How to move from keyword research to intent research


Have you ever seen the job description of a content strategist? Lemme show you one spectacular example by Verizon. (hint: it's about keyword research).

keyword research

And for good reason too. You need to have an eye for detail when you are doing your keyword research. Content strategists scourge the net to find out topics for blog posts and other types of content based on popularity and business niche. You also need to have an eye for detail for researching keywords which are suitable for PPC campaigns.

Keyword research tools

There are many many tools out there for doing your keyword research, some free, some not. However, today I will focus on three major comprehensive tools. These tools are primarily used by content strategists for content creation, like blogs and infographics.

Don’t get me wrong, but this tool literally (no, I’m kidding, how can it literally shit) does a shit ton of keywords.

Let’s see. I type “keyword research” because that’s what we are talking about. And I make them shit keywords.

keyword research tool1

You will see that keywords start appearing as time passes, and goes on and on.

Like I said, it shits a lot. You literally have to beg them to stop their graceful job.

keyword research tool 2

If you go through the list, you will see tremendous variations of this particular keyword. It short, all the searches ever made. You see keywords of varying lengths, of varying languages and so on and so forth.

But where does all this list of keywords come from? Is it reliable?

Yes sir, its very authentic.

keyword research tool 3

It comes from Google autocomplete tools.

But what makes this particular tool more lovable is that it allows you to keep positive and negative keywords, so that you don’t get a list of keywords with unwanted words.

So, if I am looking for WordPress and not WordPress services, the results appear the way you want. Or if you are looking for WordPress services and not free WordPress services or tutorials or courses or etc., you can put those in the positive filters’ list and they’ll do the job for you.

Checklist 2019: 9 SEO Steps to rank higher

Answer the public is a fantastic tool for marketers looking for popular topics under their niche and to write blogs upon it too.

For example, I want to know topics about Mandragora, the DJ. I do not specify that I want to know about the musician Mandragora.

And I see results within seconds.

Turns out, there are many things Google associates with Mandragora. For example, I never knew that mandragora is a species of plant in the Potato family! I always thought Mandrakes are a myth which happen only in Harry Potter!!


Anyways, continuing with the results...ahem...

Turns out there is some association with Ragnarök and mobile games and mandragora.


answer the public

And the most genius part of this tool is that they use prepositions such as “without” “with”, “to” etc. which people like you and me use to google.

Its only after I scroll down quite a bit to the COMPARISONS part (example “verses” or “or”) that I see some signs of what I was actually searching for: the mandragora DJ.


Turns out people google a lot about who is a better musician: Mandragora or 4i20?

content ideas

Hmm…if I was a blogger for Mandragora, I could write about this!

You see, that’s why I love this tool. Any and every content strategist must explore this tool. They won’t regret it. You wont regret it. I know, I don’t.

But waaait a minute now… How exactly does Answer the public get all this juicy data from? Is it reliable?

Hell yeah, its reliable. It gets all this juice from Google’s Keyword planner.

This tool is actually a sweet little free little chrome extension. (Sing it like Sheldon's song)

sheldon's song

This gem works across 16 websites! That might not sound like much to you now, but just a minute:

These 16 websites include, Google search console, Ubersuggest, Amazon, YouTube, ANSWER THE PUBLIC and even KEYWORD SHITTER.



But what exactly does this extension do?

It shows the average CPC of every and any keyword you ever search for. You will also be able to see the monthly average volume of search taking place for that particular keyword or long tail keywords.

This tool is useful for both organic and paid traffic keyword research. For organic traffic, you will find out if the keywords are relevant to your niche or not, and if people actually search for it or not. For paid traffic, you will again, find out keywords are specific for your business and how much does the keyword cost.

SEO vs SEM keyword research

Let me tell you the difference between keywords RELEVANT to your NICHE and keywords SPECIFIC to your BUSINESS.

search intent

Keyword research Is not done for organic SERPs alone. To rank higher than your competitors, you need to play the keyword hunting game again.

Except now, it comes in the form of a sniffer dog…you need to sniff out the search intent.

I used the comparison of sniffer dogs because they are experts in sniffing out bad stuff. Not because they are cute. They are, though.

Dogs sniff fear. You sniff user intent.

user intent

Why is search intent or user intent important?

Let me give you an example of why search intent is important.

Let's just say you own a translation service for businesses.

Translating is what your business specifies on. So, "translate" must be a sexy keyword to look out for, right?

" width=

Google "translate". What do you see?

" width=

Do you see any ads? I mean, do you see any ads related to your business? Any of your competitors popping up here?


Do ads even appear in these SERPs? 

I go to the seventh page of SERPs and still not see any ads related to business translation services.

What if I search for "business translation"? 

how to do keyword research

Woah, I see the other players in this industry here! And the CPC is $4!! I also see ads here... It means despite having a search volume comparatively lower that the "keyword" "translate", my rival must be finding it worth enough to bid $4 for this term.

What about adding a long-tail keyword to this mix : "business translation services"?

how to do intent research

Damnnn $17.86 CPC and 480 monthly searches?! Highly targeted and worthy keyword!!

