Updated August 28, 2023: We refreshed the article to update the role of buyer intent keywords as they relate to SEO and conversions.
Online search is the primary way people and businesses discover solutions for their problems now. The internet has given more agency to people in terms of selecting products and services they need than ever before. For businesses, this means that being as visible as possible in the customer journey is critical.
While ads have their place when it comes to demographic outreach, there are more precise tools that allow marketers to gauge the exact buyer intent of anyone online, including your website visitors.
Buyer intent is an effective metric used by the best sales teams. It makes it easy to apply lead-scoring techniques and prioritize leads that have the highest probability of buying your product or service.
How do you identify buyer intent among potential customers?
Content marketing remains one of the most cost-effective strategies. Companies that monitor the top Google search queries in their industry and then use buyer intent keywords in their content marketing to let potential customers self-select themselves.
The key to this process is knowing your list of industry keywords, writing useful and interesting content, and focusing on your customers, which means thoroughly understanding their B2B decision journey.
Tip: Identify the buyer intent of visitors as soon as they land on your website with Lift AI. Supercharge your content marketing keywords strategy with the best conversion strategy available today.
What Are Different Buyer Intent Models for B2B Customers?
Companies can choose from a variety of buyer journey models when it comes to mapping their customers' conversions.
The most popular options are the foundational AIDA (awareness, interest, desire, action) and the more recent and expanded AICIB (awareness, interest, consideration, intent, buy).
At their core, these and other frameworks follow the same process of cognition ➙ affect ➙ behavior.
Here are the stages of AICIB with more context:
- Awareness is triggered by the presence of a problem and a high-level search for potential solutions
- Interest relies on the use of informational keywords and compelling value propositions
- Consideration involves deeper research into a few fitting providers, such as feature comparisons, customer reviews, etc.
- Intent reflects on how potential customers clarify what they think they need and commit to proposed solutions in principle
- Buy is the intended conversion outcome of the decision journey
There’s an ongoing shift happening in the industry, where marketers approach the buyer decision journey not as a brand-centric activity (i.e. showcasing products with generalized value propositions) but as a customer-centric one (i.e. finding tailored solutions for potential customers and working toward improving their brand experience).
Since businesses have limited sales and marketing resources, focusing their efforts on providing leads with personal attention at the intent stage of the customer journey has proven to yield the best conversion results. The earlier stages of the journey, in turn, can be covered by content marketing.
How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing is about creating and distributing engaging content with the goal of increasing brand awareness and helping with conversions at other stages of the customer decision journey.
A good content marketing strategy can span through multiple decision stages. TV or out-of-home ads help create awareness. Google search ads work at the interest stage. Reviews and articles aid consideration. Demos signal strong purchase intent.
While later-stage content (e.g. demos) can be driven and shared by your team personally, it’s important to make sure the earlier stages (awareness, interest, consideration) are covered by automatic delivery and rely on a careful selection of buyer intent keywords, which can be curated by using B2B keyword research tools.
How to Use B2B Keyword Research Tools
The process of choosing effective buyer intent keywords belongs to the practice of SEO (search engine optimization), which concerns itself with structuring web properties and content in a way that Google and other search engines can understand.
Keywords play a key role in SEO because they help connect your content to the search queries that your potential customers are using to find solutions to their problems.
Knowing the most popular and effective keywords increases the chances for your content to be seen by more people and informs your content marketing pipeline — suggesting the content your team should produce.
The most used keywords research tools are Google Keyword Planner (free) and Moz Keyword Explorer (limited free version). Both work in the same way: you input keywords and get back data on search volume, competitiveness, difficulty, and more.
To find effective buyer intent keywords using these tools:
- Compile an initial list of keywords your potential customers might be using to find solutions similar to yours
- Check every keyword in a keyword planner
- Adjust the initial list with the keywords that have high search volumes, low competitiveness, and low difficulty
- Repeat the process with other relevant keywords you find later on
When you have the final list of keywords ready, it’s time to implement them in your content marketing strategy.
How to Capture Google Traffic with Buyer Intent Keywords
To get the most out of your buyer intent keywords, come up with various types of educational, inspirational, and even entertaining content that covers all stages of the customer journey. Consider trend reports, guides, infographics, influencer testimonials, quizzes, videos, digital ads, webinars, and more.
Assign keywords in your list to specific types of content. While they can overlap, try to be as diverse as possible.
Create well-structured, high-quality, longform content that uses the buyer intent keywords throughout: in body text, headings, transcripts, subtitles, webpage titles, taglines, etc.
The key to capturing Google’s attention is keeping the content informational and avoiding spamming. Google is good at finding instances of keyword stuffing and penalizing websites for it.
If you produce interesting content supported by popular keywords, you’ll eventually start getting more traffic to the early stages of the buyer decision journey.
After your funnel has increased, you might wonder how to find out which of these new potential customers are showing purchase intent?
How to Convert Buyer Intent into Sales
For any growing company, paying close attention to every website visitor is not feasible. Despite this, your sales team needs to select people to talk to. How do they identify visitors with strong purchase intent?
Lift AI is a unique buyer intent solution based on a large-scale machine-learning model trained on over one billion data points and 15 years of sales data from multiple industries.
What Lift AI does better than any other tool is identifying the buyer intent of every single visitor to your website, even if they try to stay anonymous (as up to 98% can be) and haven’t been previously recorded in your CRM.
Here’s how Lift AI works. When a visitor with high purchase intent lands on your website, Lift AI connects them directly to your sales team via online chat (or another tool in your marketing stack). As a result, your BDRs become more effective by focusing on converting the most promising visitors.
At the same time, Lift AI redirects lower-scoring visitors to a nurturing chatbot or a self-help guide.
Customers using Lift AI have increased their chat conversions anywhere from two to 10 times in the first 90 days. PointClickCare improved its conversions by 400%, attributing $1M of extra revenue to its Lift AI integration. Formstack increased its conversions by 420%.
Try Lift AI free — for 30 days. No credit card or complex installation required. The tool automatically integrates with your marketing stack and provides buyer intent scores that could be used to rate website visitors for any marketing purpose.