How Intents Affect Keywords Research

Keywords and Buyer Intent

We also recognise 3 distinct intents a person has when searching online.

  1. Intent to learn.
  2. Intent to compare.
  3. Intent to buy.

And yes, you guessed it – users will use different keywords depending on their intent.

Here’s how it works.

Intent to learn

Searchers with this intent do not fully realise their problem. They know something’s wrong but they need more information to fully understand it.

For instance, a person might notice a decline in their laptop’s performance. But instead of rushing to buy a new one, she might first research the problem to understand its causes.

Intent to Compare

Users with this intent not only know what problem they need to solve but also, have already looked at some of the alternative solutions. They are at the evaluation stage of the buying cycle.

Continuing with our example above, knowing that her laptop is probably too old to be worth repairing the person decides it’s better to replace it. And thus begins a search for the best machine.

Intent to Buy

As the name suggests, people with the last intent are ready to buy. They have chosen the best solution and are looking where to buy it from.

Our laptop owner has selected the laptop she wants. But now she wants to find the best place to get it from.

How Intents Affect Keywords Research

To illustrate the relationship between intents and keywords, let’s see what keywords someone looking for a new laptop would use depending on their intent:

Intent to Learn Intent to Compare Intent to Order
Slow laptop compare laptop computers best price HP Chromebook 11
Asus laptop boot up problem Asus laptop reviews HP Chromebook 11 free delivery
Chromebook laptop repair cost best Chromebook laptop buy HP Chromebook 11 online

As you can see, keywords used at the initial search relate to a specific problem the person has. She them moves on to comparing or reading laptop reviews to finally start searching where to buy a specific machine.

Why is all this information important?

Knowledge and understanding of online buyers behaviour will help you:

  • Pick better keywords. If conducted well, a typical keyword research can yield hundreds if not more results. But that doesn’t mean that all those keywords are worth your efforts. Understanding how people search and buy will help you assess which keywords to use and which to ignore.
  • Create better content. This knowledge will also help you structure your site around various buyer intents and deliver the right content at a right stage of a searcher’s buying cycle.
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