Considering User Intent in Keyword Research

Considering User Intent in Keyword Research

As content providers for a range of different types of companies, it can sometimes be challenging to write as experts about so many different topics. Certainly, we need to research as much as possible for both paid advertising copy and organic site content, but one thing stands as an anchor in all this effort: empathy.

What are people looking for?

When we first talk to a client, so much focus is on their business challenges and what their goals are. In that first conversation, we are submerged in the details of what they do, how they do it, why it’s important, and why don’t more people know about it? Understanding this is important to form a foundation, but then we get into the real work.  As we start researching keywords, suddenly all of that information we’re operating on takes on a new dimension.

Yeah, but what are people looking for?”

This question has a powerful effect on how we move forward. It changes the perspective from, “This service is awesome! People should buy this!” to imagining a company that might be buried in orders, stressed out, wondering, “Who’s going to quickly and safely ship all my products?” In other words, we go from seeing a company to seeing real people. Whatever marketing a company does, it’s really only as good as applying that question above. You can create ads, drive SEO and do all sorts of marketing all day long, but it won’t have many results, especially not as many quality results, if no one is looking for what you’re talking about.

So, what’s the next step for SEO results?

The trick is to understand how to build content in ways that bridge the “what” of a product or service with actual needs. Our tools allow us to easily find keywords that we can apply to the content we create. By understanding more about what’s behind those search queries – what the user’s intent is – we can discover more meaningful and direct ways to communicate. Sometimes in this process, entire new demographics are revealed, as we discover that the target audience is merely one perspective, and that there is another, sometimes larger, group faced with a challenge that our client can solve (more business!). Essentially, we’re using technology to gain more insight into human needs and how to connect a client’s product or service to those needs.

We are Humans

Sure, we’re working with data and algorithms, but as human beings, we’re applying empathy throughout the process, because the bottom line is, if what we’re writing about and sharing with the world doesn’t resonate with anyone, or doesn’t answer their call for help, then there’s no reason to do it. In the end, you can throw as much money as you’d like to SEO, ads, and marketing, but if the content isn’t right, you won’t get the results you’re looking for. 

The Big Picture

Over time, this process has trained us to think about the big picture from the moment we first talk with clients. It seeps into our understanding when clients explain the details of what they do. It helps us pivot when we start selling too hard with our writing. By looking at things from the potential end customer’s perspective, we end up helping the client more. By seeing how clients respond to questions, we can focus on what those questions might be from potential customers, leading to more referrals, more sales, and a happier company.

Need help figuring out what to target? Reach out to learn what your customers are typing into the search engines.