Keyword analysis is the backbone of SEO, and researching effective phrases to promote your business is becoming increasingly important in the digital marketing landscape.
It’s a must-do for a number of reasons.
Firstly, you obviously want to get your business on that much-coveted first page of search engines for highly relevant terms and, secondly, it can give you a surge of inspiration for topics to create content about.
But if you’re here right now, reading this, we’re willing to bet good money that you already know how important keyword analysis is - you just want to get better at it. You know, take the bull by the horns and get back in the driving seat.
Ready to take control?
Every good marketer knows that customers aren’t all created equal - not all at the same time, anyway.
Some are way back at the start of the funnel, just figuring out what kind of problem they have that needs solving, while others are stuck in that funnel neck, waiting for someone to swoop in with a solution they can snap up immediately.
Which means choosing keywords that target everyone at the same time is almost impossible - and if it’s not impossible, it certainly won’t reap the rewards you’re hoping for.
For example, someone isn’t going to search “online file storing service” if they haven’t yet been educated on why they might benefit from using an online file storing service.
However, someone who knows they need an online system for filing their documents will have no qualms about typing that into Google because they’re ready to buy.
So, your goal here is to target different people at different stages of the buying journey with different keywords. And, when carrying out keyword analysis, you need to choose keywords that align with different levels of interest and intent.
Then think about the different search terms consumers are most likely to use relating to your brand at each of those stages.
Let’s say your goal is conversions; you want users to sign up for your monthly service. Then think about the different types of keywords that you can target:
There’s a little trick we like to use to target consumers close to conversion.
We call this trick “Intercept Keywords”, and they swoop in and target people who are just about to hit buy. It might be someone in a shop who has gone online to see if they can get a better deal, or it might be someone who’s deciding between two particular brands to buy from.
For example, instead of targeting the phrase “online file storing service”, you’d target “Dropbox competitors” or something similar. The people searching for the latter phrase already know what they want and what brand they’re planning on buying from, which gives you the chance to swoop in and offer them something different.
Okay, this goes against the majority of advice out there.
Most guides will tell you that you need to target keywords that have a large amount of traffic each month, because obviously more traffic means a higher chance of people clicking through onto your site and converting.
But, with high-traffic keywords comes high competition.
These are the keywords that everyone in your industry will be targeting, so it’s likely you’ll be paying over the odds if you’re implementing PPC campaigns, or struggling to get ahead of brands that have been around for years and have hundreds of ancient (in online terms) backlinks.
You’ve probably heard of the 80/20 principle that’s often tossed around in the marketing world. It basically refers to the idea that 80% of the rewards come from 20% of your efforts.
When we’re talking about keyword analysis, this idea means that the majority of traffic and conversions that you receive organically comes from keywords that have a low search volume.
By choosing low-traffic keywords, you can also target very specific actions you want consumers to take at different parts of the customer journey. And would you believe it, you can even rank on the first page of Google with low-traffic keywords without ever getting a single backlink.
Piggybacking is a common term used to describe jumping on the success of another brand. Companies that create iPhone accessories, for example, are benefitting from the huge success of Apple. Basically, they already know there’s an audience pre-made for them.
You can conduct your keyword analysis in two ways for this concept.
Let’s use the example of an online file sharing service again.
Say your business integrates with Gmail so that attachments are automatically saved in your storage service. Because you know that there are millions of Gmail users already out there, you might target the phrase “[your business] and Gmail”.
By targeting this niche keyword, you’re capturing the attention of all the people who are curious if they can integrate your software with Gmail (a.k.a. people who are seriously close to converting).
These SaaS brands have targeted the phrase “Dropbox integration” to capture consumers who are looking for a tool to work alongside mega-brand Dropbox.
Every industry has forerunners, and every industry has key trending strategies.
The idea here is that you target keywords that cover both the big names in your industry and the trending strategies at the same time.
For example, you might discover that social integration is going to be big in the online file storing world, so you’d target the phrase “social integration and Dropbox”. At that point, you can create content around that topic that then goes on to pitch your service as a better option, whether that’s because it’s more affordable or offers more features.
Most brands think they need to enter competitive mode and target relevant keywords that have thousands of searches each month.
This is not the case - especially if your main goal is conversions over traffic acquisition.
By choosing keywords that have less traffic but are specifically geared towards consumers at different stages of the buying cycle, you’re putting yourself out there when it really matters; when people are hovering over that all-important “buy” button.