SEO Monday – Understanding Searcher Intent When Performing Keyword Research

By Joe


For today’s post, I’ll use the example of an ecommerce site called “Scott’s Premier TVs” that sells its own brand of televisions. Some notes to consider as we perform the keyword research that it is only selling its own brand and not other popular brands of televisions. Scott’s Premier TVs has positioned itself as more of a luxury-level brand, where its pricing is higher than most of its competitors. Lastly, the site currently only distributes TVs and no accessories or other electronic products.

The keyword tool I’ll be using for my research is Google AdWords Keyword Tool. I generally use the exact match setting to find more accurate search volume for given terms. To begin, I’ll be searching for general flat screen and tv-type terms like LCD and plasma, as shown on the slide. Looking at the first set of results, you’ll notice that there are several keywords that really aren’t that relevant towards my store’s offering. For example, you’ll notice that Samsung and Panasonic are two brands included in the suggestions.

Using the “exclude terms” section of the keyword tool, the first step I take is removing all other brands from the search to help reduce the clutter in my keyword suggestions.

Now when we look at the revised keyword suggestions in the tool, you can notice that all of the brands are now removed from the suggestions. However, there are still some irrelevant suggestions related to pricing that I’ll need to remove.

Using the “exclude terms” section of the keyword tool again, I can further refine the results to remove all sale-related terms. Although I generally recommend using various sale modifiers to ecommerce stores, because this site is a higher-end TV retail site, we would want to drive the wrong traffic to the site looking for TVs at a discount price.

We’ve further refined the results as shown on this slide and we’re starting to get some better keyword suggestions. However, there are still a few final type of keyword modifiers that are sticking out to me, revolving around keyword like “best” and “versus”.

In keyword research, it is very common to find modifiers like “best” and “top” for your target industry, especially when you’re an ecommerce site. Even though you may think it’s important to show in results for something like “best LCD TVs”, it’s important to understand common searcher’s intent on this query. Most searchers use modifiers like “best”, “top”, “compare” and so on to find review and comparison shopping sites to help them with their buying process. Because of this, it is safe to assume in the case of “Scott’s Premier TVs” that a searcher looking for “best LCD tvs” probably wants to view a site like Consumer Reports or CNET that has unbiased reviews rather than a site that is touting itself as having the best product. My last step is now excluding any comparison modifiers from my research.

My final result now shows keywords that are much more targeted towards the types of traffic I would like to bring to my site. If I wanted to go even further, I’d be able to remove certain sizes of screens, like a 37 inch flat screen, if those weren’t available in my case.