Commercial Keywords: The Comparisons of Search Intent

Christy Walters


April 27, 2023 (Updated: May 4, 2023)

pink over-ear headphones with a cort on a vertical split pink and blue background to represent commercial keywords

What are the chances that a website visitor converts to a paying customer or client? This isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer because many factors affect how your specific website and content appeal to visitors. No matter your brand circumstances, there is a way you can work to increase conversions through content marketing: by targeting commercial keywords. Today, we’re looking at what commercial keywords are and how creating content to target them increases conversions from your website traffic:

What Are Commercial Keywords?

Commercial keywords are the words or phrases searchers use when they’re looking to educate themselves about available products or services. These keywords signal an interest or an intent to buy, but your lead isn’t sure exactly what they’ll buy yet. Most people using commercial keywords are aware that they have a problem and they’re researching potential solutions to that problem.

The majority of commercial keyword searches happen when someone wants to know more about specific products or services. They may try to support their desire for purchasing with facts and statistics. They may also want to compare potential product or service options or look for free trials or discounts.

Where Do Commercial Keywords Fit Within Search Intent?

Search intent is the reason someone types a question into a search engine. Four common types of search intent match the different segments of the marketing funnel. Commercial search intent and keywords live in the middle segment of the marketing funnel. Some funnels split this section into two parts, the consideration and evaluation stages. In the consideration stage, your audience may compare different products and services from a variety of companies or they may compare a selection of similar offerings from your brand.

The evaluation stage happens after consideration. This is where your audience decides if the product or service they liked best from the consideration stage is worth the money or if it’s truly beneficial to meet their needs. Both of these things happen before someone is ready to make a purchase but after they’re already aware of your brand and its offerings. Knowing the type of search intent to cover with each of your marketing materials helps you target the most qualified leads in every stage of the funnel.

Related: How To Target Search Intent in the Marketing Funnel 

Why Are Commercial Keywords Important?

Many marketers make the mistake of thinking that search volume is more important than search intent. Certain keywords have a high search volume, meaning people look for them all the time. These are often informational keywords. For example, the keyword “information technology” has a high search volume. Companies in that field may think targeting that term can get them more traffic and visibility. It’s possible, but high search volume keywords are also highly competitive.

The chances of these high-traffic keywords driving organic conversions are low unless you work for a large, well-known corporation. It’s difficult to convert informational organic traffic into converting paying customers. Why? Because they’re looking for answers, not solutions. Targeting commercial keywords with lower search volume but the right intent helps bring more qualified traffic to your website or content. These people are looking for product and service solutions to fix their problems, not just answers.

More qualified traffic leads to more conversions, which can help boost your sales and revenue. Commercial intent keywords also help improve metrics like click-through rates. This is in contrast to high volume and informational keywords, which often end with zero-click searches.

Types of Commercial Keywords

There are different types of commercial keywords you can use when developing content to target the right audience searches online. They include:

Investigative Commercial Keywords

Investigative commercial keywords are the ones your searchers use when they’re in the consideration stage of the marketing funnel. They’re solution, and sometimes brand, aware. They want to learn more about their product and service options across companies or the different options your company offers. Some common investigative commercial keywords include:

  • Best
  • Review
  • Vs
  • Top
  • Compare
  • Affordable
  • Cheap
  • Alternative
  • Pros
  • Cons
  • Strategies
  • Ways to
  • How to
  • Tips

Some marketers and SEO professionals also call these examples commercial informational keywords. That’s because some people looking for information about a company or brand may use them to learn more about an organization and its offerings even before they have the intent to make a purchase. The context of the full search term or phrase may help you determine if someone has purchase intent behind their query.

For example, a search for something like “Top Apple products” is a more informational search. Someone may just want to know what types of products Apple offers. But a search for “Top CopyPress content types” is more commercial. The searcher already knows CopyPress sells content marketing services and wants to know which types are most popular with other clients to compare services.

Related: Informational Keywords: What They Are and Why They Matter

Buy Now Commercial Keywords

Buy now commercial keywords overlap with transactional keywords. This typically happens at the bottom of the middle segment and the top of the bottom segment of the marketing funnel. This type of keyword signals that your searcher or lead is ready to move into the action phase and purchase something. These keywords typically appear when someone is in the evaluation stage. They’re ready to buy, but they’re trying to justify the purchase first. Common buy now commercial keywords include:

  • Order
  • Buy
  • Discount
  • Coupon
  • Shipping
  • Deal
  • Save
  • Free
  • Code
  • Trial
  • Rent
  • Download
  • Promo

As you can see, many buy now commercial keywords show that someone is looking to save money or find discounts for a product or service they want to buy.

