To attract audiences who are likely to turn into customers, you can target buying keywords that lead searchers with transactional intent into your sales funnel.
Understanding Search Intent
When a person uses a search engine, they know what they want to find and why they want to find it.
They have a search intent that may be:
- Informational: They are seeking general, topical information.
- Navigational: They are seeking information about a service or product from a specific business or brand.
- Transactional: They are seeking something to purchase.
As you create SEO content and use buying keywords to optimize it for search engines, always consider your target audience’s search intent. Matching your content and types of keywords with particular search intents will lead the right audience to your page so they’re more inherently interested in the content on that page.
Understanding Search Intent in Marketing Funnels
Content on your website can be used to connect with audiences in 3 stages of the buyer’s journey
Click & Tweet!
. This marketing funnel includes:
At each of these phrases, you can use keyword intent to optimize your pages so they connect with the right audience. This kind of keyword-focused content helps attract more relevant organic traffic and increase the probability of conversions.
So, how do you find the right buying keywords and content topics for each phase of your marketing funnel?
To know how to capture attention at each step of the buyer’s process, you need to know:
- What information your target customer is seeking in each phase
- What type of content works best in each phase
- What questions audiences are asking at each phase
- What terms will best lead audiences to what they are looking for
In the next few sections, we’ll look at how to identify buyer intent and use it to guide your content development and keyword research in each phase of your marketing funnel.
Awareness and Discovery Phase
Searchers in this phases have informational intent. They are:
- Looking for resources and information
- Researching topics
- Aware of a problem but unsure of how to solve it
- Seeking advice, options, and insight
- Not looking for a specific solution
- Casually browsing online
To catch the attention of audiences at this stage, it’s best to use informational and engaging content that relates to your industry. Consider developing educational content that teaches or guides audiences or creating content with viral potential that can cast a wide net and increase exposure.
Awareness and discovery phase content formats often include:
To come up with topics for awareness and discovery phase content, think about the triggers that would cause your target audience to search, and consider what questions they may be asking.
- How can I [blank]?
- How does [blank] work?
- What is [blank]?
- What are the benefits of [blank]?
- What do I do now that [blank] has happened?
- How can accomplish [blank]?
- How do I get to [blank]?
- How can [blank] be easier/more efficient/better?
Develop content that answers these questions and guides searchers toward solutions.
Now that you have a better understanding of what people may be searching for, it’s time to identify the best buying keywords that will lead a large, engaged audience to your content.
How to Do Keyword Research in the Awareness and Discovery Phase
The best keywords for the awareness and discovery phase are terms that:
- Users frequently search for
- Are not too competitive
- Match your defined marketing funnel
To find those buying keywords, use Alexa’s Keyword Difficulty Tool. Enter a topic or phrase that is closely associated with your industry or the services or products you sell.
Look at the report and identify keywords that have a high popularity score and a competition score within your range. Those are the terms that have the potential to drive the most traffic to your site.
Pro Tip: When you add your website URL to an Alexa Advanced Plan, the report will automatically consider whether you can compete for each keyword. If your website’s Competitive Power score is higher than a keyword’s Competition score, the report will add a lightning bolt icon next to the phrase. This indicates that a term is one that your site is more likely to rank for.
Once you qualify SEO keywords, consider how you can plug them into the questions that your target audience may be asking.
For example, a yoga studio may create content on the following topics and optimize it for qualified keywords.
- What is hot yoga?
- What are the benefits of bikram yoga?
- How does ashtanga yoga work?
These topics provide answers to the questions that potential buyers ask during the awareness and discovery phase and are, therefore, a good way to lead audiences through your marketing funnel.
Consideration and Evaluation Phase
In the next phase of the marketing funnel, audiences have already acquired some information.
In this phase, searchers sometimes have navigational intent as they may be seeking information about a certain brand’s product or service. At this time, they:
- Have an idea about what they need or want
- Are doing deeper research
- Are deciding which product or service is right for them
The audience is seeking information that will advance their knowledge, so they’re looking for more detailed and in-depth content such as:
As they search for content to help them, they are asking themselves the following questions:
- Why is [blank] better than [blank]?
- What product or service can help me [blank]?
- What features does [blank] have?
- How do the features of [blank] benefit me?
- Is [blank] right for me?
- How has [blank] helped other people or made their lives easier?
As you look for the best keywords to use in this phase, look for ways to tie in keywords that answer questions the potential customers may have.
