Keyword Discovery 101: What You Need to Know, Part 1

Keyword discovery is very important for a variety of aspects of online marketing, including link building, PPC and SEO campaigns, and content marketing.

Aug 28, 2017 Digital Marketing

Keyword discovery is very important for a variety of aspects of online marketing. This includes link building, PPC and SEO campaigns, and content marketing (like product descriptions and press releases). When it comes to keyword discovery, the basic steps for approaching such a project include:

  1. Defining a keyword strategy, business objectives and business goals.
  2. Identifying and building an initial set of keywords.
  3. Refining that initial list of keywords and sorting them into meaningful themes or groups.
  4. Identifying top-performing keywords, testing those keywords, and putting those keywords into action.

Below, we will talk about the first two steps.

Developing a Campaign Strategy

Prior to starting, it is very important that you consider an overall campaign strategy and what goals that you would like to accomplish. Are you looking to drive traffic to your website and convert users or are your more interested in brand awareness where you can improve your rankings in search results? The reason this is so important is because it will impact the type of keywords that you choose in the end.

For instance, those that are at the beginning stages of the buying cycle will likely use general search terms, such as “digital camera”. However, those that are toward the end will use something more specific, such as “Canon PowerShot SX410 IS”. These users will have performed adequate search to know the exact model of camera that they would like to buy and are looking to obtain a good deal.

If you have digital cameras for sale at a good price and relevant content, then there’s a good chance that you will close a sale when web users land on your website. This is, of course, assuming that you are ranked high enough in the search engine (SERPs) through SEO or PPC. This particular principle is usually known as the “long tail”. Going after the long tail will lead to fewer impressions, but you will gain more customers and conversions.

Building That Initial Set of Keywords

As you identify keywords, you need to have some type of tool that you can use to capture them. One of the best tools that you can use is an Excel spreadsheet. Now, as you go about identifying them, you need to look at all types of possibilities and avoid ruling any keywords out. This stage isn’t about that and should be done at a later stage (the refining stage). As you work on building this initial set of keywords, you may want to check on some keyword tools that can help you. Some of the more popular ones are Wordtracker and Keyword Discovery.

Within Your Company

To find workable keywords within your company, you will want to look at information and data that has currently been researched and compiled on products/services. Good sources include your company’s website, marketing materials, press releases, etc.

Your website should have what is known as log files, which is a log of your web visitors’ activities. On the other hand, your website could be tagged so that it works with an analytics tool. Locate these log files, as these will give you insight into some potential keywords.

Another idea is free analytic programs, such as Google Analytics or StatCounter. These programs focus on user behavior and can often give you an idea of what keywords your visitors are typing into Google, Yahoo, and other search engines in order to locate your site.

Finally, your website’s very own search engine is also a good way to find potential keywords. It can show you what your users are searching for most and it can also give you an idea of what your visitors are unable to find.

Outside Your Company

Aside from trying to build your keyword list up from within your company, it is also a good idea to build your list from outside your company. In other words, look to your competitors. More often than not, they have already gone through this process. So, take the time to visit and browse their website and dig in to find out what search terms they are optimizing for.

One of the easiest and fastest ways to do this is to look at the site’s source code. There is a feature that allows you to do this in every browser. The source code provides you the chance to look at a site’s meta description, meta keywords, and H1 tags. Just remember that each page could have different data so don’t only look at the homepage.

Also, take the time to glance at industry publications, forums, blogs, and various online communities. Find out what the buzz is. What words are being used to describe products/services that you are offering. These keywords can come in handy.

If you have any questions about keyword discovery or would like help building an initial set of keywords for your campaign, let us know at WebDetail. And don’t forget to check out Part 2 of this article where we talk about refining your list of keywords, testing them and putting them to work.

Do you have some insight? Do you have questions or comments? We’d love to hear from you! Share it with us on Twitter or Facebook.

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