All the categories which recommends for your site to create, optimise or hide match up to your real listings, products or pages. They are all relevant to what you sell. On the overview, you may some unusual terms: total demand, demand, main keywords, secondary keywords and long tail keywords. These all have to do with search intent.

What is search intent?

Search intent is the need that a user has when they type things into Google, Bing or another search engine, or when they talk to Siri, Cortana or Alexa. The keywords are the queries which they type or say. There are different ways to understand search intent but they come down to the expectations users have about the types of information they expect in answer to that need. There are many ways to express that need, so there are many keywords for a single search intent.

We cluster keywords into search intents and name that intent by the main keyword. All the other keywords are often variations on that theme. We call them longer tail variants or secondary keywords. Each remains relevant to the pages, products or listings on your site. There are less people searching for each of these longer tail keywords, but in total they are much more common and popular. uses both deep learning and a knowledge graph to understand which keywords are part of a search intent. They may include the actual words in the main keyword, so prom dress is a secondary keyword for dress or they may include different words which mean that, such as a kaftan  being a kind of dress . Similarly, if someone searches for passat 2018  we know that that can be a secondary keyword for volkswagen.

This approach means that we can also understand much longer queries that start to resemble the language that people use with each other day to day, or voice search queries.

Total Demand: the number of users with the same intent across many queries

Total demand is the total demand for a search intent: the demand from both the main keyword and the secondary keywords. Total demand is incredibly useful for understanding the traffic opportunity each page on your site has: it shows you all the keywords which a page might rank for. Great pages match up to real user intents and rank for many of those keywords. Longer tail keywords convert better which means that these pages make more revenue too. (Some customers will see this split out by main keyword demand and long tail variant demand, others will just see a single figure for total demand).

If you're an eCommerce site, marketplace or classifieds, most of your links probably come into your homepage. To rank for non-branded terms, you'll need to get the most important intents close to your home page. How should you determine the most important intents? Total demand is a great way to prioritise this.

Customers are often shocked by the difference between prioritising by main keyword volume, and prioritising by total demand. Some intents represent enormous terms and growing impressions and traffic for these can mean ranking for hundreds or thousands of keywords. Just like Personalised Difficulty, this is a powerful way to steer your SEO priorities.

The highest priority is to make sure that

  • You have the pages which target the most important intents near the top of the site
  • The intents which are less interesting to Google are farther down in your link structure
  • And each intent matches up to a single page, so that Google understands which page is your best page for an intent.

After this, you can think about page optimisation. Since we cluster longer tail keywords into (sub-)intents too, you can easily see what the most important intents are within an intent. This helps you prioritise what content in which users with that intent are most likely to be interested.

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