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Katy Allaire
by Katy Allaire
on January 4, 2016

In order for your brand to maximize its SEO, you will need to choose keywords to utilize for your digital marketing plans. This is an important task to ensure your brand can reach its target audience. Proper research must be conducted to uncover appropriate keywords and topics that match your brand and its message.

Where to Begin

Before actually coming up with any keywords, your brand will need to decide on topics that are directly related to your products or services. Think about topics that most commonly arise during a sales pitch. If you are a technology brand, perhaps your most often noted concern for consumers is security. This is a topic that your brand consistently addresses with its existing and potential consumers. If this is the case, security would be a valid topic to note during the keyword research process.

Some other topics relevant to the technology industry:

  •         Cloud Computing
  •         Software Engineering
  •         Research and Development
  •         Troubleshooting

The key here is to know your customer and what they are seeking when they come to your brand. Getting inside the mind of the consumer and understanding how they purchase within your industry will give you valuable information to use in order to choose appropriate keywords that will drive consumers to your brand. Come up with about 5-10 strong topics related to your company. This will become your starting point for developing a list of keywords.

Uncovering Keywords and Phrases

Once you have your list of topics, you will want to uncover keywords that fall into those categories. Remember to keep the consumer in mind and to understand how they would go about searching for this information. What words do they use? How do they phrase their search request? Brainstorm some phrases that would be directly related to the topic.

Take the security topic for example:

  •         Privacy Monitoring
  •         Mobile Security
  •         Cyber Crime

Develop a list of at least 5-7 words/phrases. You will not necessarily use all of them but it will give you a solid foundation towards finding the right ones to use.

Google It

Once you have your lists, you’ll want to head to the search engine to conduct research on your chosen keywords. This research will allow you to understand what information already generates for those keywords. Not only will you acquire valuable insight into your competition, but you will also be able to gain additional keyword ideas. When searching on Google, if you scroll to the bottom of the page, suggestions will generate. These suggestions are related to topics that have been popularly searched that include similar topics or information to your original search. Take a look at the suggestions when we searched “mobile security” on Google.

Mobile Security

This list could give you the motivation for constructing other keywords that may actually be more beneficial to your brand. In addition, this information shows popular searches as it relates to your topic which adds value to your ideas.

Find the Right Balance

There are two types of keywords in SEO: head terms and long tail. Head term keywords are short, generic 1-3 word phrases that are very commonly used within a given industry. In technology, for example, security or software would be popular head term keywords. While head term keywords reach a broad market segment, they are in high demand which means that the competition to achieve higher SEO ranking for these terms is fierce. Despite the high competition, head term keywords account for less than 30% of searches performed online. The remaining 70% comes from long tail keywords.

Long tail keywords are phrases that contain more than three words. While long tail keywords focus on a smaller segment, the consumers captured from these keywords tend to have more value to the brand. Marketers discovered that long tail keywords resulted in higher conversions because they were able to capture the consumer later in the buying cycle. A consumer searching for “security” may be just beginning their search and are not yet ready to purchase. However, a consumer searching “mobile security apps for iphone” is most likely ready to buy.

While long tail keywords may result in higher conversions, head term keywords are still a crucial part of capturing a consumer no matter where they are in the buying cycle. Having a good balance of the two types of keywords allows your brand to achieve long-term and short-term goals. Ultimately, your head term searchers are likely to become long tail searchers when the timing is right for them.

Keep an Eye on Your Competition

As mentioned previously, your Google search for possible keywords allows your brand to see where your competition may be ranking in search results. If your competition is ranking on keywords you also have your eye on, keep this in mind when finalizing which keywords to use. This could mean an added cost to achieving ranking on those keywords. Similarly, if you find that your competition is not using a keyword that is on your list, don’t be too quick to write it off. This could be your moment to own that keyword to capitalize on the market.

Keyword Planners

Google AdWords or Hubspot’s Keywords are excellent resources to use to estimate the value of keywords. Google AdWords, for example, can provide your brand with an estimated search volume and estimated cost for paid campaigns associated with your chosen keywords. These resources will assist in narrowing down the keywords you want to use. This way, you will be able to invest in those that will provide the maximum benefit.

Developing the right keyword strategy for your SEO is a diligent task that can make or break your brand. Achieving higher rankings will give your brand much better visibility. Keep in mind that your SEO strategy should be changed regularly, as Google and other search engines are constantly launching algorithm updates. However, your strategy in researching keywords will remain the same. In the meantime, keep that list of keywords aside so you can reference them when re-strategizing. Keywords that might not work now could very well be beneficial later.

inbound marketing strategy

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