy tools that you might have used before as well. Here are some of these tools:

Google Trends – One of the more effective keyword and content research tools around, Google Trends allows you to see keywords and topics the generate the most buzz in a specific region. You have the option of tracking their statistics over certain time periods, and even compare each topic or keyword side by side.

Google Trends Filtered Data

Quora – One of the most popular Q&A websites around, Quora is a great place to see user-generated questions that you can use to generate keywords. Quora is a platform that has been used by numerous SEO professionals to generate traffic for their content, and now, its questions can now be used to formulate keywords.

Ahrefs – One of the most effective keyword research tools in the market, Ahrefs is also a great place to find a wide variety of related search terms that you can utilize to formulate terms that would help you generate traffic.

AHRefs Keywords Explorer

Answer the Public – Another top location that would help you find quality search terms and analyze search intent is by using Answer the Public. You have the option of going through numerous types of queries and question types that users would most likely try out.

Online Forums – Sites like Reddit offer a lot of content related to inquiries as well, making it another great platform to analyze user intent. Going around other online forums is also another solid approach, as these have been the best places to ask around the internet for years, providing you with a massive archive of queries waiting to be utilized.

Tinkering with Google or even Facebook Search might also help you find interesting results that allow you to see how people look around on the internet. This makes crowdsourcing for information another viable method of finding unique and genuine results that come from actual users.

Moving away from the traditional

While traditional keyword research is still able to help you find keywords that generate a significant amount of traffic, the arrival of voice search was a signal to a lot of SEOs that this might no longer be an effective method in the near future. This means that we have to diversify our strategies and use fresh methods that would help us find what we are looking for.

While this may lead to bumps along the way, the ultimate reward of experimentation makes it all worth it after a good number of tries. One of the traditional keyword research metrics that is used as a measurement of keyword success is the search volume. While search volumes tend to give you a good assessment of keyword performance, there are times that they might be inaccurate, especially on more specific search terms that might be more helpful for your rankings.

While completely moving away from tried and tested methods is still not advisable, finding new ways to generate keywords that understand user intent allows you to get out of your SEO comfort zone, and create your own unique approach to keyword research.

Create a list or chart of your keywords

Once you have done your research, it is time to categorize each search query and put them in a list or chart, depending on your preference. This allows you to identify each search query accordingly, and even connect each of them to formulate more queries.

It is best to start with single root words and branch out from there. From there, you can add elements such as brand names, key prefixes or suffixes, categories, geotagging, adjectives, and even common phrases used when asking. With a plethora of information mostly consisting of unique search terms, there is no doubt that you might have an overwhelmingly long test after doing this. This is why filtering your list is the most crucial step towards finding the best search queries that would fit your needs.

Key Takeaway

User Intent adds another dimension to keyword research, as it provides us with a fresh approach to generating the best search queries that would how users across the internet perform their search. Along with these important tips, you can also take a look at our previous posts about long-tail keywords and exact search terms, which helps give you a deeper look into how keyword research is changing.

If you have questions and inquiries about Keyword Research and SEO in general, leave a comment below and let’s talk.

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