Digital Marketing: Keyword Research 101
Basic keyword research plays a fundamental role in any marketing effort and should be the starting point particularly when starting a new website for your business.
It should be noted that good keyword placing doesn’t exempt other forms of search engine optimization (SEO) or having a responsive website, but it does put you ahead in terms of adherence to the nuts and bolts of any marketing plan. It also prepares you to proceed to other more involved aspects of digital marketing.
By conducting proper research beforehand, you ensure that among other things, only the right kind of visitor checks into your website.
With the right information and tools at hand, you should be able to predict shifts in demand, respond promptly to changing market conditions, and adjust your product or services to reflect and feed the current vacuum in your market.
Let’s examine the task of keyword research and how it applies to a beginner.
How to judge the value of a keyword
To understand how valuable a keyword is for your website, consider the following factors.
Does the keyword relate to the content on your website?
People should be able to find exactly what they’re looking for on your website if they were led there by the keyword. If the content on your site answers all their questions and offers a solution (perhaps in the form of financial transaction) then you have a good working system.
Find out which of the major search engines rank you for your keyword.
This will give you an idea of what it takes to make it to the first page. Also check for ads running along the top and right side of organic search results — it’s a good indicator of high-value keywords.
If, for one reason or another, your website fails to rank well, you can buy test traffic to find out how well it converts. You can use Google Adwords and select “exact match” so as to point traffic to a specific page on your website.
To get a clear picture, track impressions and their conversion rate over the course of about 300-500 clicks.
Having collected this data, try to determine how valuable each keyword is.
Let’s assume for example that you have a search ad that generated 5,000 impressions over the course of a single day. Of these five thousand, 100 unique visitors came to your site, and three converted for a total profit of $300.
This means that a single site visitor for that particular keyword is worth $3 to your business, and out of the 5,000 impressions your website could generate 18-36% click-through rate in 24 hours with a #1 ranking.
This would translate to about 900-1800 visitors per day with each of them worth $3, or between $1-2 million per year. Those are significant earnings in the long run and with a consistent growth pattern, there really isn’t any apparent limit.
Understand the Long Tail Keyword
When ranking for single search phrases like “shoes” or “lipstick,” it would be great to hit 5,000 searches per day or more.
However, those types of search terms only make up about 30% of all searches performed online.
The remaining 70% is what’s known as long tail searches and these include hundreds of millions of searches every day when taken together from a global standpoint.
One lesson new search marketers need to learn is that long tail keywords often make better conversion than single-phrase searches.
For instance, a person searching for “suits” or “shoes” is most likely browsing non-committal; on the other hand, a person searching for “best price Tom Ford navy blue suit” or something more specific like “best price Air Jordan size 12,” most likely has their credit card out.
Resources for Keyword Research
Google Adwords is a common starting point for SEO keyword research as it gives you an estimate of search volume in addition to predicting the actual cost of running paid campaigns for specific terms.
In order to predict your chances of success, it’s vital that you first understand the demand for a given search phrase and the effort required to achieve high rankings for it.
If you find that all the top ten results are from large established brands and you’re only starting out, the battle for high rankings can take years of effort and a considerable amount of money in paid marketing.
Here are a few resources for beginners:
With a good understanding of keyword research, you will soon see your website gaining traction online. Just remember, to get found by customers, you need not only a responsive website, but the knowledge as well on what your potential customers are looking for.