Related: Transactional Keywords: The Conversion Side of Search Intent

Local Commercial Keywords

Sometimes, commercial keywords also have local or navigational intent. If your cell phone charger breaks or you need an oil change on the way home, your research isn’t just about finding the right solution or the best deal. In these time-sensitive situations, availability and convenience also factor into the decision process. Some local commercial keywords include:

  • Open now
  • Same day shipping
  • Delivery
  • Appointment
  • Product or service name + location
  • Near me
  • Open 24 hours
  • In stock
  • Available now
  • Accepting reservations
  • Schedule
  • Nearby
  • Hourly rate

Related: How To Uncover Search Intent for Local SEO

Product and Service Commercial Keywords

Product and service keywords are those that searchers use when they want to find where they can buy specific products and services and compare features. Many searchers may combine these keywords with investigative commercial, buy now commercial, and local commercial keywords to create long-tail search phrases. The longer phrases are more specific. This increases the chances of finding the right result most quickly. Examples of product and service commercial keywords include:

  • Branded keywords
  • Specific product names
  • Product categories
  • Service categories
  • Company or firm names
  • Consultation

How Long Are Commercial Keywords?

Commercial keywords can be just one word or a sentence-length phrase. Most commercial keywords include two or more words to find more specific information online. For example, searching for just “review,” “discount,” or “near me” doesn’t provide enough context for the search engine. But when you put more keywords together like, “content marketing service review” or “iPhone discount,” the search engine brings up much more targeted results.

What Tools Can You Use To Find Commercial Keywords?

Most SEO and keyword research tools show the search intent of a particular keyword or key phrase within their dashboards and search functions. Others may not tell you the intent, but provide lists of keywords and phrases that bring traffic to your website and content. You can use them to do the work manually, separating the different keywords into buckets and determining search intent from there. Some common keywords tools to help you find commercial keywords include:

What Can You Use Commercial Keywords For?

There are plenty of ways you can use commercial keywords in your marketing to reach leads and searchers with this intent. Some options for incorporating commercial keywords into your strategy include:

Organic Content

You can use commercial keywords to help shape the organic content your company develops and shares online. Comparison guides and infographics may be some of the most popular types of commercial intent organic content your team creates. How-to or demonstration videos may also be popular. They help searchers and browsers better see how your products or services work during the decision phases of the buyer’s journey.

Paid Advertising

Like transactional keywords, commercial keywords are helpful for targeting your audience with paid search ads. Because both audiences with these search intents are more specific about what they’re looking for online, you can target paid marketing for your best chances at traffic and conversions. This allows you to use your budget more effectively to get more qualified traffic on your website rather than casual browsers.

Related: What Is Paid Traffic and How Can You Attract It?

Email Content

Because you use audience segmentation in most of your email marketing, it’s a perfect place to incorporate commercial keywords and content into your marketing plan. You can share commercial information and content with certain email segments that are most likely to need your products and services. You can also target segments that have expressed interest in buying or converting with your company in some way. The organic content you’ve created that focuses on commercial search keywords is perfect to share with your email subscribers to help push them to consider and evaluate what your organization offers.

Optimizing Product and Service Pages

You want your brand, products, and services to be in the conversation when your leads are looking for solutions. You can do that by optimizing your product and service pages to serve your searchers and search engines. Information like features, price, and service options attract commercial search intent to your product and service pages. When you include the things people are looking for on your most important conversion pages, you have a better chance of drawing the right audience to those pages from organic search or paid search ads.

Identifying Competitors

Searching for some of your top commercial keywords on Google can reveal your top competitors, too. When you run a simple search for some of your best commercial keywords, look at what other content and companies show up in the results. Which companies and content appear in featured snippets? Which ones pay to run search ads for these terms?

The more you learn about the competitors that target the same commercial keywords as your company, the better you can understand how to target your audience. It allows you to see what other brands offer and how they position themselves as a solution to different audience problems.

Free Tool: Collect Your SEO and Content Analysis

Sales Calls or Inquiries

Even in the digital age, not everyone relies solely on online independent research when making purchasing and partnership decisions. Commercial keyword content is also helpful when leads contact your company for consultations, sales calls, and other inquiries. Content like case studies and white papers provide information you can share with your audience on a voice or video call. They also serve as helpful resources to send to inquiring leads to provide more information after a meeting to let them do additional independent research about your company, products, and services.

Focus on All Areas of Search Intent to Nurture Leads

Commercial keywords help you lead your audience through the marketing funnel to get them to make those all-important conversions. But they’re not the only place to focus your content marketing efforts. Developing content for informational, navigational, and transactional keywords helps you guide leads through the entire sales process. Building relationships with your audience throughout that process increases the chances of earning loyal customers.

Author Image - Christy Walters
Christy Walters

CopyPress writer

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