You know it’s important to do keyword research and optimise each of your web pages or blog posts for an individual phrase but how do you find the keywords you should optimise for? There are lots of tools you can use like Google’s Keyword Tool, Contextual Targeting Tool, Google Trends, SEMrush etc but you can’t rely on these alone. Just using one tool or source of information doesn’t give you the bigger picture. You need to look at many different sources to truly find out what people are searching for when they’re looking for your product or service.
Feel stuck for inspiration? Don’t ignore some of the less ‘high-tech’ methods of doing keyword research. Below are some great keyword sources…
Ask Friends and Family
Friends and family are like your own free market research tool! Just ask them, “If you were going to search for information about [insert your topic / niche / industry], what would you search for?”
Try not to use industry lingo or terminology when you ask them so you don’t put ideas into their heads. Maybe even watch over their shoulder as they type their searches to see if they are influenced by any of the suggestions Google offers or instant results.
Use Your Google Analytics Data
You can use your Google Analytics to find out the keywords used by the people who make an purchase or enquiry on your website. To do this, you need to know the URL of the page that appears after a visitor has made an enquiry or purchase, usually the ‘thank you’ page. Don’t know it? Go though the enquiry or purchase process yourself and take a note of each URL along the way. (This is something you should be doing periodically anyway to see if you can streamline the process or uncover any potential issues that would discourage your website visitor from continuing with their enquiry or purchase).
Once you’ve got the ‘thank you’ page URL, log into your Google Analytics and go to Behaviour> Site Content > All Pages and find the URL of the page in the list (you’ll probably want to search for the URL). When you’ve found it, click on the URL and then you want to add the keyword information to your data. To do this click on ‘Secondary Dimension’ and then Advertising and select ‘Keyword’. This will provide you with a list off all the keywords that people have used to navigate to your site before making an enquiry or purchase. Yes, there will probably be quite a few ‘(not provided)’ results in there but there might also be some keyword gems!
Blog Post Comments
If your website has a blog, the comments that are left on your posts could reveal a real insight into what your visitors are thinking or the types of problems they’re having.
Really great comments are those that ask questions. You could use the question as a starting point for a new blog post or article. Chances are, if one person has gone to the effort of leaving you a question in your comments then there are others out their with the same question. Help them out and provide the answer without them having to ask!
Ask Your Staff
Your staff are usually on the ‘front line’ of your business – on reception, answering phone calls, serving customer, sales people, in fact anyone that has a customer service type role.
Talk to your staff and ask them to write down what customers and prospects ask for. Do customers always refer to your products in a particular way?
Your Contact Form
Do you have a free type area in your contact form? If so, this could provide a wealth of keyword inspiration. Imagine someone enquired on Hallam’s website and wrote in the form –
“Hello, I was wondering how your company could help my website show up in Google search results”. This (fictional) person might not know that they need Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) services but they know that they want their website to ‘show up in Google search results‘.
Go back through old enquiries and look for the types of words people have written when making contact with you. This may even reveal specific uses or areas that you might not previously have thought of targeting.
Over To You…
All of these ideas are a great way to come up with blog post topics as well. Once you find out what actual people are searching for when looking for your product or service you can create content that they will be able to relate to and be interested in. Mix up all of these ideas. Don’t just use one technique if you want to get a clear and accurate picture of what your potential customers are typing into search engines.
I’m interested to know if you already use some of these keyword research methods. Leave a comment and let me know!