If you have taken the necessary step 1, understanding your audience, and understand how they are looking for you and why. Then, you are ready to start taking the next steps to find those hidden gems (Keywords) that will help increase quality traffic to your site.
So what’s next, you ask? Next we use Keyword Research Tools.
Adwords Keyword Tool
This is probably the most common tool used. With this tool you can plug in a search term or phrase and a list of similar Keywords will be generated. Some of the Keywords are great to use, others make for great Negatives. This tool provides an estimate of the average Cost-Per-Click to bid on the provided Keywords, as well as some general information as to the competition in regards to search terms.
Paid Keyword Research Tools (Keycompete, WordTracker, KeywordSpy)
There are many Paid Keyword Research Tools on the market and their information varies based on which services the Keyword Tool provides. Some tools provide a more in-depth analysis of the terms you would like information on, such as a list of competitors bidding on the term, additional Keywords that are structured together by grouping or niche. Some provide information across other search engines besides just Google, while others provide expanded lists that offer more options that you can’t get from other Non-Paid tools. The information you would like to find and how much you are willing to pay for it will determine which service you will want to select. Researching available tools and looking into reviews of such tools is a great way to find the perfect fit for you.
Non-Paid Keyword Tools (Overture, Keyword Discovery)
There are several Non-Paid Keyword Research Tools out there you can find to do some additional Keyword research other than just relying on the Adwords Keyword Tool. They can give you basic information about Keywords, their level of competition and Cost-Per-Click. These services are definitely great stating points to get you thinking and building out your Targeted Keyword List and Negative Keyword list.
Most Important Tools (out of the norm)
Most people think the more insights you have into what your competitors are doing, the better chance you have at succeeding, and these people are often willing to pay top dollar to access services offering “better” insights. Some services provide the grouping and other additional information that can be helpful, but when it comes to Keywords, paying for an expensive service isn’t always key. While there are people out there paying top dollar for Keyword Services, they are often overlooking the most valuable to way to build out their Keyword list and that comes with knowing your audience and knowing how to find them. This means breaking out of the box and not just using Keyword (paid or not) Tools to find search terms that are relevant to your potential customers, but getting out there and finding your audience (instead of waiting around for them to find you)!
- Forums & Reviews – Search for forums and review websites that are related to the product/service you are offering and see what people are saying. What are their complaints about the product/service? What do they like best about it? What terms are they including in their comments to discuss the product/service? This can be a great way to not only find new search terms to add to your always growing Keyword list, but can be very insightful to help you improve your product/service and help you compete on a new level.
- Everyday conversation – think about the terms you would use in discussing your product/service in everyday conversation (not just industry jargon). Listen to the people outside of the office that you talk with about your product/service…..what terms are they using? Get input from family and friends. While there is always a list of common terms that are relevant to your product or service that people are using to search for, there is always someone out there that is searching for the same thing but in a completely different way, and sometimes certain words you want to bid on can alienate a specific market you want to reach. It is important to get feedback from people outside of the company or industry, and find out how the people who are actually buying your product/service are looking for it.
- Google Search Bar – When you type in a search term, Google shows a brief list of most popular terms that are relevant to the term you are searching for. Look at the top searches. Some will make great Keywords, other will make great Negatives (and these are just as important), and not all of these terms appear in the Keyword list that was generated by your keyword tool.
Remember, try non-traditional methods as well as traditional when it comes to finding the Keywords you want to bid on. It will help you build out your list and find a way to reach a target market that your competitors may not be reaching. The service you use (or pay for), is not as important as understanding your audience and getting out and mingling with them in the online and offline world. That is the Key to finding those hidden gems that will set you apart from competitors, increase quality traffic to your site, and improve your ROI’s.