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