SEO Series No. 2 | Keyword Research Strategy - The Buyer Intent Funnel

July 3, 2015

Keyword Research SEO Strategy: Choose Your Keywords Carefully

Here at toinfinity digital marketing agency, we have put together a selection of lessons that break down Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) into simpler, easier-to-understand concepts. Our first blog was on the key elements that need to be part of an 'SEO Strategy That Works’.

Lesson number 2 of the series focuses on the most important on-page optimisation element of the technical SEO strategy, which is keyword research.

This article is going to look in detail at the process you need to adopt to conduct successful keyword research, making sure you pick the right keywords for your website (the starting point for any website).

Keywords are the words that are targeted on your website to make sure that when someone types in a word associated with your business into the search engines your website shows up in the results.

If you pick the wrong words you could end up optimising your site for words that have too high competition (therefore you will not rank) or for words that have little to no association with the products or services you offer (which will also mean that you will not rank).

Without successfully carrying out the detailed research into these areas your website will not perform to your expectations or drive targeted traffic to your website.

Most companies when undertaking their keyword research, think about the words associated with their website within the business/industry that they want to rank for. The majority of people immediately focus on category keywords (head keywords). These are words that are broad (generic) terms associated with your industry and have a very high number of people searching for these terms on a monthly basis within the search engines.

For example, a person who owns a website selling men’s sport shoes may want to rank for the keyword of shoes. This although intrinsically positioned to the company is too broad (are they men’s shoes, sports shoes, formal shoes, horse shoes, etc…). Head keywords by definition are too broad and therefore generally not best to optimise your site against. These keywords also have a low buyer intent based on their broad nature (see infographic below).

With this in mind it is more beneficial to go after targeted lower search volume body keywords (“mens sport shoes”) and long tail keyword variants (“mens sport running shoes”).

From the keyword funnel below you can see a graphical representation of this data, showing that as search volume decreases, the buyer intent increases.

SEO Strategy: The Keyword Volume and Buyer Intent Funnel


As you can see from the above image, it is better to optimise your website for keywords that are used by customers further along the buying cycle than people searching for broad market keywords.

Body and Tail keywords generally have lower competition (easier to rank for these terms) and have a higher CPC in Adwords (meaning that these words are converting as people are bidding high to show for that term within the Adwords platform).

Head keywords are also a bad idea to solely optimise for based on their “research” properties. If someone has little knowledge of the industry they will search first for a head and then drill down based on their research to a more specific query. It would be better to optimise for specific queries rather than broad terms.

When optimising your webpages you should include a range of keywords and focus on building the page around head, body and tail words. This way you focus on creating broad topic ranking pages that are seen within Google as authority pages on a subject.

Keyword research should be carried out on new websites, new category pages and any new piece of content (even blogs require keyword research). It is an area of SEO that should be reviewed constantly and especially if your site is not performing (after undertaking a technical SEO audit).

Research into keywords should not be taken lightly or skimmed over, failure to do this area right can have devastating effects.

Want to know more about the keyword research process and the other areas that make up technical SEO, visit our on-page technical SEO strategy page by here.

Part 3 of the SEO strategy series will be uploaded shortly, where we look in detail at “How To Carry Out A Technical Audit Of Your Website” to make sure your on-page is optimised.

Do you feel confident enough to undertake keyword research on your own? If not, by working with a dedicated SEO expert, the team at toinfinity can bring together insight into your keyword research from numerous sources and data elements. Then call us on 01793 238697, or, to see how we can help boost your rankings.


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