Keyword research (KR) is one of the most important search engine marketing tools that we have at our disposal, applicable across both SEO and PPC (paid search). But we’re here to tell you why it’s application should span beyond your website and search engine marketing… There’s a hint in this quote from the late Steve Jobs
What is Keyword Research?
KR is the process of finding all of the possible search engine queries which may be relevant to your business and your customers. Knowing how users search for and find your website can inform how you structure your site, create new content or change existing pages to align closely to what users are searching for. Keyword research should not identify just one keyword that you’ll then use as much as possible across a page or site. The process should help identify a number of interrelated keywords that comprise the total topic.
How to Conduct Keyword Research
There are a number of free tools that will provide keyword suggestions, all you need is your product or service to start off with.
Start with Google. Before you click search, take note of the suggested search terms. Also, take a look at the bottom of the page under “Searches related to…” once you have searched. These will inform you of the most popular search queries related to your product or service.
For those of you with a Google Ads account, head to the Keyword Planner under ‘Tools & Settings’ > ‘Planning’. A Google Ads account is free to set up and doesn’t actually require you to set up ads.
In Google Search Console, hit ‘Queries’ under the ‘Performance’ tab.
Neil Patel has a great keyword tool – Ubersuggest (shown above)
The traditional approach for SEO purposes can help determine what website pages are needed and where – this is known as the Information Architecture (IA).
Generally, one relevant keyword with good search volume is assigned to each page on a site, and then the content on that page is written to focus on that keyword and other closely related terms.
So, now that you know what users are searching for surrounding your business, products or services – what can it tell you? Sure, it can inform what blogs to write and various elements of your website, we know that. But what about your social media, email marketing or even your above-the-line campaigns? There’s an incredible amount of insights to glean from what your customers are searching for and a broad array of applications of these insights. Say, for example, you’re selling laptops. Some top-of-the-funnel search queries might surround what to look for when buying a laptop.
What if you took the top 10 search queries by volume (because you know it’s what interests people) and compiled them into a social media content series? Things like size, screen resolution, memory etc that educate consumers. If you then know these are the things consumers are considering when buying a laptop, it allows you to position your product above your competitors in advertising materials targeted towards those at the bottom of the funnel (i.e. consumers signalling purchase intent).
A great example where this sort of consumer data helped to inform marketing strategy is Spotify’s OOH (out of home) campaign in 2016. In this instance, it was their own platform data rather than third-party search data, but the same principles still apply. Of course, their tongue-in-cheek tone of voice helped but the savvy approach was brilliant in its simplicity.