Your Target Market’s Tongue and the Categories of Intention

People morph and mix-up language on a regular basis. This is evident through the evolution of different languages around the world (also dead languages) and even how we write on the internet or in texts. So, it’s no mystery that when deciding which search engine optimization (SEO) terms to use we may have to think a little more deeply about our target market, the search engine itself, and how language changes online.

Target markets may vary dramatically for a given good, service, brand, etc., which makes understanding how they use the internet to search for information paramount in deciding what terms will be best suited for SEO purposes. When searching online (most likely through Google), keywords may have different intents ascribed to them by the user.

For example, a user’s keyword choice may have the intention of purchase behind them- the searcher is looking to buy something, possibly during that period of search. What the searcher could be looking to buy is often illuminated by what search keywords they may use in pursuit of their purchase. These keywords can be quite specific and can include valuable information about one’s target market and what their needs are- exact product descriptions (eg power tools), geographic locations, period of time (do they need a fast remedy to a tax problem?), a specific brand or organization, and more.

People use the internet to do extensive research for information related to topics of interest to themselves, and one of those topics could include, of course, a purchase (but not making the purchase yet). Research has its own place in a consumer’s decision-making process- and it is simple to identify which terms mark this behaviour. In turn, these search terms provide the marketer with insight into which keywords will be of most relevance to a target market. For example, someone gathering information may use certain modifying words in relation to the topic they are searching. These words may be used to infer things such as quality (“best” or “value”), locations (“Vancouver Island” or “Campbell River, B.C.”), and price range (“$10-$20” or “cheapest”). Or, the keywords used may even describe an inquiry regarding “how-to’s” in which a searcher may be looking for tips, procedures, policies, or goods/services to aid them in a project or work of their own.

What this culminates in is the existence of long tail keyword searches that contain three or more words to make a very detailed, very useful piece of information to a marketer. Adopting the tongue of your target market ensures your SEO efforts remain relevant to their interests, and more importantly, relevant to their purchase decision criteria.

OkDork’s article describes some of the principles discussed in this blog:

Richard Baxter provides some techniques for keyword research as well:


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