August 02 2023


Why Quality is Better than Quantity in Target Keyword Strategies 

What Keywords Does My Business Need to Show up for? 

There is no one answer to this question simply because every business is unique, and their potential buyers are unique too. In fact, 15% of the billions of searches conducted on Google daily are unique. Knowing that each business and buyer has specialized needs, it’s no surprise there’s no one answer when it comes to keyword strategy and volume. 

However, there is one best practice that encapsulates the uniqueness of both your business and your buyers—the keyword on keywords is intent. This blog refreshes you on keyword basics for both SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC (Pay-Per-Click), then discusses why an intent search strategy can equate to quality leads and effective PPC budgets. 

A Refresher on Keywords  

A keyword is a word or phrase that represents an aspect of your business, including products, processes and services offered. Once applied to content, keywords help search engines find relevant web pages that align to a user’s query. The ultimate goal is that your keywords populate the search engine result pages (SERPs) of potential buyers and attract them to your site. 

Keyword search volume is the number of searches done for that phrase usually reported for a given month. By looking at this number, a business can see how popular or competitive a keyword is prior to employing it in digital marketing efforts. In PPC, the more popular a keyword is, the higher the cost per click. 

Why Quantity is not the Answer 

Going after keywords with the highest search volume may seem intuitive as you work to garner interest and drive traffic. However, focusing on search volume can put your web presence in crowded search landscapes with larger brands, some who are not direct competitors. For example, if your business manufactures custom screws for the aerospace industry, your direct competitor is not going to be Home Depot. With broad keyword terms, your business will compete with Home Depot and other large retailers selling screws for construction and DIY projects. Additionally, high PPC costs come with keyword volume, something Home Depot may be able to afford, but not a small-to-medium size business.   

Replace quantity with the word intent and you have your mantra for keywords: Intent versus quantity. An intent focus strategy works because while volume equals views, intent equates to leads. All the traffic a budget can afford may not bring in quality leads and the eventual sales to sustain a business.  

A common analogy used at TopSpot to explain this intent keyword strategy utilizes candy. Say you give someone $100 to buy chocolate bars for a party, and they return with $100 worth of off-brand sour candy. While this tactic makes sense on Halloween when expecting lots of trick-or-treaters, your intent here was for chocolate candy, and your specific request, even if the volume is lower, was not fulfilled.  

A business may not benefit from keyword volume when a user’s intent is specified.

Consider a business that sells air filtration units for large industrial spaces and applications. This business starts their program by using the keyword “large air filtration system”. The consequence of this keyword is that their ads and SEO content populates search results for residential air filtration units sold through major retailers like Amazon, a crowded space that is easy to get lost in. Plus, this result is one that does not accurately reflect the product sold. Using “welding ventilation system” narrows the number of results populated but increases the quality traffic that includes buyers looking for that exact product for their large industrial or commercial facility.   

Identifying Your Keywords 

With 15% of all searches being unique, it is important to understand which searches you should target and which ones you should avoid. Start with understanding your business goals—priority products and services as well as the information needed for decision making.  

The B-SMART® Method is TopSpot’s structure for formulating keywords that target quality leads. It starts with getting to know your business and its goals, then tailoring a strategy that includes and adapts to your potential buyer’s intent. Its about taking the time to understand priority products and services versus value-adds, industries served, capabilities, and what drives the most revenue. 

The B-SMART Method is an acronym that includes criteria for quality keywords.

The elements of B-SMART are essential to narrow things down in a search query, even as search enters the age of artificial intelligence. Its criteria are still necessary for a user to input into a query, so that AI can generate a relevant answer to match intent.   

During this exercise, you want to include localized keywords that target your specific location and areas you serve. For many businesses, another factor to consider is evergreen keywords, or ones searched for consistently, and time sensitive seasonal keywords. 

TopSpot utilizes a handful of tools that provide the data to help inform keywords, including Google Search Console, Google Ads, and our proprietary tool LOOP Analytics, which shows us what terms customers use when submitting forms. The inclusion of phrases customers use is invaluable to keyword formation.  

Using what we learn about a business’s goals and the data, it is time to put it all together. For example, a business uses the keyword “insulated enclosure.” Looking at the search terms in Google Ads, you see unrelated items like metal duct and attic hatch door included. 

Broad terms can include your business in results unrelated to the products you offer.

To turn this around, a specific term aligning to products helps eliminate searches outside of their wheelhouse. A more specific keyword like “IECEx Enclosure” may get fewer clicks but is more in line with what the company sells and will attract the right customers. 

Intent Keyword Searches
More specific keywords land your business in the results of qualified leads.

What it Means for Your Business 

While industry terminology seems too specific and may have a lower search volume, a buyer in a distinct industry will use it to narrow their search. It is important to trust your buyers, especially the industrial buyer—they know what they are looking for, will do a more technical search, and will input keywords seen in B-SMART to narrow down results.  

With that in mind, once you set your program, revisit your keywords regularly to adapt your SEO and PPC presence to search engine algorithms and landscape changes, as well as changes in your users and their intent.   

If you have questions on the B-SMART Method and an intent-focused keyword strategy, contact the TopSpot Team for more information. 

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