Search engines analyze several on-page elements to determine ranking, including the contextual nature of the page content itself. So how can you improve that contextual relevance? Through the inclusion of more appropriate keywords of course!
Keywords and key phrases are arguably one of the most important elements of your ranking – choose wisely and the likelihood that you’ll be “found” by users increases dramatically. But there’s a lot more to be considered including the volume of searches conducted in a specific time frame, the level of competition, and of course, the intent of the user.
User intent is by far the most important as it relates to improving the keyword relevancy of individual pages so let’s take a closer look at what users really want when they conduct queries on popular search engines like Google and Bing and how you can prepare your website to accommodate these users.
There are three types of searches that users conduct:
informational, navigational and transactional
Informational searches are those where users are focused on finding an answer to their question, insights on the issue they are dealing with, and guidance to simply get things done. Information-based queries are likely the bulk of most websites organic search (perhaps even paid search) traffic and the majority of your evergreen content optimization efforts will focus almost exclusively on these type of search terms and phrases. To actually optimize for these type of searches, consider developing content that answers questions, explains topics and showcases solutions to common challenges. Solving the informational query challenge can be achieved by focusing on Knowledge-Based Optimization.
Navigational searches are those where users are looking for a particular brand, product or service and tend to use the exact search term or phrase related to it. If you’re the only brand providing said product or service, optimization is rather simple and straightforward. The liberal use of that specific keyword or keyphrase repeatedly throughout titles, page descriptions, page content and anchor text to other internal pages will nearly ensure that you’ll be found on those terms in the future. Make sure that those brand related terms (for your products and services) are quite unique however as selecting a term or phrase shared by any other could result in diluting the efficacy of your efforts.
Transactional searches are those where users have a very specific intent (or at least a greater intent) to actually purchase something. These query types tend to include particular brand terms and include action words such as buy, purhcase or order. Tranactional and navigational searches are similar but the intent is often quite different. The complexity of optimizing for these type of terms is similar to that of navigational searches.
So what types of keywords should you optimize your pages for? There’s no one single answer, but consider focusing almost exclusively on informational queries for the bulk of those pages where products and services are not actively being sold or marketed and let the conversion and landing pages developed for that exclusive purpose serve to satisfy the navigational and transactional queries.