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SEO Basics – Building an Intent-Based Keyword List

SEO Basics – Building an Intent-Based Keyword List

In this article, we take a deeper look into search intent and provide you with some tips for building an intent-based keyword list for your business.  Search Intent is a major ranking factor as it looks at the search engine user’s intent when they search certain keywords, ie. what type of information does the user expect to find in response to the keywords he searched in Google.

As SEO Experts with over 20 years of combined experience, we share some tips for building an intent-based keyword list.

Gather your core keywords

Before you can even think of search intent, you need a solid list of core keywords that are relevant to your core business. There are quite a few tools available to help you get started, we highly recommend the following keyword suggestion tools:

Get Keyword Suggestions directly from the SERPs

There are 2 great sources for keyword research in the SERPs, namely the “People Also Ask” box as well as the related searches listed at the bottom of the SERPs.


Now that we have shared the information you needed to get started with building a core keyword list, let’s take a deeper dive into searcher intent and how that should affect the keywords that you ultimately decide to target as part of your SEO and PPC efforts.

Before we continue, it is important to note that during the process of adding in the intent modifiers, you must remain aware of the fact that it is a highly subjective process, but in order to help you get started, we share a list of 50+ intent modifiers below:

Informational intent

The searcher has identified his need for a specific product or service but is in the information gathering phase of the buying process, this list will contain all the core keywords you have identified previously as well as any questions you think searchers might ask to find out more about your product or service, for example:

  • “product name”
  • what is “product name”
  • how does “product name” work
  • how do I use “product name”

Commercial Intent

At this stage in the buying process, the searcher has zeroed in on a specific solution and is in the process of doing comparative research in terms of specific requirements and features. Intent modifiers that might be relevant to Commercial Intent includes:

  • best “product name”
  • “product name” reviews
  • compare “product name”
  • what is the top “product name”
  • “colour/style/size” “product name”

Transactional intent (including local and navigational intent)

Transactional queries are often the most likely to convert into paying customers and generally revolve around price, brand, and location, which is why navigational and local intent are nestled within this stage of the intent funnel.

Transactional Intent Keyword modifiers will include keyword variations similar to:

  • how much does “product name” cost
  • “product name” in “location”
  • order “product name” online
  • “product name” near me
  • affordable “product name”

Audit your list

Now that you have used a wide range of keyword tools, added in intent modifiers and thought about what type of information users expect to find when they search for specific keywords, it is time to narrow the list down and find the keywords that will provide your business with the best return on investment.

Key factors to take into consideration when auditing your keyword list

  1. Relevance – Do you have content that is relevant to the keywords you have identified? It is generally a great idea to have specific, well-optimised landing pages for all the main keywords that you intend to target.
  2. Search Volume – How often do the keywords get searched in Google? Google Keyword Planner is a great source of this information. Think if you want to target highly searched terms, or do you rather want to target more specific long tail keywords that are less competed and easier to convert?
  3. Competition – This looks at what other websites are currently ranking for your target keywords and what they are doing in terms of SEO in order to get there.
  4. Difficulty – This looks at how easy or difficult it is to rank for specific keywords, based on the other websites that are also competing in the SERPs for the same keywords.

Are you looking for improved SEO results for your business? Get in-touch with RAiN Digital Marketing now for a free quote.

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