Keyword research is one of the first and most important phases of your SEO and digital marketing strategy. There is a direct connection between using the right keywords and getting relevant visits to your website. These relevant visits are from people who will actually become your customers.
Don’t Turn Your Website into Wikipedia with the Wrong Keywords
The main problem with keyword research is that many marketers and business owners look ONLY at the search volume indicator. But this is the issue: high search volume does not equal lots of sales.
Generic keywords have a very high number of searches because people look them up when they are casually searching for information. This means that your website will get a lot of visits – just like Wikipedia. And just like that website, yours will turn into a source of basic information on a topic. But very few of those visitors will take the next step and buy your products.
What Kind of Keywords Actually Lead to Sales?
The key element of success in keyword research is finding a good match for the users’ intent. In Google searches, intent is everything. People who search for “meat grinders” are casually looking for information about how a meat grinder works.
When they search for “stainless steel meat grinders for beef” they have a clear intent in mind. They actually need the specific model of meat grinder and they are ready to start on the customer journey.
So, what should you do to identify relevant keywords for your business that match a potential customer’s intent? Here are some useful suggestions:
1. Research Amazon Listings
Amazon is the largest online store in the world. You can find anything here, from high-end specialised electronics and devices to cat food and diapers. And Amazon sellers are clenched in a bitter fight for customers.
Thus, they have learned to include specific, long tail keywords in their product names, in order to match buyers’ intent. If you are not sure about the most accurate way to describe your products, you can go to Amazon and start typing. As you write, you will get at least a dozen suggestions of long tail keywords.
2. Explore the Insights Offered by Google Keyword Planner Tool
The Google Keyword Planner Tool is very useful to research for keywords starting from a generic term. You can export the list generated by the tool as CSV file and study it at leisure.
We revert to the dangers of looking only for the total volume of searches. You don’t want to turn your site into a free source of information. Thus, you need to pay attention to the following columns:
- Suggested bid.
If competition is high, it is because a lot of advertisers are bidding for the same keyword. Also, if the suggested bid is somewhere around the value of US$1 per click, then you can rest assured that it is a relevant keyword. Specialised advertising agencies will not set that bid if they do not expect to get sales out of most of the clicks. Thus, by analysing search volume, competition and suggested bid you obtain for free the research work of thousands of top advertising firms all over the world.
3. Adapt Your Keywords to Each Stage of the Funnel
The surest path of gaining as many qualified leads is carefully nurturing them. We spoke of the importance of lead nurturing in other articles, but now we will focus on matching your keywords with each step on the customer’s journey.
The intent differs from stage to stage. From general information at the top of the funnel, you move to specific benefits of your product at the middle of the funnel, and an invitation to buy at bottom of the funnel.
Thus, for the bottom of the funnel, your long tail keywords must include terms such as:
- Free trial
4. Spy on Your Competitors Keywords
In love, war and business almost everything is fair game. Thus, you should always keep an eye on your direct competitors and find out what keywords they use.
You can use tools like SEMRush, Wordstream or Ahrefs to analyse your competitors’ keywords. The more data you collect, the higher chances you will have to select the best, highest converting keywords and implement them in your SEO and digital marketing strategy.