When a B2B company develops an SEO strategy, target keywords must be the foundation. Yes, there are many components to a holistic SEO strategy like page speed, technical SEO, inbound links, and more, but if you don’t target the right keywords then all other B2B efforts are wasted. When brainstorming on keywords, the focus should always be on purchase intent.

What is purchase intent?

The intention to buy is an indication of a web searcher in the buying phase – that is, he is not in a research phase, but is actively looking for a product or service. When determining keywords for targeting, the more specific, the better. Think of technical jargon and terms when using your keywords. Good purchase intent terms may not have a high search volume, but your ideal customer will search for them. If you target the right buying terms, you will find that your sales cycle will shorten, objections decreased, and your close rate will improve.

Long-tail keywords

Often times, long-tail keywords correlate with a stronger purchase intent. Long-tail keywords are keywords that contain more words in the search query. At Bop Design, for example, “B2B web design” and “B2B website design” are decent keywords that should be targeted. A term like “b2b website design agency” is even better. The added word “agency” transforms a search query from a research term into a purchase term. It shows that the searcher is likely to be looking for an agency to hire, as opposed to a term like “B2B web design” where a searcher might just research trends and best practices.

Test it on Google Ads

Whenever you have new ideas about keywords that you think will convert, test Google Ads first before changing your on-page SEO strategy. Thanks to the immediacy of Google Ads, you can test new keywords and their conversion performance within a few weeks. It’s also much easier to measure Google Ads because you can see the exact search query that resulted in a conversion. Test your keyword hypothesis about purchase intent in Google Ads and let these results influence your SEO strategy.

Track and measure all the time

New buzzwords are constantly emerging. What used to be “pull marketing” is now typically referred to as “inbound marketing”. “Interactive agency” is now typically referred to as a “digital agency”. To be successful at targeting keywords with strong buying intent, an accomplished marketer always has a finger on the pulse of demand. Listen constantly to how prospects and customers classify your company and develop your digital B2B marketing accordingly. Take a look at the keywords your competitors are targeting to make sure you’re not missing out.

When it comes to SEO and intent to buy, it never means “hire and forget”. It requires constant listening, research and agility. If you take on these activities, you will see a steady increase in the quantity and quality of conversions, sales made, and most importantly, profits.

Author: Jeremy Durant

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