What are High Intent Keywords and how to find them? (With Examples)

Finding and targeting the right keywords is important for business growth. Right choice of keywords can generate relevant traffic that converts better. At the same time, picking the wrong keywords can mean wasted time and effort in creating content that was never meant to generate leads or revenue.

In this blog post, we will talk about high intent keywords and how to write content targeting them.

What is a high intent keyword?

A Keyword that indicates that the searcher had an inclination towards purchasing a product or service under a specific category is termed as a high intent keyword. Such keywords are often difficult to rank for but the businesses who land those keywords get high-quality organic traffic that converts into paying clients at a better rate.

A website’s pages that target high intent keywords are often bottom of the funnel (BOFU) pages. Pages further up the funnel drive traffic to these pages for conversion. But getting traffic from TOFU > MOFU > BOFU pages is often more difficult than converting organic landing page traffic on BOFU pages.

High intent keywords examples

Search phrases that have words like buy, dollars (or $), cost, compare, choose and purchase clearly indicate a purchase intent. Superlatives like best and top can also be good indicators of a high search intent. All the above words make for buying intent keywords.

For example, the keywords may read as:

  • Best sales software for small businesses
  • How much does an SEO agency cost
  • Best keyword research tools for startups
  • Hubspot vs salesforce
  • Top crms for nonprofits
  • How to choose a tool for generating invoices
  • How to purchase a domain name

How to find high intent keywords?

Commercial intent keywords are often difficult to rank for because all your competitors are writing for it. Also, since they are super-niche, they often have low search volume. It is still worthwhile to rank for them because they convert so well.

If your domain is not too strong, you may want to niche down further to target a small audience base. Here are 9 steps to finding high intent keywords: 

1. List down the key features of your product or service

There are many ways to look at your product or service. For example, if your product is around editing images, think of all the features it has. It might remove background, swap faces, add filters, etc. Each of these features is a profitable keyword. 

When people look up best face swapping tools, they should see your page at the top because it is a highly relevant commercial keyword.

Similarly, if you are an SEO agency, you probably provide services like increasing page load speed, building backlinks, fixing Google penalties, etc. Keywords like best backlinking agency can make for a good commercial intent page.

Essentially, you must break down your offering into many different ways that people see it. It should also be how your sub-pillar pages are structured in order to build a healthy website structure.

List down all the features – they will form the seed for the next steps.

2. Get a list of keywords from Google Search Console

If you have been publishing blog posts consistently, Google will already have a list of keywords your rank for. You can fetch it from Google Search Console. You might not be ranking on the first page for most keywords if you have not been targeting them actively, but there’s a good chance you still hold some position.

You can apply keyword filters like best, cost, dollars, top, etc. to find commercial intent keywords from the list. And there’s an easy way to do that.

Apply the filter for Query and click on Custom (regex)

finding high intent keywords

Add the qualifier words in regex as shown in the image below.

find high intent keywords

This will leave you with only those keywords that have at least one of the words in the regex.

Finally, export the list as a spreadsheet and clean the data.

You can additionally get some more keywords from SEO SaaS tools like Semrush and Ahrefs.

3. Use the Google search results page features

Google SERP is the best free tool for finding high intent keywords. The search box lets you enter the initial few words before suggesting keywords through its autocomplete feature.

You can also use the * operator between two words in your search phrase to dig out even more keywords.

The below image shows the * operation in action. The suggestions with tools and software might make for a buying intent keyword.

high intent keywords

Further, when you look up seed keywords that were discovered through the previous two steps, you will see two more features that suggest more keywords – People Also Ask (PAA) and Related Searches. 

The first one suggests the questions people ask pertinent to the seed keyword – you can use them as new page topics or cover them as H2 or FAQs in the main page.

The second feature throws some keywords related to the seed keyword. You can pick and add them to an idea bank for future use.

4. See what your competitors rank for

Your competitors might already have put in the work in figuring out what commercial intent keywords to target. You can simply pick their primary BOFU keywords and write better SEO content than them.

There are two ways to find what your competitors rank for – one free and one paid. The free method is around using Google search operators and is often enough for the purpose. The paid version involves using Semrush, Ahrefs, or any other Saas tool for the purpose but that’s often an overkill for the job. In this section, we will cover only the free method.

Head over to Google and use this search operator.

site:{competitor_domain and extension} search phrase

For example, if we were to look for content created by ringcentral – a call center software – targeting the healthcare industry, this is what the search query shall be.

site:https://www.ringcentral.com/ healthcare

commercial intent keywords

The above image shows the search results – all of the items listed on the SERP are from the ringcentral domain. All pages have a mention of the word healthcare in it. But that’s too broad a search. We need to figure out what commercial intent keywords they use.

So what we do, we use keyword qualifiers.

5. Apply keyword qualifiers

Keyword qualifiers are essentially a set of words that indicate a purchase intent. Sticking with the above example, let’s do a more focussed search. This time, we will use the qualifier – best.

Now, the new search query is:

site:https://www.ringcentral.com/ best healthcare

And these are the search results.

profitable keywords

As highlighted in the above image, Google shows pages from the domain that mention synonyms of the two words we used. Also, it has results where best and healthcare are not placed together.

But that’s not what we want. We want to see results which have the exact phrase – best healthcare. To get that, we will add double-quotes around the phrase and do a final search.

site:https://www.ringcentral.com/ “best healthcare”

And here are the search results:

We can see that ringcentral has only two pages where best and healthcare come together. They may not be commercially aligned pages but looking at another domain might return such results.

