Buyer Intent Keywords: Everything You Need to Know

January 1, 2024
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‍Many people think that SEO is about traffic. But that’s not true. Of course, SEO will impact increasing your traffic if you do it right. But ultimately, the goal of SEO is to grow profits. Its essence comes down to pushing new consumers to purchase a product. The correct choice of keywords at each stage of the selling funnel is crucial to boost your profits. In this article, we’ll discuss how to analyze and use the buyer intent keywords.

Buyer Intent Keywords

Why Intent is Important

‍What are buyer keywords? These are words specific for each intent the potential client has on their buyer’s journey. Misunderstanding of the process leads to irregularities in keyword research. At the same time, marketers make two mistakes:

  • They look at the monthly search volume for a specific keyword
  • Then, compare this indicator with that of another word.

‍It’s certainly a good start, but it’s not always enough. The problem is that this approach creates a giant hole in your SEO strategy. By only comparing search volume and competition between keywords, you start making questionable decisions. You choose the most frequently searched keyword and start competing with other companies. It’s like a popularity contest: Keywords are selected for their ability to drive traffic rather than their ability to convert.

‍And it is this problem that we will consider today in the article. You’ll find the “missing ingredient” for your keyword research and learn how to get not only traffic but more leads and customers. But first, you need to connect your keyword research to something you’re already familiar with: the buyer’s journey.

Buyer Intent Keywords

‍The theory surrounding the need for store inspection brings us back to the product. The higher the price and the more complex it is, the more often the desire to look at it in person arises. And this is not without meaning. When you buy socks online, you only need to know the exact size. But if you’re going to spend a fortune on a new jacket, you’ll probably want to make sure it fits you well.

‍What this means for companies is that we live in an omnichannel world. People don’t just scrutinize things online before buying them. They also research products offline and buy online—and vice versa.

‍Google calls this research stage Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT). Their data shows that almost all consumers today conduct intensive product research before purchasing while slowing down the stages of the buyer’s journey.

Buyer Intent on Different Stages

‍Here’s a perfect example of what consumers experience when they get sick. Awareness/awareness stage: “I have a sore throat, a fever, and my whole body aches. What is wrong with me?” Thinking/Analyzing Stage: “Aha! I have a sore throat. What can I do to reduce or eliminate these symptoms? Decision stage: “I can go to a therapist at the clinic, call an ambulance, or go to a commercial hospital. The last one is expensive, but I have a health insurance policy.”

‍A healthy person will never buy cough medicine. Why does he need them? He doesn’t need it yet. Only when the throat begins to hurt does the consumer realize the problem. Then, the buyer considers all alternative treatment options, and this is not an easy process because the choice is now huge.

‍Now we know more or less what customers do before buying. We aim to build a conversion funnel matching each step they take. Consumers entirely own the shopping experience. They shop how they want when they want. No amount of advertising or campaigning will change this. Don’t fight it. Instead, adapt and respond accordingly.

Content Mapping

‍Create pages for every step of the buyer’s journey. This is called content mapping: you take each ideal buyer and figure out what they want to see at the awareness, consideration, and decision stages.

‍Content mapping based on the image of the ideal buyer. First, you must choose a perfect customer that reflects their problem, describe it, and prepare content for all the stages. Let’s give an example. Client: Jimmy, gym owner. Problem: Jimmy only recently became the gym owner. He is new. He needs to buy equipment but is unsure where to start, what budget he’ll need, etc. Content Ideas for the Awareness Stage: A Beginner’s Guide to Exercise Equipment (eBook). Content ideas for the analysis stage: template for calculating equipment costs (Excel table). Content ideas for the decision-making stage: the ability to request the equipment cost and estimate the price of the necessary pieces by phone.

Buyer Intent Keywords

How to Search for Keywords by Funnel Stage

‍Capitalize on relevant terms at every stage of the buyer’s journey: in the offer title and excerpts, on the landing page, in the CTA buttons, subject lines, and in the email body copy. During the awareness stage, use words that reflect the problem and opportunity: troubleshoot, problem, solve, risk, update, improve, optimize, and prevent. At the thinking stage, words related to the solution are solution, provider, service, supplier, tool, device/device, software/software, and device/tool. At the decision-making stage – words related to comparison, review: compare, against, vs., comparison, pros and cons, criterion, review, test/experiment.

‍People in the awareness stage often use “problem” or “opportunity”: they are just starting to recognize their pain points. Maybe that’s how you found the post you’re reading now. Why did you click on this link and not one of the hundreds of others you came across today? Because the topic is close to you.

‍The thinking/analysis stage occurs when people start looking for a solution and enter the words “program,” “utility,” or “service” into search engines to solve the problem. Here, they compare alternatives. It may turn out that five different software options solve their problem. Therefore, they begin to consider the parameters according to which this or that solution is more suitable for them.

