Search Marketing · Spotlight

Know Your Customer — Know Their Keywords

Do you ever wonder why some traffic makes you money and other traffic doesn’t? The answer is so obvious that it’s a proverb: Not all traffic is created equal.

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Let’s take that old saying apart to see if it can deliver a return on investment for you. Let’s look into why some traffic makes money and everything else is a waste of server resources.

By the end of this brief guide you will know how to tease short- and long-term sales prospects out of your traffic reports. You’ll have a better idea of what your prime visitors are thinking, a better shot at converting them, a better map for finding more visitors just like them.

Understand The Searcher’s Needs

It’s no wonder that referral traffic from a celebrity site doesn’t want to fill out an auto-loan application. Similarly, I’m not surprised that someone searching “buy pink sandals” spends money on pink sandals.

It’s often easy to forget that there is actually a person sitting on the other side of the screen as you look at your analytics. When you’re thumbing through your keywords, take a deep dive into what that person wants to accomplish.

I know that sometimes search queries can be incoherent (take, for example, “apple mesh cats”) but what the person needs is often pretty clear. If you dig through your keywords you’ll probably find that most of them have some sort of consumer intent attached to them.

Two Key Types of Consumer Intent

Consumer intent can be the backbone of conversion. If you look at the big picture, people searching online are trying to do one of two things.

They either want to be entertained or they want to solve a current or future problem. Sure there are outliers, but these are the main two.

So, if our goal is to increase sales, we want to take a good look at problem-solvers because they’re the ones spending money.

Those Solving Current Problems

In your keyword report, find words that point to different stages of awareness of a problem. Now, awareness is a whole different topic, but suffice it to say that people searching for “buy” or “review” are very likely to be spending money in the near future.

These visitors have a current problem, understand the problem and are ready to solve it.

Get these people to your sales page in the fewest possible steps. Identify where they’re coming from, and find keywords with similar intent.

Then there are those who are just researching a product, service or industry, and they come from all over the place. They may come in with on your branded keywords or from long-tail terms. They’re the ones you want to cultivate as future buyers.

These people aren’t ready to commit, so an order page is not relevant to them. Ideally, you want to drive these visitors to a page that educates them about their problem and, incidentally, which shows them how your product solves said problem.

If you’re smart, you will persuade the researchers to accept a special offer in return for their E-mail address. That’s how you get a more captive audience, one that you can further educate about the problem and your solution.

Don’t Overlook Consumer Intent

Sure, consumer intent sounds like commonsense. It is. That’s why even seasoned pros need to be reminded not to take it for granted. Forget the audience, forget the business.

Nothing converts better than an intimate knowledge of your audience’s motivation. The traffic you understand is far more valuable than any other traffic. Look at your keywords. Learn from them what your potential buyers need at this instant. Educate researchers, and close with buyers.

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Nick Reese is a strategic thinker, change maker and over-happy dude. As an affiliate marketer, Nick has grown his business to bring in more than $1M a year in commissions. Nick is best known for his book, "How to Turn Traffic and Trust into Sales," about building a long-term business around affiliate marketing. For more about Nick, see trafficandtrust.com, and you can tweet @nickreese.
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3 thoughts on “Know Your Customer — Know Their Keywords

  1. I want to add my two cents to “Those Solving Current Problems” section. This is a great suggestion to remember that there is a person with the intention to solve a current problem on the other end of keywords . As a company, you want to make sure that your online reputation is going to solve that person’s problem and not defer them to your competition.

  2. There is no question of overlooking customer intent but the question is to define the customer intent. This is the toughest jobs. A lot of people mention out comprehensive keyword research but are they really performing it. I do not think there are any tools on internet which tell about customer intent but I generally take the help of Google insights to understand the kind of slang used in the specific region. It just gives me the nearest result & not the exact result.

  3. Hi Nick, this is a very nice post

    i have tried publish my posts titles with the words “review” and “Know More” + the keywords i have in my Google analytics report…

    This maked a big diference in how much visits my website have in a week. but the bounce rate in the posts with this words like “review” and “Know More” has grown much.

    My Tip: Prepare a nice content with keywords you have found in your analytics repor,t but becareful with the content, if yours costumers find your page with his keywords this page need to have a great content.