6. Apply qualifiers based on your target audience

We discussed in the previous sections about what makes profitable keywords so competitive. You must target only long-tail keywords if your domain rating is low. That’s because your competitors have already secured several quality backlinks to stay at the top. You need more than content to rank.

However, long-tail keywords may not have gotten the same attention and so are easier to rank. However, the long-tail keyword must be relevant to your business. The best way to ensure that is by picking keywords that include your marketing segment.

For example, a CRM software might use the word for as an audience qualifiers.

bofu keywords
  • Best CRM for small businesses
  • Best CRM for startups
  • Best CRM for ecommerce

Etc.

The company can also segment their audience based on the industry they’re from – real estate, web development, service based businesses, etc.

Now, imagine a startup looking for a CRM, the owner might use a basic keyword – best CRM – initially. But they would soon figure out that the search results are everywhere. So they would fine-tune their search and add startup to their search query, and that’s when they discover you. 

The possibility of them clicking on your listing increases manifold because there is a perfect match between what they look for and what you offer. Since your visitor base is ideal, the conversion rate from those pages will be high!

7. Apply location qualifiers

Another way of finding long-tail keywords is by using the qualifier in. This will help you see country-wise suggestions from Google. You can use this qualifier in conjunction with for to find super-long keywords if the competition is high.

Here’s how it works – you must add one feature and append the word in into the Google search bar.

commercial intent keywords

Now you can see many location based suggestions and take a call on which market you want to target. In the above list, USA, Europe, Australia, UK, and India might be more profitable geographies compared to others. The first four are known to generate higher revenue per 1000 visitors while India brings in the volume.

The below example shows what happens when you combine for and in qualifiers.

You now see a list of super-long tail keywords which you might rank daily easily. For example, best crm for small business uk might have much lower competition than best crm, best crm for small business, and best crm in uk.

8. Sort based on search volume

By now, you would have a solid list of all high intent keywords sourced from Google SERPs, Semrush, Google search console, and competitors. You might also have used qualifiers to pick the best keywords based on their potential to rank.

In this step, we will further qualify the keywords based on their search volume. If done right, BOFU pages offer a high conversion rate of around 4%. This means, unless the target keyword has a monthly search volume at least 25, you won’t get even a single lead from it.

You sure can cover that up by creating multiple very low search volume pages but if you are a bootstrapped startup or a small business with limited budget and resources, it’s best that you target keywords with a monthly search volume of 25, if not 50.

You can search volume on Google search console based on the impressions count ut that number is accurate only if you rank somewhere on the first page of Google SERPs. 

Alternatively, you can find the monthly search volume for your chosen keywords by plugging them into Semrush. It’s, hands-down, the best paid tool for the purpose. Ahrefs is a close second. Google Ads also gives you search volume but only for the keywords you target Ads for.

You can however use the free keywords everywhere chrome extension to get an estimate of the search volume. For example, the keyword best crm for startups and related keywords combined have a monthly search volume of 150 – as suggested by the techradar listing in the below SERP screenshot.

high keyword intent

Get the search volume for all the keywords that you listed down through any of the above methods and pick those with a search volume greater than 25 or 50. Keywords with lower search volume must be added to a repository for consideration in future.

Please note that the search volume metric, though important, is not reported by any tool accurately. Tools can best give a close estimate. Even 0 search volume keywords have been reported to have generated huge traffic and generate leads.

9. Shortlist based on keyword difficulty

We applied a lot of filters to find and shortlist low competition high intent keywords, yet before investing the time in creating content assets, it is necessary to check competition.

To do that, you can either use Semrush that suggests keyword difficulty percentage or simply check the Google SERPs. If you find your well-known, high-DR competitors ranking at the top, it might be difficult to rank for that keyword. You need to find an alternate keyword to target or go even more long-tail.

Alternatively, you can use the keywords everywhere chrome extension again. 

Notice Moz DA under each listing. It’s an indication of how powerful the website is in its domain authority. Though it’s not a super-accurate metric, it’s a good indication of how powerful a website is.

If, for your keyword, there are a lot of pages with super-high DA, you may want to skip that one as it will be super-difficult to rank for it. However, it’s worth noting that as per Google’s guidelines, you need to have better quality content compared to your competitors to rank at the top, but that’s rarely the case.

We are finally ready with the perfect set of keywords that we are confident we can rank. Next, we will discuss the right approach to targeting the buying intent keywords.

How to target high intent keywords?

You need to look at the pages ranking on the first page of Google for every search term, analyze what type of pages Google prefers to rank, and create a page with the same format. 

For example, if Google prefers to rank listicles, you must create a listicle. The keyword, best crm for small business has all top pages as listicles.

finding high intent keywords

If you create a non-listicle that lists only your software as the best one, it is never going to rank because as per Google, it doesn’t meet the search intent. You need to create a list that ranks your software as the best and your competitors next.

FAQs

How to find keyword intent?

Keyword intent can be determined by analyzing the words in the search query. 

Often, How to and What is keywords indicate informational intent – meaning, people using these qualifiers are often looking for information, They are at a decision making stage and may not be inclined towards making a purchase just yet. However, if the search query has queries like cost, best, top, etc. it indicates that the searcher is at an evaluation stage – the searcher is closer to making a purchase decision.

Where to find high intent keywords?

These 4 tools can help you find high intent keywords easily.

1. Google SERPs

2. Semrush

3. Google Search Console

4. Competitor domains

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