If you’re using SEO or Google AdWords, here’s a rule you must follow:  aim for the bullseye, first.

This rule is so critical to success with search engine marketing… and yet most people don’t follow it.

And in this article, I’m going to explain what “bullseye” keywords are, why they’re so important, and how you can find yours today, so you attract more customers.

What Are Bullseye Keywords?

In our SEO Jumpstart class, one of the major concepts we teach is search intent.

There are basically two categories of keyword phrases: buying-intent keywords and research-intent keywords.

Bullseye keywords are another name I use for buying-intent keywords. When a prospect searches a bullseye keyword, then there is no doubt that she is an A+ quality prospect. Your products or services are providing a perfect match for their search intent.

Here’s an example…

Let’s say you own a knitting store in San Francisco.  A bullseye keyword would be something like “knitting store San Francisco.” If someone searches that in Google, they’re a perfect prospect for you. You are hitting the bullseye.

On the other hand, a non-bullseye (research-intent) phrase in this case would be “knitting.” Someone who searches “knitting” might be a good prospect for you, but there’s a very good chance that they would NOT be a good prospect. They could also just be researching some knitting ideas.

Why Aim at the Bullseye?

A lot of people want to focus on the generic “research” keywords because they get so much more search volume. But don’t get distracted by the big numbers. Instead, focus on what actually matters: 1) getting more customers and 2) minimizing your risk.

Here are 2 reasons why I always tell people to start with bullseye (buying-intent) keywords, first:

  • Faster rankings. When it comes to SEO, bullseye keywords tend to be easier to rank for in Google because they are longer phrases — and longer phrases typically have less SEO competition. Generally speaking, a 3-5 word phrase is going to be much easier to rank for than a 1-2 keyword phrase.
  • Higher conversion rates. Your goal with SEO or PPC shouldn’t just be to get rankings or clicks. Instead, your goal should be to get more customers. And buying-intent keywords typically convert much higher than more generic research keywords.

Now, I’m not suggesting you should avoid research keywords altogether. Research keywords can be valuable for both for SEO and PPC. But I  recommend you start by aiming at the bullseye, because that’s usually the lowest-hanging fruit.

How to Find Your Bullseye Keywords

Here are 2 quick methods for finding bullseye keywords…

1. Brainstorm

The simplest way is to just brainstorm. Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes, and think: What would I search if I was shopping for company’s products or services? And then cross-reference your ideas using Google’s free keyword tool to make sure you are targeting phrases that actually get some search volume.

2. Spy on The Competition

You can check out what keywords your competitors are targeting. Look at their websites and also look at what keywords your competitors are advertising on in Google, using Keyword Spy.

Here’s What To Do Now

If you’re just getting started with SEO or Google AdWords, then start by identifying your bullseye keywords.

And if you’re already using SEO and paid search, then take another look at the keywords you’re targeting. Are you aiming at your bullseye keywords? If not, then you’ll want to add them to the mix right away. By focusing on buying-intent keywords, you’ll attract more qualified leads and paying customers.