When broken down, search engine optimization (SEO) is simple enough. This is the process of choosing keywords, creating amazing content for your ideal customer, and optimizing that content and your design so that search engines like Google drive traffic to your web pages.
That’s easy enough to understand. But what separates the experts is that they take things one step further. If one of the biggest benefits of traffic from search engines is that this traffic is targeted, what keywords best target the users you want for your site? And when a customer performs a search, are they finding what they’re looking for when they land on your website?
Last month, we took a closer look at the differences between niche and general keywords, and how to choose what’s right for your business. Now let’s look at keywords from another angle: the three types of buyer keywords, and what they tell you about your buyer’s journey.
1. Informational Keywords
An informational search query indicates the user is seeking general information. They want to learn more about something. They are at the beginning of the buyer’s journey and probably aren’t sure they want to buy anything yet.
These are often called “know” keywords. In practice, they probably contain keywords like how, what, guide, tutorial, best, compare, or ways to.
If you sell makeup on your site, you would produce content like “how to choose the best eyeshadow” and “what green eyeshadow can do for your complexion”. This content would teach the user more about how these products are used, and gently point them toward your products for sale.
It’s not the time for a hard pitch. You and this user are just getting to know each other. You are establishing yourself as an expert in this field, someone they can trust when they’re ready to make a purchase.
2. Navigational Keywords
A navigational search query indicates the user is seeking a specific brand, service, or product. They are considering the possibility of making a purchase but not ready to buy yet. They are looking at their options. They know a few things about what they’re after, and now they’re researching what types of products are out there.
At this point, they are entering keywords like “near me” or “free shipping” or “prices”, as well as brand names, product names, and service names.
They might search “makeup store near me”, or “Revlon eyeshadow”.
You want to bring these users to a page with information about your services or products. So these users may come to a product demo video or a webinar. They would be well served by case studies, product or service lists, or a well-designed landing page.
You want to optimize the pages these users come. Find navigational keywords and make sure these searchers are landing on content that will really help them decide your product or service will be best for them.
3. Transactional Keywords
A transactional keyword indicates the user is seeking to make a purchase. These terms may include brand names, like “Google Pixel 3a XL” or, or be a generic term like “red popcorn maker”, or include the world “buy”, like “buy a red popcorn maker”, or they even be local in nature, like “Red Wing shoe store”. Whatever form the term takes, we’re able to assume from the search phrase that this user is looking to buy and probably do it right now.
These searchers are already ripe. They know what they’re after. They are toward the end of the buyer’s journey; they just need to find a place to buy what they want.
Ideally, you want users to land on a sales page on your site for a transactional query. Perhaps this will be a direct product page, a live demo page, a pitch for a free consultation, or a sign-up page. Whatever the case, there should be a way for the user to get exactly what they want.
Build Your Content To Serve These Different Terms
By understanding what your potential customers are looking for when they land on your website, you can better optimize your web design and content to serve them. When a user finds what they want on your page, they have the chance to connect with your brand and become familiar with you. Ultimately, understanding what your potential customers want and giving it to them is what an effective website that leads to conversions is all about.