I’ve written about the “godfather of SEO,” Rand Fishkin, and how I follow his blog posts. He recently wrote about the subtle differences and complexities of keywords for marketing and I believe this is worth sharing with anyone who’s doing marketing or who has an agency doing marketing for them.
Here’s a quick summary of his wisdom and advice, based on the intention of your keyword research.
- Using keywords for your website to increase organic traffic (SEO) or buy Google Adwords (PPC)
One way to drive more traffic to your website is to understand how people are searching for your products or services. How do they think about their problem? What specific words or phrases do they use to solve it?
For example, when I worked in the area of hardware and software in the B2B mailing industry, how did people search for machines that prepared mailings to be sent out? We thought they would be searching for machines that fold and insert into envelopes – because that’s what we sold – folders and inserters.
But that’s not how people thought about the problem. Instead, they were searching for the best ways to “stuff envelopes.” It took our SEO specialist to figure this out, and we changed all the wording on our website and materials to reflect the way our customers were trying to solve their problem.
- Doing keyword research for your social media
Now that there are many different kinds of social media channels – from LinkedIn to Pinterest – it’s important to realize each channel has different users, with different goals.
If you’re thinking of how to maximize TikTok, for instance, it’s going to be very different than how you might maximize Instagram. Rand Fishkin points out the importance of hashtags and specific phrases, and gives you a step-by-step process for doing this research. If this is of interest – check it out!
- Keyword research to increase your stature in the industry
While this is similar to #1 above, it’s also useful if you want to do anything from growing your email list to building a following, so you’re considered a “thought leader” in your industry. This area is where data is your friend, and it’s important to find out your audiences’ interests, as well as “what’s worked to reach them previously, what they pay attention-to.”
There are a number of sites, from Reddit to YouTube, where you can learn from how others have gained traction and popularity in a given industry or with a specific topic. Understanding the formula for “what works best” is a great way to set yourself up for success.
- Keyword research to better understand your market/audience
Large organizations can spend months and huge budgets on general market research, trying to learn more about how specific audiences (their target market) thinks, feels, and is motivated to buy. Think about companies interested in reaching young mothers, for example.
Rand Fishkin’s new website/tool, called SparkToro, can do that for you. And he can help you to uncover various ways to market to these audiences along the way.
If you’re not sure how to navigate the complexities of content and keyword research – or you’re not sure how to begin – contact me and let’s talk!