Last Updated: March 27, 2021
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What Are High Intent Keywords?

High intent keywords are keywords that indicate the searcher knows what they are looking for and is about to make a purchase. They can be contrasted with ‘awareness’ and ‘consideration’ keywords.

These are keywords that people type into search engines when they are gathering information about a topic or a product.

high intent keywords

What is Keyword Intent?

Keyword intent is the purpose the searcher had when they typed their search query into Google. It’s also known as search intent, searcher intent, and query intent.

The intent behind a keyword is a vital part of search engine optimization. In fact, it’s the key to getting your pages ranked on Google.

Let's say you manage to get your article on Page #1 of Google for a certain keyword. If your blog post or web page does not address the intent behind that keyword, searchers who click on your article will quickly return to the search results when they realize that your page doesn't answer their question.

The Google algorithm will notice this and it will start to push your page down the search results.

On the other hand, if your page addresses the intent behind the keyword better than any other page in the search results, Google will push you page higher up the search results until eventually you reach Position #01

Three Kinds of Keyword Intent

Broadly speaking, when people go to a search engine, they type in one of three different kinds of search queries:

  1. Navigational
  2. Informational
  3. Transactional

Navigational searches are when a searcher types in the name of a website, such as CNN or Amazon, or YouTube. 

You don’t have to have a brand name to do a navigational search. A person might have forgotten the name of the website so they type in a description of what it does. For example, someone looking for Etsy might type in “platform that sells handmade products”. 

But what makes a navigational search different from any other kind of search is that the searcher wants to go to a specific website that they already know about.

An informational search is a search for information (no surprises here). An example would be “distance from New York to Los Angeles”, or “smallest country in Africa”, or “convert ounces to grams”.

A transactional search is a search by someone who wants to buy something. An example would be “running shoes for men”, or “wall mounting for TV”.

High Intent Keywords

High intent keywords, also known as ‘buyer keywords’, are keywords that indicate that the searcher wants to purchase something or complete some other kind of transaction, such as apply for a credit card or make an appointment.

In other words, high intent keywords are transactional. 

Of course, some transactional keywords have higher intent than others.

For example, “buy dslr camera under $1000” is a transactional keyword but it doesn't have as much intent behind it as “buy Nikon D7100”. With the first keyword, the searcher wants to buy a camera but they haven't decided which one. With the second keyword, the searcher knows exactly which camera they want to buy, so the intent is much higher.

High intent keyword phrases often contain these words:

  • Buy
  • Get
  • Purchase
  • Deals
  • Coupons
  • Free shipping
  • Discount
  • Cheapest
  • Affordable
  • Top
  • Review
  • Comparison

Brand names are usually high intent keywords (Samsung Galaxy, Nike, GoPro, etc).

And product categories can also be intent keywords:

  • interior roller blinds
  • coffee machine
  • mountain bike.

How to Find High Intent Keywords

The easiest and most direct way of finding high intent keywords related to your product or service is to combine your keyword with a high intent keyword modifier:

  • Affordable
  • Benchmarks
  • Best
  • Best deals
  • Best price
  • Best range
  • Buy
  • Cheap
  • Compare
  • Comparison
  • Cool
  • Coupon
  • Discount
  • Fastest
  • Find
  • Get
  • Lightest
  • List
  • Locate
  • Popular
  • Prices
  • Pricing
  • Promo code
  • Pros and cons
  • Quickest
  • Ratings
  • Review
  • Smallest
  • Test
  • Versus
  • Vs.
  • Where to buy

Try combining these keyword modifiers with a brand name, a product term, or the type of service you offer.

Finally, remember that the more specific your keyword, the greater the intent behind that keyword. So, for example, the following keywords have higher intent as you go down the list:

  • microwave oven
  • microwave oven under $300
  • convection microwave oven under $300
  • 40 liter convection microwave oven under $300

Frequently Asked Questions

What is keyword intent?

Keyword intent is the user's purpose behind the search. It’s the problem the user was trying to solve when they typed the query into the search engine. Understanding keyword intent is a vital part of SEO because the content that ranks highest in search engines is the content that best matches the keyword intent.

What is a high intent keyword?

High intent keywords tend to be keyword phrases that contain at least three keywords. For example, ‘digital camera’ is not a high intent keyword. But ‘point and shoot digital camera under $800’ is a high intent keyword. The person who typed that query into a search engine knows what kind of camera he or she is going to buy.

Where can I find high intent keywords?

The easiest way to find high intent keywords is to start typing your mian keyword into Google Search and look at the ‘Google Auto Suggest’ items that appear. These will be long tail keywords related to your main keyword. You can also look at the ‘Related Searches’ keywords at the foot of the search results - those may also contain high intent keywords related to your main keyword.

What are the 3 common types of search intent?

The three common types of searcher intent are:

Navigational - the user is looking for a specific page or site. For example, someone who types ‘Facebook’ or ‘Wikipedia’ into Google is performing a navigational search

Informational - the user wants to answer a specific question. Someone who types in how many ounces in a gram is performing an informational search.

Transactional - the user is looking for information with a view to making a purchase. For example, someone who types in ‘best earbuds under $200’ is performing a transactional search.

Rob Powell
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