Developing a Foundation with Keyword Research

November 29, 2010 | Written by Dusty Dean

Keyword Research Screenshot

Keyword research is an essential foundational element of search engine marketing.

Comprehensive and iterative keyword research will uncover your market’s keyword demand, supply you with a list of search terms to target for SEO and PPC campaigns, and most importantly, help you understand what your customers are searching for online.

Keyword research allows your company to respond to changing marketing conditions and target your customers with search terms that are highly relevant to them and to your company.

The process of keyword research involves comprehensive internal, external, competitor and customer analysis using online tools, marketing materials and much more.

The following is a list of important themes and methods involved in keyword research.

Long Tail Keyword Demand

Few people use the same search queries while searching online. This has created what is widely declared the “long tail” of search queries.

Short head refers to small list of keywords that send a large amount of traffic to your website. The list is usually very small but the amount of traffic these keywords send is high.

Long tail refers to a larger list of keywords that individually send a small amount of traffic, but in aggregate, these long tail keywords send the majority of your website’s traffic.

Internal Brainstorming

A smart first step in your quest for comprehensive keyword analysis is to assemble a group of employees across your company, open up your company’s website and start to brainstorm keywords and search terms that you think represent your company and its products/services.
Internal brainstorming recommendations:

  • Review your website and list frequent keywords and terms
  • Develop a custom taxonomy of your business’s verticals and categories for your industry
  • Think of synonyms customers may use to find your products/services
  • Pay careful attention to non-brand keywords and terms
  • Use your own Web analytics tool to perform a search query performance report


Competitive Analysis

It’s likely that your competition has invested in keyword research and has a comprehensive list of their own.

The transparent nature of the Web allows you analyze their keywords and determine if they’re of value to your company.

Competitive analysis recommendations:

  • Review their website for keywords and phrases related to your products/services
  • Analyze their non-brand keywords and phrases
  • Analyze their press releases, blog posts and articles for frequent keywords


Keyword research tool recommendations

Keyword research tools are essential to creating comprehensive keyword lists and to determining which keywords are most valuable to your company.

These tools output powerful datasets provided by search engines to help us better understand what our customers are searching for online.

Keyword research tool recommendations:

  • Google AdWords Tool & Keyword Estimator
  • Microsoft adCenter Keyword Research Tools
  • Google Insights for Search
  • Wordtracker’s Free Basic Keyword Demand
November 29, 2010 | Written by Dusty Dean

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