How to: Keyword Research for your Online Marketing

Keyword research is a practice commonly used by Search Engine Optimization experts to find particular keywords that users use to find information related to a certain topic. These keywords are then cashed upon by using them in copywriting or in the content of your website. When search engines find exact matches of keywords, it is likely that your website would figure in the top search results. More clicks bring a higher traffic to your website, increasing the profits from sales after conversion. There are many tools which can help you in the process of keyword research. These include Google Ad-words, Hitwise, Word Tracker etc. But tools can only enhance your initial search/keyword, and suggest new keywords based on them.  

The Basic Keywords

The first step therefore is looking for the right keywords which describe the type of content your website is hosting. Think like a user, empathise with the searcher who wants the content on your website or the product you are selling. What would/ should he search for? This is like reverse engineering the search process. Also try to think of niche markets which often don’t figure in the keyword lists of Google Adwords and other such tools. These are not directly linked to the keyword but have a close relationship. The more specific and selective the keyword, better are the chances of it having a good conversion rate also.    

Long Tail Keywords

One method of finding niche markets is looking for long tail keywords. Why are lon-tail keywords so important? They are a direct representation of the searcher’s thoughts. Although a particular shorter keyword would have a higher search volume (in terms of numbers) but they make up only about 30 % of the total searches, rest 70% are specific queries or keywords. To ignore this 70% would be a marketing blunder. Even though this 70% includes different long tail keywords, but each percentage of users consists of millions of users. Therefore using specific long tail keywords could mean tapping into a niche market and higher than usual conversion rates.

Value of Keywords

Once you have decided some basic keywords, use tools like Google Adwords and Wordtracker to get some ideas on keywords related to your search term. This list of keyword ideas comes up with the volume of search per day/month for those particular keywords. They give you an idea of the value of these keywords. Now enter these keywords in a few search engines. Look at the websites that come up as the top results. This gives you an idea of the kind of competition you will face if you target these keywords. Look for possible loopholes which these websites may have missed in the keywords or in the content. Buy test traffic (or a sample campaign) from Google Ad words for the selected keywords and point it to your webpage. Collect impressions and conversion rate data over a few hundred clicks. Using this data you can easily calculate the value of a keyword.

Insert these keyword in your copy

Merely having a list of keywords, of course won’t do you much good. Inserting the keywords strategically in your content/copy/meta-descriptions/headings etc. would give you maximum benefit. This is where the gap between research and product can occur. Even if the keyword research yields good keywords, they must be utilised properly to yield results. More information on SEO copywriting and usage of keywords at strategic locations, at a particular frequency is available in our article Let’s Simplify Copywriting for Websites (SEO).  

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