Don't take keywords searchers use at face value.

They're not looking for the information they express in their search; they're looking to solve a problem, fix an issue, scratch an itch.

Woman Scratching Her Nose

Recently I was doing keyword research for a client of mine that makes awesome pie. I've tasted it, it really is that good (and no, I'm not getting paid for this post).

Not surprisingly, many of the keyword phrases had to do with recipes. Now, because I'm me, I automatically thought searching for a recipe means they actually want a recipe. So I wasn't going to suggest to my client that we write anything about pie recipes.

A week or so later, I found myself at a coffee shop talking to my friends who have a tech business. We started talking shop and the keyword research for my pie client came up.

I mentioned the number of people searching for pie recipes. My friend says, “Why wouldn't you write a page using the keyword phrase pie recipes?” I retorted that my client, it's Martha Stewart, he doesn't sell his recipes – he sells PIE. My friend then rubbed it in my face that I was thinking like myself.

It hurts when your friends are right. I was thinking like myself – or maybe I wasn't.

Kids Eating Pie

I have been known to buy desserts when my good intentions to bake fall through and I have to bring something to a gathering. This was the point my friend was making.

According to him, if he searched for pie recipes, he would be much happier if Google returned a website that allowed him to purchase a pie online and have it shipped to him.

Point taken.

All your ideas about life and what you would do, need to go out the window when you're doing keyword research.

Your ultimate goal has to be to find every way for your client to reach their potential clients—even the ones who think they want recipes.

They really don't want recipes, they just want pie.