StayOnSearch

5 Tips for Finding Keywords With Commercial Intent

Mark Thompson December 9, 2010

With the holidays right around the corner, it is important to understand what users are searching for that have commercial intent.  Commercial intent is simply a phrase that means someone has the intent on purchasing a product or service.  Understanding this concept and how to identify those keywords is extremely important.  It can be the difference in a successful or unsuccessful marketing campaign.

1.  Optimize or Bid on the Following Keywords

Over the years I have noticed that when users search certain keywords it increases the likelihood that they are ready to purchase.  Think about using these terms into your SEO or PPC campaigns.

  • “Buy + Keyword”
  • “Keyword + Review”
  • “Keyword + Company”
  • “Keyword + Comparison”
  • “Best + Keyword”
  • “Top + Keywords”
  • Specific Brands + Model #s

2. Wordtracker Labs:  Keyword Questions

This is a great tool to find questions people are searching for in the search engines.  Unlike the regular keyword tools that are available, this tool will help you understand possible needs in an industry.  If you notice that there is a lot of search volume for a certain question…ask yourself “what would solve that problem or question?”, “what products or services would fix their issue?”.

3. MSN AdCenter Labs – Detecting Commercial Intent Tool

Probably my favorite tool for detecting commercial intent, MSN has providing an outstanding easy tool to use, that will allow you to enter in a term and it will identify its commercial intent.

4. Google Keyword Tool

The Google keyword tool is not really meant for detecting commercial intent, but there is a specific part of the tool that will help you find keywords that will convert at a higher rate.

When you do a search in the tool, go to the Average CPC data.  This is approximately what you would pay for keywords in the Google Adwords platform.  Some things that you will notice are that certain keywords will have significantly higher cost-per-click than others.  Generally they more specific or longer-tail keywords are the keywords that have a higher CPC.  The reason that is, is because they are more targeted.  Identifying those keywords that have a higher CPC, usually have a higher commercial intent, than the broader, lower CPC keywords.

For Example:

  • Sony TV:  $1.25
  • Sony HDTV: $1.46
  • Sony 46 LCD TV: $1.57
  • Sony TV Stands: $2.56

As you can see the more targeted the keyword, the higher the CPC goes up, which usually equals that the commercial intent is much higher.  In this example, you can tell that someone that is searching for a Sony 46” LCD TV, obviously has done some research on TV already and is closer to purchasing, compared to someone just putting in Sony TV or HDTV.

5.  Read these 2 Posts

This was a great post by Rand over at SEOmoz and Search Marketing Man that I think will help everyone better understand that different types of search intent.  By understanding the different types of searches, it will help with your overall knowledge of search intent.

They break down:

Navigational Queries

Informational Queries

Transactional Queries

11 comments
Jason
Jason

Since MSN took their offline commercial intent tool offline, what have you been using since? I ended up building a replica of the tool myself using data I had gathered and then reading over the OCI papers published by MSN. I got tired of waiting for a solution to come along so I just built one myself! Try it out and let me know what you think... http://onlinecommercialintent.com/

Maroclife
Maroclife

Great post.I like your blog. It has lots of information about seo and other stuff. I have a question regarding to commercial intent. I found some keywords that have a cpc around $10 with great traffic and low competition. But when i search for the keyword on google.com(i dont live in the us so i use /ncr behind it) it doesn't find any ads. Should i still go after these keywords or not?Please explain in details. thanks

Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson

Typically keywords with commercial intent have a high CPC because they are high converters. I've never actually heard of the /ncr behind it, so I can't speak to that. The best thing that I recommend is actually testing these keywords and watch them very closely. The great thing abut paid search is you can turn them off an on at will. Put those keywords into a test campaign and watch the visitor and conversion data closely. Make sure you have a clear call to action on your site so you can watch conversions. Overall the tools are great for getting estimated data, but you truly don't know until you actually test it yourself. Hope that helps.

Jona
Jona

Mark, Thanks for sharing this. I agree with Eren above.

Eren Mckay
Eren Mckay

Hi Mark, Discovering the difference between an informational keyword phrase and a commercial keyword phrase is one of those huge "light bulb moments" in creating websites that convert into sales. Unfortuantely some bloggers write and write about things that simply will never earn them money because they don't know this concept. Thanks for shairng with the world- already tweeted it. All the best, Eren

Wynne
Wynne

Excellent article Mark, some great tips on keyword intent. Especially outlining the difference between transactional, navigational, and informational queries. Personally though, I wouldn't trust MSN's OCI tool. Just my personal opinion.

Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson

Thanks Wynne, Just curious, why you don't trust the OCI tool? Just not accurate you feel?

Ahmed
Ahmed

Well i agree with Wynne, why? simply because software alone can't replace the human intelligence right !!! I usually prune the clearly informational keywords and i just leave some for content and lead generation purpose, if there is some keywords i doubt that's gonna be informational i test with ppc, when i get the final commercial keyword list i run another ppc campaign with some analytics and goal setting just to help in my keyword ranking priority spreadsheet and identify the most profitable keywords. just my opinion. Ahmed

Dan
Dan

Hey MSN OCI Tool Is always going down and I was wondering if any one now's of a formula that can be used to determine OCI. I have been trying to figure this out for to long now. Please Help Thanks Dan

Jared
Jared

Great article. Lots of new ideas to think about when choosing keywords for projects. Thanks for the information.

Manendra
Manendra

This is really use full article in keyword research thank Mark for such a wonder full article :)

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