Regardless of your industry, you want people with commercial intent to visit your website.

Buyer intent keywords may be among the most (financially) profitable keywords to target.

If you can effectively target them, you will be advertising directly to people about making a purchase.

This guide will teach buyer intent keywords and show examples of some of the different forms they can take. Then, we will show you some of the most powerful methods for researching them in any niche.

First, look at what it means for keywords to have buyer intent.

What are buyer intent keywords?

Buyer intent keywords are a subcategory of search terms that are used by potential customers when doing research on purchasing a product or service.

They are often referred to as “hidden keywords” because they aren’t always obvious. An example of this will be if someone searches for “online accounting software” instead of “accounting software that’s available online.”

This is indicative of their buyer intent – they’re looking for something specific and aren’t just searching for general information about accounting software in general. As you may already know, Google allows you to bid on your company or business keyword phrases so that your ads appear when people search for them.

If you don’t opt-in for this, however, you might not see the same ROI on your Google AdWords account as other advertisers who have their keyword phrases set up appropriately.

The same applies to advertisements created with AdWords Express – opting out of setting up these hidden keywords can mean making less money from advertising than others who create accounts with Buyer Intent Keywords in mind first and foremost.

How the buyer intent process works

buyers intent journey

The buying process is as follows:

Before buying a product, the majority of people take a specific route. They begin by encountering a problem that causes them to be frustrated. After a period of frustration, they investigate their choices, compare strategies, and eventually make a purchase.

If you were looking to buy a new laptop, your searches could look like this over several weeks.

Different stages of buyingExamples of search phrases
1. Frustration stageHow to fix the white screen on my laptop
2. Interest stageNew features on 2022 laptops
3. Refinement stage1st laptop model vs. 2nd laptop model
4. Procurement stageLaptop shop near me

The aim of researching buyer-intent keywords is to target only those who have reached the final stage.

Why target people at the end of the process? Furthermore, these are the people who are most likely to convert.

You are cutting ahead of all the other advertisers who have assisted the consumer in getting this far. Your campaigns would be more effective and profitable if you could effectively target them.

Now that you understand these keywords and why they are important, you can recognize those that will lead you to eager customers.

Why are they significant?

Buyer intent keywords are useful because they indicate that prospects are more likely to convert and needless persuasion. They have already decided to buy, and all you need to do now is have the final convincing letter.

It may be a promotional deal that distinguishes your brand or reassurances that alleviate any residual purchase anxiety impeding the conversion.

Buyer intent keywords are the driving force behind the success of paid ad campaigns on Google Search. They allow you to reach users just one step away from making purchases and get your message in front of them. The same is true for local “near me” searches, where users express a deep desire to buy from a company in their immediate vicinity.

Buyer intent keywords are the most useful search terms for reaching the most important markets and optimizing ROI from your search marketing campaigns.

Use High Intent Keywords in eCommerce and SEO

When developing an eCommerce SEO strategy, you should begin with keyword research. People enter keywords and phrases into search engines to find information, products, or services. They are known as searches or inquiries outside of the content development industry.

If you want your website to appear on the search engine results page as people type their questions into search engines, you can learn more about using high-intent keywords on your web pages.

There are two methods for increasing the page’s ranking for unique keywords:

  • Paid search results: You can fund a Pay-per-click (PPC) campaign. PPC allows you to bid on a phrase related to your company, and Google or other search engines can display your website on their results page as users search for those same keywords.
  • Organic search results: Another choice is to customize the website to appear in the organic search results of search engines. Organic search optimization implies that you did not pay to be ranked where you are. Instead, you used a mix of SEO tactics (for example, internal links, backlinks, and on-page SEO) to help shift your page in search results for a particular keyword.

Effective keyword research will assist you in determining which strategy makes the most sense for the keywords you are attempting to target.

For example, the Keyword Magic Tool from Semrush is a simple keyword analysis tool that provides information on keyword complexity and cost per click (CPC) to assist you in determining which optimization strategy would yield the best results.

