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How focusing on keyword intent will make your visitors happy and boost your SEO.

When you create content for your site, you’re not making it for just anyone. You’re creating it for a target audience that you hope to attract and convert. Given those conditions, you need to pick keywords that match what searchers are looking for. Understanding searcher intent is the key to connecting your content with the right visitors.

Taking reason and motivation into account.

Let’s say you run a blog reviewing popular local restaurants, and you’re hoping to draw attention to some of your posts on the best Japanese eateries in the area. You decide that you’re going to target the word “sushi” as one of your key words. That means you’re hoping that when people google “sushi,” you hope they will be directed to your website.

The problem is, you don’t know anything about someone’s keyword intent they type “sushi” into Google. On the other hand, imagine if they searched for these phrases:

  • “Ann Arbor sushi restaurants to go”
  • “Is sushi safe to eat if you’re pregnant?”
  • “Japanese cooking classes to make home-made sushi”

Are any of these key phrases relevant to your restaurant review site? Probably not. What you really want are people searching for phrases such as “Best sushi restaurants in Ann Arbor.” Essentially, this is the difference between fat head and long tail key words. Fat head keywords are one or two words and tell you the general bucket a category falls into. However, understanding searcher intent is a lot easier with long tail keywords and key phrases because they contain a lot more detail about what the searcher is actually interested in finding on your site.

Lower your bounce rate, increase conversions, and make your visitors happy.

The better you become at understanding searcher intent, the more you’re able to deliver relevant content. And when you do that, good things happen:

  1. You improve the average time your visitors spend on your page, because you’ve succeeded in providing them useful information.
  2. You lower your bounce rate, because you’re correctly matching your content to meet searcher need.
  3. You increase conversions, because you brought in more visitors in the later stages of the buying cycle and delivered what they were looking for.
  4. You boost your search engine ranking, because all these things tell search engines that visitors found what they were looking for on your site, and therefor they fulfilled their mission by directing searchers to you.
  5. You made your visitors happy, because you satisfied their search query and delivered great value.

So the next time you go to plan out keywords for a post, think more deeply about keyword intent. What do your visitors actually hope to find? Don’t just pick “sushi” and call it a day: dig down for something specific that will have lower volume, but higher conversion rate.

Your visitors will thank you, and Google will reward you.

Published 01/10/17 by Laura Lynch