‍Finally, keywords like “reviews,” “criteria,” or “tests” can help make your final decision.

‍Of course, real life is a little more complex and nuanced. But try not to complicate things. The three groups presented are good candidates to include in your buyer keywords research.

‍When you start researching, you won’t just study search volume and competitive terms. You’ll start with the stages of the funnel, for example, specifically looking for words that fit the awareness stage. And only then will you move on to the volume of requests and competing words for each stage. This way, you compare requests at the same stage of the funnel.

‍It’s time to add another essential piece to the puzzle: the landing page. Keyword research will be meaningless without pages to optimize. Therefore, look at examples for each funnel step to see how to proceed.

Step 1: Top of the Funnel

‍The combination “New York” is entered into search engines a million times monthly. Incredible! It would be great to get at least a piece of this traffic! But you know what? Most of this traffic would be entirely useless for those selling products or services that have nothing to do with this keyword (we’re not talking about advertising revenue).

‍”New York” is too generic, the search intent behind it is unclear, and, accordingly, it is impossible to determine precisely how to optimize the page for it. People can search for weather forecasts, show prices and tickets, or search for hotels. And it’s not just that. You are generally entering the territory of players with much larger budgets than yours.

‍That’s why it makes sense to use an approach known as the Long-Tail Approach for the top-of-funnel buyer keyword list. You can target a ton of less competitive queries that also mention the problem you’re solving.

‍Let’s take the phrase “landing page.” People won’t Google it and convert right away. But you can quickly implement similar keywords into your blog.

‍You send visitors to your blog first so that you can later take them to other pages on your site or retarget them later with ads.

‍Let’s give one more tip on generating new keywords at the top of the funnel.

‍Write down all the difficulties experienced by your clients. Provide a solution by highlighting the benefits of your product or service. Take these potential topics and start creating categories for your blog. Now, see if you can attach the following top-of-funnel keyword modifiers to each of them:

  • Correction.
  • Question.
  • Problem.
  • Problem-solving.
  • Update.
  • Prevention.

‍ow, see if you can find several related “clusters” of this buyer intent keyword. If you have a viral keyword, it can serve as a general category for more specific options below.

‍In addition to generating traffic, sections with instructions for action help turn random visitors into leads.

Step 2. The Middle Part of the Funnel

‍Users in the analysis stage are looking for options. They need solutions to the problems they have just realized. They no longer just enter “New York” but “Hostel New York.” Objective changes are required here: from pages that attract visitors’ attention, you need to move to those that will make people “stick” to the screen for a long time.

‍Someone interested in a blog article about an issue isn’t going to spend three hours on your site. The time and energy that the visitor is willing to pay should increase proportionally. Once you see precise engagement, use detailed resources like guides to keep users reading and returning for more.

‍Remember what we learned earlier? Consumers research at least ten different options before purchasing. Do you want these ten steps on your site or someone else’s?

‍Let’s repeat the process we implemented earlier. Highlight the same key product or service benefits. But this time, use the following keyword variations:

  • Solution.
  • Provider.
  • Provider.
  • Salesman.
  • Comparison.
  • Software.
  • Functions/features.

‍People at this stage compare alternatives. You must not just “tell” them about your functions but literally show them.

‍What does all of the above have to do with buying keywords? Everything! You need to transform the initial interest in the middle of the funnel. People are looking for answers. The keywords they use to search for a specific page create an expectation. When they type “landing page,” they expect to find something specific. If the content on the page is not what they expected, they click the back button. So, what happens to your search rankings? He falls like a stone from a cliff.

Step 3: Bottom of the Funnel

‍You’ve looked at several hotels for your upcoming trip to New York. What will you do next? You will begin to compare different price options. Now comes the most stressful moment: you are ready to decide. But only after weighing all the options. At this moment, the so-called “Branded Queries” appear, including the brand name or its variations. You will start entering dates and comparing the cost of living in different hostels.

‍Consumers in the decision-making stage also use queries such as:

  • Pros and cons.
  • Criteria (comparisons).
  • Reviews.
  • Ratings.
  • Price.

‍If you are looking for the “best CRMs,” then you will look at the cost of each such system during the decision stage.


‍Traditional keyword research is often doomed to failure because marketers only look at search volume and the frequency of certain mentions. If a company has the strength to fight for certain terms, it will choose those with the best traffic indicators. First, you need to look at the stages of the funnel and how you can help people at each stage. Only then do you dive into comparing search volume and competition between keywords. You have to make sure that two keywords are directly related before you can choose one of them. You are then motivated to explore different variations of words to identify many related themes. And this is where SEO comes in.

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