How to Do Keyword Research in the Consideration and Evaluation Phase
Keyword research in the awareness and discovery phrase isn’t too different from research in the awareness and discovery page. You are also looking for low-competition keywords that are popular among users.
But in this phase, the keywords that your competitors are using become more of a factor. Examine what keywords your competitors are utilizing to promote offerings, content, products, and services that are similar to yours.
To get a good look at what terms your competitors are ranking for, use Alexa’s Competitor Keyword Matrix. Enter up to 10 competitor sites to create a matrix of keywords.
Pro Tip: If you don’t know who your competitors are, use Alexa’s Audience Overlap Tool to find them.
The matrix report will show a list of keywords that your competitors have in common. This allows you to see what buying keywords they are using to drive traffic to their site.
The report includes general information about each keyword.
- The popularity score indicates a keyword’s overall popularity in search.
- The competition score is an indicator of how difficult it is to rank for the term.
The matrix also includes information about each keyword as it relates to the competitors.
- The number of sites in common shows how many of the listed competitors are ranking for the term.
- The traffic score indicates how much traffic each site receives from the keywords.
Use this information to identify keyword opportunities. As you go through this phase of keyword discovery, look for terms that are tied to product and services, are popular, have low competition, and offer you the ability to compete with your competitors.
The yoga studio may look at this report and decide to create content topics such as:
- 15 Yoga Poses You Can Try At Home
- Find Out If Hatha Yoga Is Right For You
- This Is How Yoga Breathing Has Helped People Overcome Anxiety
These topics connect with an audience who has already explored the basic information about yoga and is now trying to decide if it is right for them and how they can take the next step.
Conversion and Purchase Phase
The last stage of the marketing funnel is the conversion and purchase phase. This is the moment when the audience has gone through all of its research and is ready to make a purchase.
At this point, searchers have transaction intent, and they are:
- Trying to figure out what they need to do to become a customer
- Searching for the best company to use
- Searching for the best product or service
Content that helps audiences in this phrase is more direct. It provides the exact details and directions for becoming a customer. It may also provide supporting information that answers questions that could be holding a person back from making their purchase. Content that is often used in this phase includes:
At this point, the audience is asking questions that will help them find the right product, service, and brand.
- What do customers think of [blank]?
- Where can I find a business that does [blank]?
- How much does [blank] cost?
- Who has the best [blank]?
- Where can I buy [blank]?
As you create content for this point of the marketing funnel, develop pages and copy that answer those questions while using buying keywords that show transactional intent.
How to Do Keyword Research in the Conversion and Purchase Phase
Alexa tools make it easy to identify buyer keywords for this phase. In the Competitor Keyword Matrix, use the filter option to show only potential buyer keywords.
The tool acts as a buyer keyword generator. All of the terms in the list are considered to be commercial intent keywords. That means they are the type of phrases that searchers would use when looking to purchase something.
Pro Tip: Use the filter function to remove words and terms that don’t match your primary offerings. This allows you to only see terms relevant to your business.
In this example, if you were a yoga studio that didn’t sell products, you could filter out terms that relate to mats and clothing.
From this list, you can begin to identify terms that connect with your target audience on their journey to making a purchase.
The yoga studio may choose to target terms with the following topics:
- Best Yoga Instructors in [City]
- Local Free Yoga in [City]
- How to Find Yogis That Live Near You
When you have this type of content, you’re allowing your brand to be out in front of potential customers ready to click “buy.”
The Key to Using Buying Keywords
While buying keywords are typically found at the end of the marketing sales funnel, they should influence the content you create for other phases of the purchasing process.
In your content creation process, create sales funnels that map out the entire journey of your ideal customer. Think about their search intent, and use the keywords and topics most likely to connect with them in each phase.
By keeping buyers’ keywords in mind during your entire content creation process, you will be more likely to get the right piece of content in front of the right audience at the right time, getting more people to the purchase stage.
To learn how you can use Alexa’s tools for effective keyword research, read: How to Do Keyword Research: A Comprehensive Guide
Ready to improve conversion rates with buying keywords?
To find the best keywords for each phase of your marketing funnel and access the tools mentioned in this post, sign up for a free trial of Alexa’s Advanced Plan. You’ll get access to the Competitive Keyword Matrix, Keyword Difficulty Tool, and other powerful SEO and keyword discovery products.