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Keyword Research: The Building Blocks of Business

Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Grant Whiteside

Too many keywords, not enough action. It’s such a shame seeing a company lost inside an Excel spreadsheet and not making the most of their keyword research.

Keyword analysis, search demand analysis, SEO sorcery – call it what you want, but it’s the research piece that looks at all the potential keywords that could drive visitors to your business. We use this research as the building blocks to create content strategies for website copy, blogs, press releases, local advertising, social media, native ads, email, paid advertising, and press marketing activities.

Keyword building blocks

Keyword Research: The Building Blocks of Business

The Practical Value of Research

There is no such thing as ‘offline’ anymore; keyword research even informs us of the potential product names our clients may use on the next product line or the keywords we may ask you to use for your next TV advert.

We also use this information and tie it to a user experience:

  • Ensuring that a focus on keywords doesn’t muddle the content’s focus
  • Focusing on each segment of the potential customer base, from the top of the funnel to the end
  • And measuring how far along they are in engaging with your recruitment or retainment strategy

Clients’ expectations have really changed over the years, as has their knowledge and the expected or perceived value of this research. A greater focus on the customer journey funnel has made keyword research more important than ever, generating a need for content specifically focused on the needs of individuals at each stage of the funnel.

You can get a lot more than SEO and paid media opportunities out of keyword research. If you think about the entire user journey, you can use these building blocks to raise defences against the competitor landscape that steals existing and potential customers from you on a daily basis.

This is why we see an increasing number of business owners and venture capitalists using our services before buying a company, and global finance companies researching new markets before they dive in. Keyword research is not just a piece research for search marketing; it’s an integrated part of the strategy of a business and its market place.


Competitors and Keyword Research

Keyword building blocks

Do your research – just like this guy!

Have you tried taking these keyword groups and identifying your market share of them? Do you know who these ‘competitors’ are?

Consider taking a group of relevant associated keywords. Identify the potential volume of searches for each keyword and score them by volume, identifying who ranks from 1 to 100 for each keyword. Run this exercise over perhaps 50 keywords, and you may have 150 potential people sharing your visibility for this one group of queries.

You’ll then have a matrix of who owns which keywords, enabling you to create a plan to tackle how you may win those spaces, not only increasing your authoring and your SERP rankings but also sealing any leaks in your customer funnel.

It’s important not to forget longer-tail keywords. After all, there’s no point in analysing your customer journey funnel if you’re not going to focus on those individuals nearing the end of the funnel, as well. Despite having a lower search volume, their intent is higher. Holistic keyword research is key if you want to get the best results out of your efforts.

You may identify ‘authoritative’ publishing websites that may have valuable organic visibility for keywords that you simply won’t rank for without a considerable amount of time and effort. The opportunity is then to consider the other channels you can use to get visibility on these prominent websites:

  • Advertising
    • Programmatic
    • Native
    • Display
  • Digital PR / Guest posts

So which of these options will help grow more conversions? The opportunity is based on a full service range of options to convert traffic.


Does Size Matter?

Keyword data

“Aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper?”

It’s so big, I don’t know what to do with it. That sounds like a line straight out of a Carry On movie, but this double entendre pretty much summarises the problem with large pieces of keyword research – the sheer magnitude of the data is unmanageable.

Perhaps the CMO signed off the research but doesn’t have the time nor the skillset to patiently look through thousands of lines of keywords, seeing the woods from the trees and becoming aware of all the options available.

We’re not just looking at keywords by location and by devices; we’re looking at competitors and what market share they have based on these keywords. Half the battle is how you present this data so it doesn’t get lost in the detail.

The solution here is to focus on summarising and prioritising the findings. Don’t get bogged down in countless spreadsheets of countless data. Focus on your matrix of competitor keywords, and create a strategy to go after them. The results will follow.

Keyword Research

Use keyword research to build your marketing strategy from the ground up.

Never forget that content should answer a question and serve a need. But keyword research, in addition to all of its technical benefits, can help you to know your audience even better, answering their questions and fuelling their need for your product or service.

It may be just the start of the journey, but it’s one of the most important building blocks a business could ever use.

At Ambergreen, we approach keyword research holistically, using the data we collect to inform each step of the customer journey. If you’d like to learn more about optimising your business’s keyword research, get in touch to arrange a call – we’d love to work together and help your business grow.

Grant Whiteside
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