You see why search intent is important? When you are advertising on Google, you need to be mindful of the keywords you use in PPC campaigns. If you take a keyword which has huge amount of traffic but no conversions at all, your business could drown.

intent research

Also, when you are advertising on Google, you need to be mindful of the various algorithms in play behind every click.

So how do you choose keywords based on search intent for search engine marketing? Well, you need to have eye for detail and choose: 

  1. 1. Keywords related and relevant to your business
  2. 2. Keywords having high search volume.
  3. 3. Keywords with (preferably) low CPC.
  4. 4. Long Tail Keywords (BONUS)

How do you know if your final key PPC words are targeted and search-intent oriented?

It's simple.

Google. And have that Keywords Everywhere extension working.

Now enter the keywords you chose for SEM and see if your competitors’ ads are being seen or not.

No, don’t look for your ad, see what your competitors are doing and what keywords they are bidding on.

If your keywords don’t show any ads related to your business whatsoever, don’t use the keyword.

search engine marketing

That is the first red signal you must look out for.

To be sure this keyword isn’t worth bidding on, go through the organic SERPs and figure out if the results are more information oriented or sales oriented.  If they are not adsy, then you must really consider chucking this keyword from your budding list.

True, it may have an amazing search volume monthly. And an extremely low CPC as well. It could also be very natural-speech sounding and even have long tail keywords. But don’t bid on it. People searching for these keywords are not willing to swipe their credit cards for you.


There is a reason I mentioned “preferably” low CTC.

Often, the best way to instantly decide if the chosen keyword is worth paying for is to see how much is the average CPC. Is it high? Then your competitors must be finding it worthy enough to pay big bucks for it.


intent research

Now comes the bonus round: long tail keywords.

Why must you bid for long tail keywords?

You must bid for long tail keywords (which are usually LSI keywords as well) because:

  1. a) Data states that long tail keywords get higher conversions.
  2. b) The competition is low
  3. c) The CPC is low
  4. d) And, ofcourse, people are ready to buy your product.
lsi keywords

Well, when you are a newbie in the industry, bidding for low competition keywords (usually long tail keywords) increases your authority in whatever niche you are in. This is because people searching for “gardening” are many (673000, to be exact), but people searching for “gardening pots” slowly start being specific about what they want.

lsi keywords

Notice how the search volume decreases greatly (its 3090 now). And even the SERPs are all sales-oriented. This means here, the search intent is to swipe cards for you.

If you search for “plastic gardening pots”, you see ads and SERPs still sales oriented. Search volume narrows down to 1300/month.

long tail keywords

Let’s get more specific: how about “decorative indoor flower pots”?

Search volume is 390/month. CPC is $0.19. You also see ads and this defines the user-intent very clearly - BUY

long tail keywords 2

User intent and voice search

Enough about user intent and search intent and intent research and bla bla.

Let's talk about voice search now. And how user intent is important here as well.

voice search over the years

This was the scenario of voice search back in 2016. And it was mainly non-digital-marketing queries such as "Call mom".

google voice search report

One year later, Google released an eye-opening report on how voice search can potentially be a game-changer in the marketing universe.

People would love to get great deals by just speaking, and not typing. People want to get their needs fulfilled easily and exactly the way they want (one word: personalisation).

local seo

One year after Google published that report, BrightLocal did an in-depth study about the changing tides and THIS is very interesting in the digital-marketing aspect.

Just look at the actions taken by the voice searches after performing a search :

  1. a) Most people called the business (a lead which can be converted)
  2. b)The second majority visited the business' website (potential client)
  3. c) Others directly visited the local business (extremely potential client!)
  4. d) Others researched about the business and others like them. (a lead, nevertheless)

Voice vs text search queries 

seo and voice search

Let's go back to our favourite example: Decorative indoor flower pots. Since I don't have to type no more, I am allowed to lazily stretch on my couch and use Google's voice search. 

I ask, "Where can I find decorative indoor flower pots"

voice search optimization

I see ads, the almost same ones we found when we had the same search intent.

But now, I also see a map. I see local businesses who sell decorative indoor flower pots.

user intent and voice search

My search intent was understood and the results were personalised. And I spoke many words, and I was spared the need to be crisp and specific and type in out. My spoken words were natural to sound and understood by Google.

without voice search

So, what did we learn today?

  • You learnt how to do keyword research using three free tools (Keyword Shitter, Answer the Public and Keywords Everywhere). For more information about more free keyword research tools, feel free to check those great sources listed below!
  • You learnt how having eye for detail for both SEO and SEM keyword research is important.
  • You learnt the importance of search intent of every user for both organic and paid rankings.
  • You learnt how voice search is going to change the way you probably market now.
  • You learnt how to make sure your keywords are targeted and search intent oriented.
  • You learnt the importance of long-tail keywords and why you must focus on sounding natural and conversational (LSI ) in your blogs and any and every content you produce.


SO! Tell me, what kinda guy are you: voice-guy or text-guy? Let me know in the comments below!

If you loved the way I made this topic easier for you, do share it!!

Other sources you can check out  😉

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