Sales Leaders: Keywords Are Key to Understanding Buyer Intent

Know What Your Buyers Look For – And How – To Reach Them Faster

As a sales leader, you might be focused on getting high quality contact data for your prospects. Of course, being able to reach the right prospect quickly is critical to your ability to convert.

But another piece of the puzzle you might not be considering is keyword data and what that can communicate about your prospects.

Keywords Aren’t Just for SEO or Marketing

Anyone who works in SEO can tell you that gaining insights into the words and phrases people use to search for information is a cornerstone of effective digital marketing. With keyword data – coupled with thoughtful analysis – you can understand a lot about what people are looking for and why.

Understanding what topics people search for and their frame of mind when searching – whether they’re searching for information or are researching a potential transaction – is essential for optimizing content for organic search. It’s also what drives paid search strategies, so marketers can wisely spend their ad dollars.

Understanding buyer keywords also can be highly useful to sales leaders, as well. Quality keyword data and analysis can speed up prospecting by providing insights into buyer intent and when they’re in-market for what you want to sell.

When you know which buyers are in-market, you can:

  • More efficiently and effectively target prospects
  • Prioritize your outreach
  • Avoid wasting time on unlikely prospects
  • Reach in-market buyers before your competition

Keywords as Buyer Intent Signals

Simply put, a keyword is a word or phrase someone uses to search for information. Certain types of words and phrases can signal that someone is searching for a service or product. Additional words and phrases can be indicators that the person searching is in a transactional state of mind rather than simply an informational one.

In other words, keywords can tell you when someone has started their buying journey.

For example, someone searching for “What is a widget?” is likely just trying to get educated about the topic. A search like this suggests that the individual lacks base-level knowledge about the subject, so therefore it is unlikely that they are ready to make a purchase. But, when someone searches for a phrase like “widget company” then they’re more likely looking to make a purchase.

That’s a simplistic example for what is actually highly complex analysis, though, especially in the era of artificial intelligence and machine learning. When both are combined with predictive analytics, you can automate the evaluation of countless keywords in what feels like the blink of an eye to gain faster insights into what buyers are thinking and doing, and what stage they might be at in the buying process.

Keyword analysis can help you gain insights into not only when and how buyers search for your product or service, but also related terms or topics. This information can add relevance and context to your analysis.

For example, let’s say that you’re selling a credit card with airline miles as a reward. If your buyer has been searching for “vacation packages” or travel blogs in addition to searching for a credit card, then they might be just the buyer who needs what you offer – and are ready to sign up so they can book that vacation.

Again, that’s a simple example. With AI, you can unmask and evaluate potentially billions of digital signals to uncover new buyers. Armed with this intent data, your sales team can reach out to these prospects to accelerate the buying journey and close more deals.

Use Your Buyers’ Language

To make the most of keywords as a buyer intent signal, you have to be plugged into how your buyers think about topics and the language they use to search for them. That means stepping back and taking an outside-in view of your prospects.

Some things to think about:

  • Avoid using your own jargon and instead use natural language phrases and questions.
  • Consider how your prospects would describe a product or solution they’re looking for? Hint. It’s probably not by the product name, especially if they’re just starting their journey.
  • Consider the challenges that your prospects face in which your solution can help. Before buyers search for solutions, they often start by searching for information about the problem itself.

Again, AI and machine learning can accelerate the identification and targeting of your prospect’s keywords. With the right algorithm, you can evaluate the meaning of keywords in context as words that are part of a page and glean better insights about intent.

Your Turn to Reach Buyers When It Matters

Finally, you can use this information to generate a custom report to understand who your in-market buyers are, craft your messaging to speak their language, and get to them before the competition.

It’s good practice to revisit your reporting on a regular basis to account for changing trends within the search landscape – from new competitors popping up on the scene, to new use cases for your solution, and shifting market needs.

To learn more about your buyers and how to reach them when they’re in-market, get a free trial of D&B Hoovers from Dun & Bradstreet.

The information provided in articles are suggestions only and based on best practices. Dun & Bradstreet is not liable for the outcome or results of specific programs or tactics. Please contact an attorney or tax professional if you are in need of legal or tax advice.