5 min to read
It all starts with some words in a search box. Over 40.000 searches are made every second on Google, 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. Each search is an expression of people's needs, wants, interests and desires. Imagine how much your business would benefit if you could customize content on your website to serve these needs.
Keyword research comes to help you with this. It gives insight into what's going on in the minds of your target audience and helps fill potential gaps between consumers and the sought-after products or services. So, whether you are planning an organic (SEO) or a paid search (SEA) strategy, keyword research is the foundation of successful search engine marketing (SEM). To help you do this task like a boss, here goes 5 tips to find the best keywords for your business.
# 1: Define Your Communication Territories
To start your keyword research, the first thing you must do is create a list with the territories are relevant to your business. Start by separating your territories into three categories: awareness, leads, and brand. Then, set up some initial keywords for each territory. Each of these categories corresponds with one of the three main stages of the conversion funnel. So, by addressing search terms in each of these territories, you can create touch points in the customer journey leading up to a conversion.
To demonstrate how to do this for your business, we’ll use a fictional beauty supply brand, Beauty for You, as an example.
People in the awareness territory often use “issue or opportunity” terms. Corresponding with the awareness stage of the conversion funnel, these users are problem-aware. They still do not know they need you. However, using the right keywords, you can find ways to educate users about a solution for their issue. These will be your “How to” and question-oriented search terms. In this example, the brand Beauty for You wants to prospect people who, after summer, are looking for ways to treat their sun damaged hair. In this case, you could choose awareness keywords like "how to treat sun damaged hair?" or even "can the sun damage your hair?".
In this territory, people are not looking for your brand, but rather for products or services related to your industry. This corresponds with the consideration phase of the customer journey, where users are solution-aware, but they are considering the different options available. Here, you will use lead keywords. These are broader terms that people use to search and compare potential solutions. Following the previous example, if a company sells beauty products, it can use lead keywords like:
In your brand territory, people are searching for you. This corresponds with the conversion or action stage of the customer journey, where users have already become aware of their problem, considered their potential solutions, and are ready to take an action. Here you will want to use branded keywords, which can be your company name and its variations. You can also include your products, product categories, geolocation and whatever else that falls in your brand territory. So if our fictional brand Beauty For You wants to explore their brand keywords, they might start with themes like:
Finding and identifying these territories will help you find the best keyword for your business, and better understand the consumer and their problems. This in turn will help you create opportunities to solve your customers problems with your products and services. Once you’ve defined your territories, you can expand on these areas using online tools specially made to generate more keyword ideas.
#2: Google Autocomplete Feature
A great place to look for inspiration for new keywords is the Google Autocomplete Feature. We all know that Google is the world’s most popular search engine. So, when it comes to keyword research, it is an ally that will help you achieve the best insights. Google Autocomplete is a feature designed to make it faster to complete searches. As soon as you start typing, it starts trying to autocomplete your query. The search terms appear in a word ranking of what people search more. So, you can use it to have a lot of ideas to increase the keywords for your SEM strategy.
However, typing and copying the results can be rather tedious, but there are free tools that can make this process easier. For example, KeywordTool.io Google Autocomplete and other search engines, including YouTube and Amazon, to generate a comprehensive list of keywords that you can easily export to an Excel worksheet.
#3: Google Related Search
Google also helps you with the related searches. It is a great, free and easy alternative for finding keywords. Also, it gives you a big insight into who your customers are and what their intent is. You can start typing a keyword related with your business into Google and scroll down to the end of the page where the related searches are. Include these ideas in your worksheet.
#4: Google Trends
Google Trends is one of the most incredible tools because it provides information to help you understand how, where, and even when searchers are using keywords. With Google Trends, you can explore what the world is searching! You can see the daily search trends and real-time search trends. Start by choosing your target location, time period, category and type of web search. Then, enter your initial keywords and see the interest over time, the interest by subregion, the related topics and related queries.
This tool will help you come up with new ideas to enhance your keyword research with trending search terms.
#5: Keyword Planner
The first thing you need to do is to create a Google Ads account to use the Keyword Planner tool. It's quick, easy and free. After that, you can start by searching words or phrases related to your products or services.
You can also add filters such as which country, which language and which type of search network you want to target your keywords. The Google Keyword Planner works to find the keywords that are most relevant to your business and you can easily download them from the platform. It gives you a lot of information, such as the average volume of monthly searches, the competition and the estimate of how much you need to pay to bid for this keyword if you’re going to create a Paid Search strategy.
Once you have these insights on your keyword research worksheet, you can study which keywords are best for your business objectives. You need keywords with a good volume of searches, but keep in mind that these can be the most competitive and expensive words. So, if you want to be strategic with your budget, or even if you prefer to focus on a small niche business, consider the long tail keywords.
#Bonus Tip: Long Tail Keywords
Long tail keywords are words or phrases that are more specific, and usually longer, than more usually searched for keywords. They target more on a niche. Imagine Beauty For You from the first example. Beauty for You have a special hair product with chamomile for blond hair. A person who looks for "shop chamomile shampoo for blondes" is probably closer to a conversion than a person who are looking for a "hair shampoo". It is much easier to rank for long tail keywords than for more common keywords, because there is fewer competition for high rankings in SERP (search engine ranking page). The longer and more specific search terms are, the easier it is to rank for them. Focusing on a group of long tail keywords will result in a great deal of traffic altogether. Also, another benefit on long tail keywords is that, although these keywords are used less in search, as they are more specific, the person that finds your company using them is more likely to buy your service or product.
Always remember that keywords, as the name implies, are the key element that bridge your target audience’s problem to the solution your company offers. This task can be laborious and time consuming, but it will bring you a lot of benefits if well done. When it comes to finding keywords, the biggest piece of advice I can give you is to keep searching. The more you search and investigate, the more you’ll increase the quality of your keywords and your visibility on the search engines. So, don’t leave it for tomorrow! Good luck!
About the Expert
This week's Voice of Experts article was written by Caroline Bazácas. Caroline is a Junior PPC manager at Codedesign. When she isn't optimizing her campaigns and digging for new keywords, you can find her dancing Samba in true Brazilian fashion.