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Keyword - Intent is the Key, not the Word

 Keywords are the most underutilized tool because most of us fail to understand the impact it can create. 

The most elemental part of any digital marketing activity is the "words" or the "phrases" that are used to build the activity, also technically known as keywords. The foundation of the pay per click advertising model is based on the relationship between when and how a keyword becomes a search query. Extensive research is undertaken to build keywords yet they don't seem to produce the expected results. Why?

To answer this, we'll have to accept the fact that keywords are the most underutilized tool because most of us fail to understand the impact it can create, if it is used in a proper way. More often keywords are just used to showcase their presence and nothing more than that. They are well researched but not well planned.

When someone says 'Keywords', we all know how it is divided into 4 match types/variations, depending on the way it reacts in a search engine and we often tend to classify our keywords only through this method.

1. Broad match 
2. Broad match modifier
3. Phrase match
4. Exact match

But this is not the only way of classifying keywords, as with this we are not keeping our customer's intentions first. We need to tailor make keywords to resonate with the customer's intention of search or else he might end up as a data point in our bounce rate. We should focus on the search intent or the intention to do the search, before planning our keyword strategy.
Be it search or display or social media campaigns we should build our keywords keeping the customers search intent in mind. These are the 4 ways of classifying keywords with search intent.

1. Keywords with Navigational Intent
2. Keywords with Informational Intent 
3. Keywords with Investigational Intent
4. Keywords with Transactional Intent

Keywords with Navigational Intent
These are keywords which the users use with the intent to navigate to a particular site. The user might have been familiar with the brand and would normally use the brand's name in the search engine. Eg. Keyword - "Infosys digital website"
Here the user has heard that Infosys has a separate website for digital but couldn't remember the URL. So he searches with the brand name to navigate to the website. In terms of SEO, it's pretty important to rank well for these keywords but when it comes to PPC, they might not result in immediate conversion. We can place these type of keywords in "Awareness" as well as "Decision" set of the sales funnel.

Keywords with Informational Intent 
If you take a look at all the search terms used by people across the globe, at least 60% of them would be of informational intent. People need information and they use these terms to get that information.
For instance, if someone is searching for "places to visit in Bangalore" or "how to make tea" the person is looking for information on these topics. These keywords have low commercial intent and can be placed at the "Awareness" Set of the sales funnel.

Keywords with Investigational Intent
These keywords have some commercial intent and these are keywords used by the users while trying to compare two or more products or services. Keywords like, "Motorola G3 vs Samsung A5" or "best shop to buy kurta in Chennai" fall under this category. These keywords are not 100% informational but brings information and also not 100% transactional but might lead to a conversion very soon. These can be placed under "Decision" set of the Sales funnel.

Keywords with Transactional Intent
These are keywords that take you to the final transaction and result in conversions. "Buy Sandisk memory card" or "get home insurance quote" are few examples of these keywords. These can be placed in the "Action" set of a sales cycle and always carry high commercial intent. 

So if we build keywords keeping in mind the user's search intent and where he falls in the sales/buyer cycle, we'll be able to increase the ROI exponentially. 

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