Keyword research is fundamental to any search marketing campaign. If nobody’s looking for you, you should not put your time and money into a search campaign.
There are already a lot of articles, out there, that can show you how to do in-depth keyword research. Here’s another from Bruce Clay, for example. That’s not what this article will teach you.
I’d like to show you a 10,000 foot view of keyword research. Perhaps you could call this an “introduction to keyword research.”
My simple keyword research method involves only a couple steps:
If you’re going to do keyword research like this you must be honest with yourself. I know you think it would be cool to “rank number one” on Google but what good is that if nobody’s looking for you?
For this to work, you’ll also need to avoid using technical jargon. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Sometimes the best customers use the wrong phrase when looking for you.
While this might be a quick way to do keyword research, it has a couple limitations.
Sure, people might be looking for you, but it might not be enough to justify a search campaign. Google Trends can help you see into this to a limited degree. Good keyword research is able to estimate how many people might be using a particular phrase.
There might be a couple different ways to say the same thing. There might be a couple different ways to search for the same solution. Which one do customers use more often? That would be the phrase you should use in your search campaign. You could use Google Trends to compare phrases against each other. Good keyword research can offer better insight.
There might be people looking for your solution but there might be a lot of competition for those people. For instance, there are a lot of businesses looking for IT Services. At the same time, there are a lot of companies that provide IT Services.
Search marketing can also be difficult in broader categories. For example, lots of people turn to the search engines to find a “computer.” Unfortunately, that category is broad. Even if someone could find your business from that search, you might not have what they need.
Good keyword research should be able to identify the competition in your space.
With all these limitations, why bother with this quick method? It can give you a basic idea of what you could be doing. That’s all. For serious inquiries, in depth keyword research is much more helpful.
For better keyword research, you’ll need to:
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