Optimizing Websites for Searcher Intent

Targeting keywords and content that will lead to high quality traffic and conversions

Keywords are one of the main elements for SEO. They act as the essential terms and phrases in website content that make it possible for search engines to understand your content. Keywords are typically products, services and information offered by your business. They should be relevant to what you do, and be something that a potential customer would likely enter into a search engine when looking for the products or services that you offer.

When your website is well optimized for a searcher’s intent, visitors can easily find and connect to your site. Spending the time to find the right keywords to target will help your site get high quality traffic and visitors that are likely to convert.

Identifying your target audience and understanding what your potential clients will be looking for are the first steps to choosing a good keyword set. First, think of who your target audience is. Are they homeowners? Professionals? Tourists? Identifying the audience and writing content tailored to their needs is essential to optimizing your site for searcher intent.

Begin brainstorming content and keywords for your target audience by asking yourself a few questions.

  • What content is relevant to their needs?
  • What knowledge do they already have of your industry?
  • What is the actual product or service they are looking for?

Writing Relevant Content

Once you’ve identified your potential clients, put yourself in their shoes. What will they come to your site looking for? A person looking for a cosmetic dentist will want to know what kind of procedures they offer and how to set up an appointment. A family trying to find a restaurant will likely want to see a menu and the hours the restaurant is open. You want your site to detail the services you offer, so that there are no questions about what you do and do not provide.

As always, it is important to remember that your content sounds natural and is grammatically correct. While it may be tempting to focus on jamming keywords into the content, keyword stuffing looks spammy and unnatural. This will not only be off-putting to potential customers; it could also draw ranking penalties from search engines.

The easiest, safest alternative is to simply write organic content. Writing content that speaks clearly and informatively will naturally use words and phrases that are associated with your keywords. Search engines use latent semantic indexing (LSI) to understand the content on your site. They will not only notice exact keywords in your content, but will also look for words or phrases that relate to those keywords.

For example, even though someone may theoretically type “Buy My Car” into Google, this phrase won’t fit naturally into content. In this case, transforming it into grammatically content targeting the same concept is a better approach.

Understanding Existing Knowledge

When choosing keywords and writing content about your business, it is wise to avoid using overly-technical jargon. The exception would be if you are a business-to-business company working with clients who are already experts in your field and familiar with the technical terminology of your services. In most cases you want to appeal to the everyday user who likely is not an expert in your field. Keywords and copy should be simple and easily digestible for the average user.

An effective way to speak to the typical user is to focus your content on offering solutions for the problems your clients might be facing. Instead of optimizing for a specific key-phrase such as “overflow tube replacement” (which assumes that your customer already knows what needs to be done), aim for more broad concepts such as “toilet repair”, “plumbing leak repair” or “handyman services”. In this case most potential customers would not be able to identify the name for each component of their septic system, but they do know that they need repair service. It is always a good practice to focus more on the overall solution that you are offering to solve their problem and leave the jargon behind.

Targeting Products and Services

When you are deciding what keywords to choose for your business, it’s crucial to choose terms that accurately describe your products and services. For example, if you run a clothing shop that is owned by a woman you wouldn’t want to optimize for a term like “woman-owned business,” even though it is indicative of the business. Think about it – a customer looking for high quality fashion isn’t going to search Google for “woman-owned business.” If they are looking for a “Woman Owned Business Awards Ceremony,” it may make sense, but in this case you’re better off targeting something like “women’s clothing” instead.

Another example to avoid is a keyword that partially describes your business. Let’s say you are a hotel owner and your hotel has a swimming pool. The keyword “swimming pool” by itself isn’t going to cut it. A user searching for “swimming pool” on Google is likely looking for a nearby swimming pool, a swimming pool store, or something directly related to swimming pools, not a hotel.

It’s also important to make sure you choose terms that your business actually provides. If you are a smoothie shop, optimizing for “ice cream” won’t suffice if you don’t actually offer ice cream. Even though ice cream is within the same realm as a smoothie, you’re misleading customers by optimizing for this keyword. They will move on from your site feeling disappointed and confused.

What We Want To Achieve In The End

Making sure your keywords accurately describe your business, relate to your products and services, and are true to what your business provides will help your site to be well-optimized for your target audience. Keep in mind, it’s also important to see the perspective of the client and understand what it is that they want. Take the time to consider what information the client will be typing into the search engines when searching for a specific product or service, and your SEO performance will benefit.