Keywords are still the words and text used to query the web. Not using images and video yet on a large scale basis, but keyword research is still the main table stake. One of the first sessions at SMX West is on Keyword Research. The first step to success with any marketing campaign is to know your message. With search marketing, that means knowing the search terms that are being used by your target audience. Understand what they’re searching for, and you can tune-in to their traffic via search engines.
Christine Churchill of www.KeyRelevance.com presented the following topic. Why do Keyword Research? Focus on the fundamental first steps in search marketing:
- Correcting bad keyword choices
- Increase conversion (success) by speaking the customer’s language
- Develop a list of relevant terms to target in SEO, PPC, Blogs, Images, Videos, Press Releases and Social Marketing
- Competitive Intelligence insights
- Keywords give ideas for site design and navigation
- Knowing the traffic potential helps plan budgeting
- Discover new keyword opportunities
The Long Tail Concept helps find now opportunities. “20 to 25% of the queries that Google sees today have never been seen before.” Udi Manber, Google VP of Engineering.
Keyword research is an iterative process and ongoing. Create a keyword list from brainstorming and without judgement to start. This creates a broad list of keywords from existing print jargon, press releases, collateral within company, but beware of insider jargon. Consider using a SiteSearch box that captures keyword data. Do a company and product review to see what others are saying about the product and service. Use keyword generation tools from Google such as Google Trends, Insights or free Google Search based keyword tools.
After you build you list of keywords, Expand it by using comparison terms or reviews. Search reviews of your community, look for misspellings and typos. Can you geolocate the terms? There are also several permutation tools available to help concatenate terms. Finally, it is time to Evaluate your list of expanded terms. Look for relevancy – is this phrase relevant to my sales or goals process? Popularity may lead to refinement. Competing against the most popular keywords can be costly, look for seasonal traffic, more focused phrases further in the goal process that recognizes the “user intent.” User intent recognizes viewers in a research vs. purchase phase and can also related to demographics of the audience.
Now you should have a fairly extensive list of keywords and phrases. Build your strategy around this list and then began the circular process of analyzing traffic, adding new iterations and monitoring success along with the important culling of non-performing keyphrases.