What are high-intent keywords?

High-Intent keywords are terms and phrases that customers use to indicate their strong desire to purchase now, ask about a service, or take an action that will result in a transaction. High-intent keywords, also called high commercial intent keywords, are the most profitable and useful conversion keywords.

Keywords with a high intent are related to a customer’s buying intent. The likelihood that anyone who visits your site will purchase your product or service is referred to as purchase intent.

Marketers and website owners can promote and assess purchase intent by considering variables such as the buyer’s identity, website participation, previous purchases, and other interactions.

To capitalize on high-intent keywords and purchase intent, consider targeting visitors who have previously purchased from you or who have interacted with your website on multiple occasions.

It is always best to use product-specific keywords to target new buyers, such as “best zoom lens for nature photography.”

Is keyword volume not the most important factor?

It is normal for marketing teams to concentrate on high-volume keywords that are vaguely relevant to your business. However, this is not always the best course of action.

High commercial intent vs. Low commercial intent keywords

How do you know the keywords have buyer intents, and what makes them worth targeting?

Not all keyword is worth targeting and investing ad money on.

So, how do you tell the difference between keywords with high and low commercial intent?

Consider the potential customer’s purchasing journey.

  • What are their pain points?
  • What kinds of options will they be looking for?
  • What search terms would they use?

Integrating buyer intent keywords into your marketing and sales campaigns would be best once you understand how buyers find your products.

Let us look at the various types of search queries to understand the difference between high and low commercial intent.

4 different types of buyer intent keywords

Based on your niche, buyer intent keywords can take several different forms.

The majority would take one of four forms:

1) [Buy] Keywords

“[Buy] + [product]” is one of the most straightforward queries to identify as having buyer intent. Most people who use the word “buy” in a quest are on their way to making a purchase.

Let us look at how Google reacts to this sort of search.

Starting at the top, Google displays a variety of models at various price points.

The page’s advertisements and top links refer to major national stores selling televisions. Anything on this page is a few mouse clicks away from a checkout button.

 2) Keywords for [Product]

Queries that begin with the name of a product will lead you to successful buyer intent keywords. When anyone searches, they might be on the verge of making a purchase:

  • [Product] + [2022’s best]
  • [Product] x [Top ten]
  • [Product] + [price range]

Searchers who use these queries often reduce their options from three or four to a single one. When they get to that one, they will likely buy it immediately.

Let us take a look at how Google responds to this search query:

You will find that the results are very different.

For starters, there is no price specified anywhere. In addition, the top organic results refer to guides rather than marketplaces.

Do not be fooled into believing that these buyers are not serious. They are simply acting in the manner of well-informed purchasers.

3) [Informational] Keywords

These keywords can signal buyer intent, but they are more subtle.

Most people who conduct an informational search are, at best, in the early stages of the purchasing process. Buyer intent can be present when the search is about overcoming concerns or roadblocks.

When they include direct brands or models, they are more likely to have buyer intent.

The following are some examples of informational searches that may indicate buyer intent:

  • [Product] + [specific features]
  • [Product] + [Bluetooth compatibility]
  • [Product] + [performance specifications]

Let us see what Google thinks about the last one.

As you can notice, this results page is purchase-oriented, even though the question is informative.

4) [Free] Keywords (or Low Purchase Intent)

A certain number of searchers want products but cannot pay for them. They usually ask questions like:

  • Free alternatives to [Product]
  • The best [free] [product]

These keywords are not worth targeting for many businesses.

On the other hand, businesses that depend on free signups and ad-supported applications will benefit from them.

Since there are no free alternatives to gaming laptops, let’s use a free alternative to Microsoft Word as an example:

As you can see, there is a mix of advertising, news, and QAs for “free” searches. This indicates that these questions do not have the same intent as others.

Now that you know these keywords let us look at how to find them.

Why are traditional buyer keyword categories broken?

SEO strategies that take buyer intent into account often use one of two approaches:

  1. The marketer looks at cost-per-click (CPC) averages to predict buyer intent.
  2. The marketer assigns keywords using an AltaVista method.

