Keyword Research & Strategy

Not all keywords are created equal.  It is for this reason that great importance is placed on quality keyword research and strategies.

What are keywords?

Keywords are the individual words, terms and phases that identify a specific product, service or message for online search engines.  Keywords of a better quality usually equate to lower online marketing spend and greater profit.

Why are keywords important in marketing?

The process to select the correct keywords through online marketing efforts and strategies is a complicated, yet extremely important task that all online advertisers face.

There is no way of getting around this task as both search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns focus heavily on keyword research.  Although the approach and use of keywords in these campaign strategies may differ considerably, the underlying concepts are the same.

Keyword Research for Search Marketing

A small spead sheet of keyword research terms; the traffic they represent on a monthly level and the level of their competition.A PPC advertising strategy always begins with an in-depth review of  a client’s line of business or online objectives.

Often clients are unaware of the terms or search queries used by internet searchers.  This may be true because they think along industry jargon which may be unfamiliar to the average online user.

Solution: The trick is to put oneself in the shoes of a potential client or customer interested in a specific product or service, who does not necessarily know how to find it.

The first step to achieve a client’s online goal and understand how online users search for a particular service or product is keyword research.

Keyword research, in the case of PPC, will reveal terms and phrases plus relevant data, such as:

  • volume of search traffic,
  • level of competition for the keywords being researched,
  • new keywords directly relevant to the products or service offered, and
  • average cost-per-click.

The data obtained through proper keyword research, also better allows advertisers to optimize PPC accounts according to a client’s budget and website traffic goals.

Profitable Keywords

PPC keyword research efforts focus on the discovery of actionable keywords that are as specific as possible to the product(s) or service(s) being advertised online.  An internet advertiser should strategically discover and use more specific keywords rather than broad terms.

Narrowly focused keywords in a PPC campaign target search engine users that are more knowledgeable about the product or service and, ultimately, more likely to buy or commit.

Search Keyword Strategies

In a nutshell, there are two main keyword selection strategies.  The first strategy focuses on search engine users that do not know what they are looking for, while the second strategy focuses on users that know exactly what they are looking for.  If limited on budget, a narrowly focused keyword PPC strategy will most likely result in a higher profit than a broad keyword PPC strategy.

When selecting the keywords that will be used in a PPC campaign, always keeps the end-goal of PPC efforts in mind – drive sales or leads at the lowest cost and highest profit possible.

Keyword Research for SEO

A billboard against a beautiful blue sky, the billboard reads, "Be Seen Online!"SEO strategies are used to drive large volumes of high quality traffic to websites through natural search engine results, commonly referred to as organic traffic.

Organic traffic is thought of as free traffic because the site owner is not charged by search engines on a cost-per-click basis.  The truth is that there are hard costs involved with driving organic traffic through SEO efforts, just of a different kind than PPC efforts.

One is not better than the other and, in truth, both SEO and PPC efforts should be pursued.

For site owners that only pursue SEO as a means to advertise and market a website, there are different guidelines that apply to keyword research.  These different guidelines, also, apply on a general level to all SEO efforts with respect to keyword selection.  As organic traffic does not have a set cost associated to it, keywords are selected based on the volume of traffic they represent.  Albeit a powerful SEO strategy, it is a strategy that requires additional resources to achieve.  Keywords that have high levels of quality traffic associated to them, often tend to be the most expensive and may not necessarily be worth the money spent.

SEO & PPC strategies should be used in conjunction

In fact, SEO and PPC when used together will produce far better results, especially if executed in sync with one another.  Typically it is recommended to start PPC efforts prior to SEO efforts, but the opposite may also be true depending on the overall online marketing strategy implemented.

Keep in mind, when SEO is executed in conjunction with PPC, the keywords that are selected for SEO efforts will often be narrower in order to reinforce and capture more valuable search traffic on profitable PPC keywords.  A harmonized effort between PPC and SEO keyword research will bolster the performance of search terms that convert to sales or leads at a high level because a website appears more trustworthy and authoritative in the eyes of online searchers.

It appears more trustworthy and authoritative due to the principle of reinforced advertising across multiple channels.

Keyword Planning

Keyword research is, hands down, extremely essential to online marketing.  Both PPC and SEO efforts target keywords on search engines that drive search traffic to a website or webpage.  Often the goals of PPC and SEO, though similar in nature at times, follow different paths to drive online traffic to a website or webpage.

Where PPC will often be a leading source of sales or leads for a website; SEO will drive search traffic to a website that may not necessarily be ready to make a sale or fill out a lead form, but whose attention a site owner would wish to capture (i.e. researching the topic).

Work with an Expert

Website owners who want to make the most of their budget will benefit greatly if they work with a skilled and ethical internet search marketing professional.  The insights that online search marketing professionals can share and the lessons they have learned by being in the online marketing industry will save website owners time and money.  Be aware that there are times when the most expensive, competitive, highly trafficked keywords are the least likely to equate to profitable sales or leads.

Keyword research and online advertising is a complicated science, comprised of many interlocking and moving components.  Small missteps can significantly compromise the return from advertising efforts and waste budget spend overall.  Our online keyword research can uncover a tailored online marketing strategy that will maximize returns from online advertisements and efforts..

Take action to ensure the profitability of your online efforts.  Call or contact us to take the first step with keyword research.