Listening to SEO experts about Google’s Panda and Penguin changes, most say superior content is going to get you ranked better than using blackhat, backlinking and other questionable techniques. Being a supporter of high quality content online, I was excited to hear that. So how do you determine what kind of content is valuable and will be viewed by your target market? Go straight to the source… your clients.
The Ultimate Keyword Finder – Your Clients
Yes, I dare say it… your best clients and your ideal prospects are going to be your ultimate keyword finder. The key to getting the keywords out of your clients and prospects is to ask the right questions. Then, listening for exactly what they are saying. You may even want to record them and write down their words verbatim.
Ask a dozen of your current, past, and prospective IDEAL clients to answer the following:
1. If you were looking for someone like me, what would you type into Google?
2. What are the kinds of problems you would call a firm like ours to help you with?
3. If you were going to describe my services to a friend, what would you say?
4. Describe the results that mattered most to you from the work I did for you.
5. What would you tell your friends about us?
As your interviewees answer, be sure to jot down the exact words they use. Remember the way your customers think, is not how you think. So you can really learn a lot when you pay attention to their phrasing, needs, concerns and preferences. Like any survey, remember the bell curve applies to this process as well. There will be answers that are outliers. You will not want to use those. If you do enough interviews, however, you will begin to hear phrases repeated. Those are your best keywords to focus on.
Check Out Popular Brands That Market Successfully to Your Clients
Recently I was doing some keyword research for a client targeting successful style-aware men. I decided to go to the GQ Magazine website to watch their videos, read their blog posts and glean the keywords that they are using to attract this market. Not only were keywords abundant, but the marketing buzz words were flying out of the video faster than I could write them down.
Tip: Also check the source page (right click anywhere on the site and select “View Source”) for the meta description and keywords is a handy little way to see what they are optimizing their site for.
What brands are successfully marketing to your niche market?
What are the brands your market is talking about?
Make your list and go to those sites and find out what they are doing.
Use Keyword Tools Like Google Keyword Planner
Every good web designer and SEO specialist uses online keyword tools. By hiring a professional you will get the best job right. In the mean time, here are some free keyword tool options you can explore that will get you started and make your SEO teams job a little easier.
Google Keyword Planner (formerly External Keyword Tool) is by far the most talked about and used free keyword research tool. This shows you how often phrases you type in are being searched and how competitive they are for ads. The more competitive they are the lower chance of your site being found as a result unless you are willing to spend a lot on PPC advertising.
Google also has a tool that gives you insights about trending topics. Typing in your keywords and seeing the trends will help you identify whether people are really interested and reading about the phrases. You may also search for current unrelated hot trends and work them into your blog posts.
Keyword Spy allows you to put in a domain name of your competitor or other brand that targets your market and shows what they are spending money on
Alexa will show you the queries related to a particular domain.
Though you may not be an expert at keyword research, you will learn a lot starting with these 3 ways to do keyword research.
Add Your Keyword Research Tips and Tools
If you have additional keyword research tips and resources, please share yours in the comments below.