Intent Is Key When Choosing Target Keywords

By January 20, 2010 SEO No Comments

A recent blog post on SEOmoz covered the important issue of keyword targeting for improved search engine optimization and increased conversions. Those of you who spend your days immersed in the world of SEO are well-versed in the language of keywords, but this quick refresher article written by SEOmoz’s CEO is beneficial in helping to clear up common issues such as:

  • How many keywords can be targeted on a page?
  • Should all of the most important terms be targeted on the home page?
  • When should I target similar phrases together, and when should I split them up?

The article, entitled Keyword Targeting: How to Employ Multiple Keywords for SEO & Conversions, takes the reader through four basic steps of keyword targeting:

  1. Assembling your keywords by broad association
  2. Determining intent and segment
  3. Designing hierarchy according to usability and natural fit
  4. Laying out keyword targeting plans

Each of these phases is essential for effective keyword targeting, but the one we found to be especially important to remember was number 2: Determining intent and segment. You could target three keywords that a page is guaranteed to rank for, but if those keywords don’t match the user’s intent when searching on that page, you are not going to get the conversions you want. To avoid this problem you need to look closely at the information on each page and figure out what visitors want to gain from it. Visitor experience needs to be first and foremost in your mind when deciding which keywords to target on each page.

When considering visitor intent and experience, it is helpful to draw upon Danny Sullivan’s coined phrase of “reverse broadcast system.” This term explores the idea of active online searches, and how they create a unique way of receiving advertisements and other promotional media. In traditional advertisements, such as those on television and the radio, people receive advertisements, promotions, and informational messages passively. However, when a user jumps on the Internet to look for an answer to his or her question, he or she is actively seeking out specific information. Advertisers can capitalize on this, because they can reach people at the exact time they are searching for a product or service they want.

This is important to keep in mind when analyzing a user’s intent for your website. Visitors to each page have arrived there because they are seeking specific information. If they don’t find what they are looking for, they are going to move on, and your website is going to suffer from high bounce rates, low conversion rates, and a slew of other problems.

The bottom line? You may want your website to do a lot of things, but if it doesn’t meet users’ needs, it isn’t going to be effective. Figure out what your users want, and you will be well on your way to achieving search optimization happiness.

Here at Fathom we employ the four basic steps for keyword targeting, and we pride ourselves on optimizing each web page for specific user needs. However, we also take keyword selection to a new level by using our proprietary tool, the Keyword Refinery. This unique tool allows us to effectively rate a plethora of keywords at one time, based on a distinct set of factors. You benefit from premium keyword ranking and selection services when you rely on Fathom.

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