How Search Intent Helps Pick the Right Website Keywords

Understanding search intent and how it can help pick the right keywords is critical to the success of your website.  Sadly, not everyone does keyword research and some of those who do pick keywords based on search volume only.  You have to go beyond search volume and consider search intent.  Intent addresses the purpose of the query and helps put the customer journey into perspective.  Without intent, your website may miss content that leads to conversion and more revenue.  Read on to learn more about how search content helps pick the right keywords.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Real World Experience

I recently started building a new website for a client that never had one before.  Like many people, they were excited about building the pages and wanted to dive into the site’s content.  I explained that we need to conduct keyword research before we can talk about the content.  Specifically, we must determine the best keywords to use, considering search intent, volume, and ranking difficulty.  I explained that we need a roadmap to accomplish the website’s goals, and picking the right keywords would put us on the path to success.  And that’s when the light turned on, “So there is a science behind all this!”

What is Search Intent

Everyone enters queries into search bars for a reason.  But it’s really more than just the question or phrase someone types into the search bar.  It’s the “why” or intention behind the question that interests Google the most.  That’s because if Google can understand the “why,” they can deliver the most relevant results. 

The “why,” or intention, is often determined by the customer journey.  Every customer journey takes us from discovery to purchase, and along the way, we ask Google questions.  At the beginning of the journey, we seek broad information to learn about products and services.  In the middle of the journey, we want to compare similar products.  Toward the end of the journey, we want to know brand names, price information, and return policies.  And at the end, when we are ready to buy, we look for coupons and stores close to us.  

The Four Search Intentions

At each step of our journey, we have different search intentions.  These are the four intentions identified by Google and described by Yoast SEO in this article on search intent.

1. Informational Intent

Search queries with an informational intent are from people looking to learn about a subject or product.  These searches are normally made at the start of the customer journey and often start with words like “How to” or “Why is.”

2. Commercial Intent

Questions posed with commercial intent are from people who have decided to buy a product, just not right now.  They are in the research phase of the purchase journey.  Therefore, they often start their questions with words like “Best” and “Reviews.”

3. Navigational Intent

Someone searching with navigational intent looks for a specific website or content on a specific website.  Often, these people are in the middle of their customer journey.  They have discovered their desired brand/product and now look for the company’s website.  Questions with the company name combined with words like “return policy” or “store hours” show navigational intent.

4. Transactional Intent

When a person is ready to buy right now, they are looking for the product page and ask questions with transactional intent.  They use words with the product name and “Coupons” or “Stores Near Me.”

Using Search Intent to Select Keywords

Using search intent to select keywords for content on your website is very important.  Since prospects are in all stages of the customer journey, your website must have content that speaks to all of them. 

Here is how I recommend you create content with search intent in mind.

Use blog posts for keywords with informational intent. Blog posts are a great way to showcase your company’s expertise and authority.  Writing posts that inform and educate your visitors, plus sell your products and services, is ideal.  To learn more about writing effective blog posts, read my article, “Two Ways to Make Your Blog More Relevant and Effective.”

Fill your website’s content pages with keywords that have commercial intent.  Your website is your most effective sales tool, so use it to address prospects who want to buy your products or services but are researching options.

If you own an eCommerce store, your product pages should include keywords with transactional intent.

Navigational keywords should serve your homepage as long as you have all your contact information located in the header, footer, or homepage content.  Therefore, there is no need for special content that addresses navigational intent. But you should always keep your Google My Business and local listings up to date.  That helps your website rank for navigational keywords and appear in Google’s Map pack and knowledge panels. 

Conclusion on How Search Intent Helps to Pick the Right Keywords

Search Intent is one of the major considerations when picking the right keywords.  Content on your website needs to address three of the four search intentions.  That way, prospects in each stage of the customer journey will find the answers they need to help learn more, narrow their consideration set, and make a purchase.  If you ignore any of the search intentions, your website could miss out on sales and revenue.  Sand Key Ventures uses state-of-the-art technology for keyword research.  Not only do we consider search intent, but we also determine search volume and keyword difficulty when recommending keywords to our clients.  We have learned from experience selecting the right keywords is a critical first step when building new websites and creating new content for existing sites. To learn the basics of keyword research, read our blogpost, “5 Keyword Research Steps to Create Winning Content.”

Sand Key Ventures is a website company that focuses on user experience.  We write blogs that establish our client’s EEAT and drive revenue.  We also build new websites and provide SEO services to keep websites running clean and Google happy.  Call us at 727-249-2749 to discuss what Sand Key Ventures can do for you.  You can also send an email to  If you prefer to copy and paste the email link, it is

Thanks for your time, but now we’ve gotta run.  We have websites to build and audit, blogs to write, eCommerce to manage, and photos to edit.  Until next time, take care.