Imagine you're in the West End shopping.You go into a few stores and when the assistant approaches you, your heart sinks and you snap at them “I'm just browsing” and turn away. Just because you're out shopping, it doesn't mean you are ready to buy! What's wrong with these people! You could be researching, or just seeing what's hot in the marketplace. You may make an impulse purchase, but ultimately you're browsing not buying.
Now visualise going shopping in the West End on payday. You're going out in the evening and you need some new heels to go with your little black dress. You're buying. When the assistant approaches you and offers her help your response is “I need a pair of black suede kitten heels size 6, I'm prepared to be flexible on the materials, but they have to be black, a kitten heel and a size 6” and your assistant scurries off to fetch your shoe selection. You're happy, she's happy and there's a shoe designer out there, also very happy.
Buyers and browsers communicate in different ways, and it's no different when you're online.
Body language and tone of voice can indicate buying or browsing face to face, online you use search volumes.
Search volumes ie how many searches are taking place for your product or service can tell you a lot about what people are searching for online, but they don't indicate anything about your visitor's commercial intent.
What's the point of commercial intent, you may ask. And many people do.
Let's imagine you're the number one position in the search engines for Black Kitten Heel shoes. Won't you automatically make money from this? Won't your website have floods of traffic, lots of women pounding down your virtual doors to shove fistfuls of cash into your virtual hands…
The short answer is No.
Wikipedia manages to find its way into the top 3 results on Google for many keyword searches – but do they make money from that? Hint: you don't see them selling Wikipedia t-shirts, you're frequently asked for donations, oh and there's not an advert in the sidebar, after the first paragraph and attached to the image.
On the other hand, your humble blog may only receive 700 visitors a month, but they're all visiting with the express intention of buying your black kitten heels, and what attracts them is your post that talks about 50 ways to wear black kitten heels without looking vampish, all nicely linked to the kitten heels that you stock.
Keywords and keyphrases fall into two camps, so there’s not a great deal of confusion: information keywords and buying keywords.
If you had never heard of Boules before, you might search for something along the lines of “What is/are Boules”. That would be a straightforward search for information to help you decide whether or not it may be something you are interested in. So, too, would “Rules of Boules” be another information keyword.
Once you had become familiar with what type of game Boules is, you might then decide to find a club near you and then start using keywords with geographic intent and buying intent, such as “Best Boules” or “Boules reviews” or “Boules Club in Essex”.
When someone is at the point of looking for a product review, they're ready to buy.
The prospect is looking for validation. They want reassurance that they are buying the most suitable product for them and their needs. The same applies with a geographic intent, ie Bowls in Essex. When someone searches the location they're looking to visit in order to make a purchasing decision.
Reviews are not the only keywords that reveal commercial intent.
“Coupon codes”, “discount store”, “cheap” and “cheapest” are other obvious keywords and phrases. You will also notice that the budget of the searcher can be determined in the keywords as well. Words like “discount” or “designer” or “luxury” will give you a fair idea of what the buyer's budget is before they make contact with you.
Longtail Pro, and a selection of other keyword research tools (like Market Samurai) will allow you to filter results according to geographic location. Whether you're in England or South Africa, you can change the results to reflect where your marketplace is. Of course, if you work with digital products or affiliate offers, you may wish to leave the filter at Worldwide or All Locations.
Besides the phrasing of the keywords, another indicator of commercial intent is the competition tab in Google AdWords. Take a look at the keywords with high competition. These are the keywords that a lot of people are bidding on – and they obviously wouldn't be doing that if they weren't profitable keywords.
Not only that, but you can see how much people are bidding on these keywords. The higher the bid, the more likely this is a keyword with the positive commercial intent behind it.
By looking at keywords with commercial intent, you can see how some keywords are worth a lot of money even with low traffic.
Remember to visit Google's main page and typing in the keyword you plan to use.
You may also like UberSuggest. This will give you an indication of what kind of sites are ranking for that term. You won't beat certain sites to the top of the rankings, like Goodreads, Wikipedia and other authority sites, so you know that although the Keyword has commercial intent, you're not likely to get enough traffic to justify creating the piece of content.
If you discover that there are no authority sites on page one and there are a lot of paid Google ads, you know that people are spending good money on advertising for a reason. One or two ads might indicate a newcomer testing the water, but many paid ads mean money is being made from that keyword – hence, commercial intent.
Keep an eye on the ads that show consistently. Those are ones that are obviously profitable, as no one would continue to pay for them otherwise.
And finally, good buyer keywords can be found by putting the name of your brand or competitor into your Keyword Tool and see what phrases are returned, and indicate buyer intent.
When you have your buyer keywords, the next step is to create the content that buyer's love. I recommend you start with writing your buyer's guide, which should form the core of your commercial content plan.
PS If you're wondering if buyers will search for your name, then yes, yes they will. The people who know your name, know you already. They're not hot new prospects, but people you've failed to get on your email list and build a relationship with.
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