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The Difference Between High Intent and Vanity Keywords (And Why It Matters for Local Businesses)

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

The Difference Between 

High Intent and Vanity Keywords

that you’ll discover inside of ‘The Marketing’ book:


As a local business owner, one of the most important aspects of your online marketing strategy should be search engine optimization (SEO). But not all keywords are created equal when it comes to driving qualified traffic and potential customers to your website.

There are two main types of keywords to be aware of: High Intent Keywords and Vanity Keywords. Understanding the difference between them can be the key to SEO success.

Vanity Keywords: All Flash, No Substance
Vanity Keywords are those broad, overly competitive phrases that don't necessarily reflect a buyer intent. These are keywords like "best plumber in [city]" or "top HVAC company." While ranking for these terms may give your ego a boost, they don't tend to translate into actual business.

Think about it: when someone searches for "best plumber in Chicago," are they ready to hire a plumber right then? Most likely not – they're probably just gathering initial information and aren't close to making a purchase decision yet.

High Intent Keywords: The Moneymakers
On the other hand, High Intent Keywords are the queries that potential customers use when they're ready to buy. These are the moneymaker keywords that you really want your local business to show up for. Examples include:

"Emergency plumber near me"
"Ac repair service quotes"
 "Furnace replacement cost [city]"
"Water heater installation prices"
"Affordable roofer quotes"
"24/7 locksmith services"
"Tesla home charging station installer"
"Appliance repair cost estimates"
"Carpet cleaning prices per room"

Can you see the difference?
These are keywords that prospective customers use when they have a urgent need and are evaluating their options before making a hiring decision.

By optimizing your website and content for these High Intent Keywords, you'll be ensuring your business shows up at exactly the right place and time – when locals are ready to buy the services you offer.

The Revenue-Driving Impact of High Intent Keywords
While Vanity Keywords may be tempting to go after, they simply don't drive the same revenue impact as High Intent Keywords. You could rank #1 for "best plumber in Chicago," but if no one actually converts from that traffic, it won't help your bottom line.

On the other hand, if your website ranks towards the top of Google for something like "emergency plumber near me," you're going to get incoming customer calls and leads on a regular basis from people who need your services right now.

As a local business, that's exactly the type of qualified traffic you want to be attracting with your SEO efforts. By prioritizing High Intent Keywords, you'll see far higher conversion rates and revenue than if you just chase Vanity Keywords.

​When it comes to SEO for local businesses, remember: High Intent Keywords rule the day. Identify them for your industry, optimize your website and content accordingly, and watch as more paying customers find their way to your virtual doorstep.