Blog » Articles » General Marketing » Keyword Targeting

Keyword Targeting: Search Intent in Content and Ads

by | February 24, 2023

People use short phrases to find answers on search engines. You can use keyword targeting to position yourself against competing brands.
Illustration of keyword targeting

Let’s say you’re looking for a place to buy a bottle of organic white wine. How do you find it online? Most people search for “organic white wine near me.” In other words, they use what’s called a keyphrase to find what they need. Brands that rise to the top practice a marketing tactic called keyword targeting.

Let’s break it down. The keyphrase “organic white wine” does a few things. It narrows the kind of wine to white then narrows it again to wine that is certified organic. Finally, “near me” limits your search to places near your location where you’re most likely to find this product. It filters out all the other wine stores and supermarkets in the world.

Now, put yourself in the shoes of a website owner. When consumers use popular search engines or social media to search for topics related to your brand, your website or social content needs to rise to the top. Keyword targeting helps you build strong search rankings that result in steady web traffic to your site.

Keywords Unlock Search Traffic

A young woman holds up a set of keys.

Keyword targeting uses words and phrases relevant to your brand to improve search results. In digital marketing, this is called search engine optimization, or SEO. 

Search engines like Google use an ever-changing algorithm to match search terms with the right websites and advertisements. The algorithm considers how popular a keyphrase is as well as how many competing sites are already using the term. Even social platforms like TikTok have sophisticated keyphrase algorithms to help surface relevant content.

The bottom line? Higher search rankings translate into more visibility on search engines and social media platforms.

The Benefits to Being a Search Target

Three darts in the bullseye of a dart board.

Strong SEO is critical for a successful ad campaign. Using keywords and keyword targeting in your digital advertising has a direct impact on how many people your ads will reach. 

Benefits of keyword targeting include:

  • Small businesses and companies that serve local markets can compete with national brands 
  • Consumers will trust you if they see your content consistently
  • Targeted advertising campaigns with larger reach can increase revenue

Let’s go back to organic white wine. As a local business, a small wine shop often competes with big supermarkets or chain stores. By using keyword targeting, this small shop can establish that they’re the local experts in organic and specialty wines, which will likely place their search results alongside the big guys.

Add SEO Juice to Your Content

Five young adults drinking juice.

Here are four things to think about as you dive into building your list of keyphrases.

1. Make a List, and Check it Twice

Before you use keywords and keyword phrases in your brand copy, you’ll need to do some keyword research. This helps identify which search terms consumers are using most often. 

To find keywords, many brands use research tools such as Google Keyword Planner, Semrush, Answer the Public, Keyword Surfer, and others. These tools tell you which keywords and phrases are being used on your web platforms as well as your competitors. To begin developing a keyword targeting strategy, make a list of these keywords and think about which most closely apply to your business. 

2. Consider Search Intent

What are consumers searching for? Basic information, like a recipe or a statistic? A nearby location? A product page for an online purchase? Using keywords and phrases to match the right types of searches can help you rank higher. 

SEO experts commonly define the types of search intent as informational intent, navigational intent, and transactional intent.

3. Find the Right Combination

Theoretically, the keyword list will be related words. You’ll need to decide which of them is likely to increase web traffic. To do this, consider search intent, your target audience, and your marketing goals.

4. Avoid Negative Keywords

Some keyword results won’t be relevant to your products or services, even if they’re related. For our wine shop, words like cocktails or bar might draw the wrong kind of traffic.

Keyword research helps you with creating content the public is more likely to find online.

We Find the Right Combination

College Marketing Group can help you develop SEO strategies that can improve your search rankings. We use powerful tools to understand how people find your business, and how well you compare to your competitors. Set up an appointment with us today.

The Tub Thumper


Get curated college student marketing content directly to your inbox every month.

Your Name(Required)