3 Keyword Tools for Search Intent

Optimizing keyword-based content requires an understanding of searchers’ intent. Is the goal to buy, to learn, or to search for a specific site? Search engine optimizers call these options “commercial,” “informational,” and “navigational.”

Hence, depending on the intent, your content strategy for SEO should focus on:

  • work leadership,
  • provide answers,
  • Helping people navigate to your site (brand queries).

The fourth type of intent is “transactional,” which reflects the transition from information to commercial. These are inquiries from people who do not intend to buy but might get it if they receive satisfactory answers.

Improving intent is to give researchers what they are looking for.

In most cases, defining a research objective is more or less common sense. Querying for “affordable running shoes” is likely a business intent. Useful information “How to clean running shoes”. “Road Runner Sports” is a navigation game.

Researching your target keyword can provide clues to Google’s interpretation. For example, most informational queries on Google produce “featured snippets” (such as “answer boxes”), while commercial queries yield shopping results.

Another useful indication of search intent is the keyword CPC in Google Ads. Advertisers are willing to pay more for keywords that increase sales. Hence commercial and transactional keywords tend to be more expensive.

But how can a merchant figure out the purpose of hundreds or thousands of keywords?

Fortunately, some SEO tools have integrated search intent into their keyword research toolkit. Nothing is perfect, but everyone is better than nothing.

Keyword Tools for Search Objective

smrash It launched the intent analysis feature in 2021. Users can filter entire keyword lists by intent and decide which is driving the most traffic to competitors’ sites.

Semrush incorporates intent search into a few of its reports, including the “Keyword Magic Tool,” competitive reports, keyword gap analysis, and position tracking.

Below is an example of a Keyword Magic Tool report for the keyword “e-commerce” filtered by informational intent.

Semrush incorporates research intent into a few of its reports. This example is a Keyword Magic Tool “e-commerce” report filtered by informational intent.

Cognitive SEO It is another tool that sets the search target for keywords through the “Keyword Explore”, “Ranking Analysis” and “Content Assistant” tools.

Screenshot of the SEO Cognitive Report

CognitiveSEO sets the search target for keywords through the “Keyword Explore”, “Ranking Analysis” and “Content Assistant” tools.

Automated spreadsheets. A site called Marketer Spreadsheets provides tutorials and templates for creating spreadsheets.

Don’t expose Semrush and Cognitive SEO How do They define the intent of the research. But the tutorial in Sheets for Marketers does just that. The tutorial titled “How to Perform Quick Search Target Analysis Using Google Sheets” assumes:

  • Queries containing informational (what, why, how, where) question words.
  • Queries containing ‘best’ or ‘vs’ are a transactional intent (the tutorial calls this intent a ‘commercial’); People are looking for a purchase.
  • Queries containing ‘buy’, ‘cost’ and ‘cheap’ are trade requests (what the tutorial calls a ‘transaction’); The researchers are ready to buy.

Everything else is labeled “other” for the user to change manually.

It’s a simplified way to set a search target, but it’s useful nonetheless. To use the tool, copy the spreadsheet and then paste your list into the first column. Remove the Search Volume column or add your own to store more data in the sheet.

Screenshot of a Google Spreadsheet from the Sheets for Marketers tutorial

A tutorial in Marketer Sheets describes how to perform a quick search intent analysis using Google Sheets.

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Many keywords have a double or even triple intent. For example, a search for “how to buy a laptop” could be from someone looking into the process or looking to buy.

So keep in mind multiple meanings and intentions when using automated tools to improve content. Often times, words contain information And commercial intent. Hence, manual review is necessary when entering keywords based on automated suggestions.

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