When analyzing PPC bids, a marketer assumes that a higher CPC equates to greater buyer intent.

The problem is that the average CPC determines how much a marketer is willing to pay to bid on a keyword. As a result, this approach would only be effective if the keyword applies to your customers and the market perfectly suits demand.

The truth is that some keywords are overpriced, while others are underpriced.

To find out why read Google’s guide on how Google Ads auction works. These ideas apply to most PPC platforms because they all take a similar approach to Google.

Another method for estimating buyer intent is to use these three keyword categories:

  1. Navigational keywords.
  2. Informational keywords.
  3. Transactional keywords.

Adrien Broeir of AltaVista first defined these categories in his 2002 peer-reviewed paper on what drives web searches.

How do you find buyer keywords?

Buyer keywords can be used in a variety of places. This segment will teach you how to use all of the following sources for enhanced research:


A quick Google search will reveal how much commercial intent is contained in a collection of keywords. A large number of ads on the page is one of the most telling signs of high buyer intent.

Here is an example of a Ford Mustang-related search that returns several advertisements before any organic results or other SERP features.

Conduct as many searches as necessary to understand how various keywords in your niche work.

Let us look at how keyword analysis tools can help you with your quest.

What keyword research tools should I use?

Many online keyword research resources can better identify and use keywords with buyer intent.

Some tools, such as Ahrefs’ keyword tool, provide intent-related features.

Ahrefs, for example, has filters that can be used to narrow down keywords with buyer intent. Filters may also be used to reduce the number of keyword results that include the words “free” or “informational.”

Another way to benefit from keyword analysis tools is to use their cost-per-click monitoring functionality—Moz, Ahrefs, and SEMrush track CPC data.

You will see CPC columns on the right-hand side of this Ahrefs search.

A high cost-per-click will guide you to some of the most deliberate keywords. A high cost indicates that many people are vying for such keywords because they have a track record of success.

If you’re looking to start on your keyword research journey and do not want to pay, you can use UberSuggest, a free keyword tool:

Customer surveys

Customer surveys are a more constructive method of determining buyer intent.

When you conduct comprehensive consumer surveys on irritating issues, you can reverse-engineer the search phrases they use the most into keywords.

Buyer keywords can also be found by going to sites where the customers want to converge and discuss products. Depending on your niche, they could lurk in enthusiast forums or social media pages.

Do not forget to use popular Q&A sites like Quora or Reddit. The discussions that people have here about various products or their features will provide you with numerous opportunities to find keywords.

You can most likely enter “best gaming laptops Reddit/Quora” and find some of the discussions:

In some cases, if the discussions are widely popular, it also shows up on Google’s related searches:

A/B tests different keywords

Once you have a set of keywords to work with, you can A/B test their ability to convert. A/B research compares one alternative to another to see which produces better results.

Assume you run a website that sells toys for children. You can test various transactional keywords on different pages to see which generates the most sales. One might offer a “gift with purchase,” while another might offer a “promo code for 10 percent off.” After the pages have been live for a few months, compare the two to see which one performed better.

Should we concentrate all of our efforts on high buyer intent keywords?

No, it does not. Despite being the most valuable search words, only a small percentage of your overall potential consumer base is ready to purchase right now. Most people (both now and in the future) need assistance in purchasing decisions. Information keywords are critical for catching and nurturing these leads early during the customer journey.

If you do not do this, these potential buyers will go elsewhere to buy.

Buyer intent keywords should be viewed as high-value, quick-return opportunities. In contrast, lower-intent keywords should be viewed as long-term opportunities to expand the consumer base while fending off competitors.

The two types of keywords produce very different leads, but they are equally critical if you want to drive long-term success from your search marketing strategy.

Use the influence of buyer intent to your advantage.

You now understand buyer intent, how to classify keywords with buyer intent, and how to study these keywords more efficiently using some of the most common tools.

You can use your newfound knowledge to identify terms used by people who are ready to make a purchase.