Stop Targeting Keywords, Target Behaviors

Regardless of whether your online marketing campaign utilizes  SEM (search engine marketing) or SEO (search engine optimization), keywords are responsible for translating intent.

Stop Targeting Keywords, Target Search Behavior Instead

Stop Targeting Keywords, Target Search Behavior Instead

Keywords are the words people use when trying to get a point across or more specifically find something. As such, their language is already closer akin to Morse code, whereby using essential connections with rudimentary words connected by context often works more effectively than typing in elaborate sentences full of flowery verbs and adjectives.

Before you optimize your web pages for keywords for keyword sake, take a moment to think about the behavior sponsoring the thought or the impulse to (a) use the web to begin with and (b) the most efficient use of words possible that a person in need would type in.

Many times I have taken the path of least resistance and just used words straight out of keyword research tools and sat back anticipated a deluge of traffic, only to be disappointed due to the fact that the keyword was not ripe with commerce by context alone.

Modifiers are the Fabric of Search Engines

For example, if someone is in pain, then it’s all about relief. Relief can be summarized with additional modifiers such as help, fix or the words stop. By understanding the context of the objective (finding a remedy) and coupling it with search engine / Morse code (to summarize typing time), then key phrases emerge such as stop ear ache pain or stop lower back pain or help alleviate back pain vs. just targeting the keywords ear ache or lower back pain.

It is the same audience, yet the searches that incorporate behavior as a contingent are taking others into account that may use more descriptive keyword modifiers.

Use Modifiers to Target Motivated Buyers

The first advantage a lower threshold of competition and lower competing pages which often translates as less optimization time and the second advantage is emotional modifiers broaden the conversion funnel (since there are people with real intent behind them).

In this scenario, catering to a motivated buyer that is looking for a remedy vs. using a dry keyword root that could have education queries attached allows you to extract the context of commerce whenever possible.

The takeaway is behavior is predictable, educational queries on the other hand can send false positives on analytics. The difference is looking past figurative meanings and learning how to be more pliable and adapt a direct response mentality when positioning your landing pages for conversion.

Additional Keyword Resources

In closing, here are additional resources covering keywords, context, modifiers and intent from the SEO Design Solutions Blog.

Coupled with the right tact, you can transform conversion levels dramatically by making granular changes through augmenting your landing pages targeted keywords.

Being first only matters if a prospect typed in a specific keyword. Each additional in a search query produces a different array of search results.

By being more descriptive and focusing on a broader array of modifiers people use to hone intent, you can target root phrases with high traffic and demand by simply adding selective and relevant modifiers to offset the more generic cookie-cutter keyword-research derived duds (which do not always consider intent as a competitive advantage).

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3 Comments

  1. Caijunjia
    Posted September 7, 2009 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    Contents of the article you have put it very well, I am from China, SEO, since more than I learn from you.

  2. James
    Posted September 8, 2009 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    I like to visit your blog and it is have interesting writings about SEO. I have implemented some of your suggestions on my blog. I hope it will increase will my ranking in google.

  3. Gary
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the tips. I need to add some tweaks to my site.

3 Trackbacks

  1. [...] of the consumer trying to reach your specific product or service, you can come up with other popular modifiers that bring eager consumers bearing credit cards with the intent to [...]

  2. [...] Keywords and Modifiers, How People Find your Website Stop Targeting Keywords Target Behaviors [...]

  3. By uberVU - social comments on February 12, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jeffrey_Smith: Stop Targeting Keywords, Target Search Behavior Instead http://bit.ly/EDvOK

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