Keyword research is really simple. Just go to Google Adwords Keyword Tool and find keywords with high search volume and not so high competition. Bosh! Done!
Well, not quite…
The one factor you’re missing from that scenario is the most important element – your customer. To really fine tune your keyword research you need to add customer profiling to your workflow.
Social and demographic profiling
If you know your customers, you’ll know their needs and questions and you’ll be able to build engaging and compelling content around that.
Different groups speak different languages. There’s no point in trying to engage an over 50s audience with the language of 16-18 year olds. Similarly, you’d have a tough time pulling in an academic audience using punchy sales-speak. To attract a specific audience, you need to speak its language.
Now, as far as I know, Google hasn’t yet developed a keyword tool that deals with language by demography but there are a few simple ways to get a handle on your audience’s profile and language.
Monitor social media channels and see how your audience members express their needs and desires. See how they interact with each other and note any common themes.
Speak with your own people: your sales team, customer service squadron and reception staff. Ask them how customers describe your services, products and their situations.
Do some focus group work with customers and prospects. Listen to the language they use when discussing your brand, products and services.
Profiling through the buying cycle
At different stages of the buying cycle, you will find that different modifiers are used in search queries.
Evaluation stage: “Best digital companies” – “Compare digital companies” – Seeking more information and researching
Decision made: “Download Bill Nelson’s album Fancy Planets” – “Buy Bill Nelson’s album Fancy Planets” – Want to get the product. Incidentally, this is a truly fabulous album by a genius of a musician!
Implementation stage: “How do I install Adobe Creative Cloud” – “Adobe Creative Cloud tutorials” – Want to learn how to use
Think about different types of queries and when and why they would be used. What’s the objective and what information would the searcher expect to enable that objective? What’s the next step on the buying cycle? Carefully thinking this through will result in the relevant content your customers are looking for.
Matching search queries to intent
In itself, a keyword doesn’t really give search engines an indication of what the searcher is looking for e.g. “Marketing Leeds”
- “Find a marketing company in Leeds”;
- “Looking for a marketing job in Leeds”;
- “Who is in charge of marketing the City of Leeds”
- “Marketing courses in Leeds
This is a difficult one for search engines and as a result, they put a lot of resources into figuring likely search intentions through search history signals and location.
So, if you have a web page that deals with a particular need or intention, consider optimising it with that specific action or intention in mind.
I hope you find this information useful and, as ever, if you’d like any further information, please get in touch.