Keyword research (and selection) may, at first sight, seem a straightforward exercise. We all think we know our own businesses well enough to choose exactly the right keywords. Yet there are pitfalls along the way that are continually made by companies large and small, experienced or inexperienced, as they try to promote their online presence.
1) Don’t Rely Solely on Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific keyword phrases that visitors are more likely to use when they’re closer to a point-of-purchase. Used correctly, long-tail keywords can be hugely valuable but it’s important not to get too specific during the early stages of keyword research and selection.
Long-tail keywords frequently have low or even no search volume. In the earliest stages of your keyword research try to focus on broad(er) keywords, creating a list of broad keyword ideas alongside another list of possible long-tail variants. Tools like Karooya can help you research keyword variants which will help in your quest for achieving the perfect keyword strategy.
If you plan to start a PPC campaign, then the use of broad keywords can sometimes produce valuable keyword data that you might not have discovered otherwise.
Remember, start broad and refine from there. Not the other way around!
2) Consider Topical Issues
Picking product-related keywords is obviously vital, but equally you should think ‘outside the box’ (ahem, sorry about that!) and consider other keywords that are relevant to your customers.
By considering the issues or concerns that are likely to drive your customers’ searches you can reach an untapped audience. For example, we helped to generate dozens of new enquiries for a client of ours who operates in the cyber-security industry. By bidding for keywords relating to a new EU regulation – keywords that were unrelated to the client’s product – the campaign helped to generate a significant amount of new enquires.
Picking product-related keywords is obviously vital, but equally you should think outside the box and consider other keywords that are relevant to your customers’ needs.
3) Use Google Search Suggest
What’s the best way to complete a Google search when you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for? The answer is to let Google do it for you – with Google Suggest, the search recommendation engine built into Google which provides suggestions to complete your search term.
Try it for yourself. Start typing a search term into Google and experience the magic in real-time!
Also, take your research to the next level by using wildcards. Simply insert an underscore (_) into your search term and Google will provide keyword suggestions based on real-life search trends that are happening right now. For example:
Best _ in Newbury
4) Research Your Competition
There are plenty of tools on the market that will do the leg-work for you, but sometimes it pays to do the competitor research manually.
Google’s very own Keyword Planner (which is free to use) will scan a specified website and provide a list of keywords people search for to find that site. However, Keyword Planner is only available to companies using Google AdWords, or to digital agencies with a Google Partners account.
If you don’t have access to the Keyword Planner tool then simply do the research yourself. A quick visit to your favourite competitor’s website will reveal the types of keywords they are targeting.
For the tech-savvy amongst you, try viewing the website’s source code (right click > view source) and look at the title and description meta data of the website’s code. This will reveal untold secrets that could help you further improve your keyword opportunities.
5) Try Our Trade Secrets
There are dozens of excellent tools to help you out with keyword research. Below is just a small selection of our favourites, some of which are free and some that are ‘freemium’. Take a look, have a go and let us know if you need any help:
Want to know more? Contact QliQ to find out how we can support you for a more successful digital campaign.