Keyword Research is THE most important, valuable, and high return activity when starting any new marketing campaign.
Ranking the “right” keyword can literally make or break your website. Keyword Research is not just something you breeze through when you have decided on your particular niche. Through this detective function of puzzling out your current market’s search phrase demand, you not only simply learn the terms and phrases to a target with Search Engine Optimization, but also learn more about your customers in general, which is invaluable in terms of marketing and if you want your campaign to be a success.
It’s not necessarily about getting lots of traffic to your web page, but about obtaining the right kind of traffic. The usefulness of this information cannot be overstated: with Keyword Research you are able to predict demand shifts, respond to changing market place conditions, and produce products, services, and content material that web searchers are actually actively searching for. The world of marketing and advertising has changed drastically thanks to the internet and there hasn’t been a lower barrier of entry into comprehending the inspirations of customers in virtually every niche.
The right keyword is invaluable to your website.
If you run an online video game store, do you make more sales from “video game reviews” or “game news?” The keywords your visitors type into search engines are available to those webmasters that take the time to look it up, and the many keyword research tools available online allow us to discover this information. But, these tools cannot show us directly how valuable it is to receive traffic from those keyword searches. To figure out the exact value of a keyword, we need to understand our own websites, make some guestimations, test them out, then wash, rinse, repeat.
When you’re about to embark on any new internet marketing adventure you first need to ask yourself some important questions:
Is your keyword relevant to your website’s content?
Will customers be happy with what they find?
Will customers find what they are looking for on your site when they search using the keywords you want to use?
Will this traffic result in conversions or any other goals you may have for your particular site?
If the answer to these questions is a resounding “Yes!” then it’s time to proceed with your campaign.
Understanding which websites already rank for the keyword you chose gives you important insights into who your competition is, and also how hard it will be to rank for the given term. A great tip to know if you have a high value keyword is if there are advertisements running along the top and right-hand side of the organic search results. Lots of search ads means a high value keyword, and multiple ads above the organic results often means a potentially lucrative and conversion-ready keyword.
Test it with PPC
If your website doesn’t rank for the keyword yet, you can “test” the traffic to see how well it converts using Google Adwords. Simply choose “exact match” in the left column and direct all the traffic to the relevant page/pages on your website. Track impressions and conversion rate over the course of at least 300 clicks.
Now with all the data you’ve collected you can now determine the exact value of each keyword. So for example, if your ad generated 5,000 clicks, and 100 of those visitors have come to your site and only 3 have converted for a total of $300, then one visitor for that particular keyword is worth $3 to you and your business. Those 5,000 impressions in 24 hours could potentially generate a click-through rate (CTR) of between 18-36% if you had #1 page rank on Google, which translates to 900-1800 visits per day, at $3 each, or between 1-2 million dollars per year!
Long Tail Keywords.
Returning to the online video game store example, it would be awesome to rank at #1 for the keyword “games” – wouldn’t it?
It’s long tail dinosaur
Not exactly. See, it’s wonderful to deal with keywords that have thousands of searches a day, or even just hundreds. But in reality, these “popular” search terms actuallymake up less than 30% of the searches performed on the web. The remaining 70% lie in the “long tail” of search. Long tail contains hundreds of millions of unique user searches that might be conducted several times in any given day, but, when taken together, they comprise the majority of the world’s demand for information through search engines.
Here’s an example just to clarify: a keyword could be something like “best diet”. A long tail keyword in that same niche could be something like “how to lose ten pounds in ten days, “ which is something more likely to be typed by someone who’s ready to buy.
Another lesson search marketers have learned is that long tail keywords often convert better, because they catch people later in the buying/conversion cycle. A person searching for “games” is most likely just browsing and not ready to buy. On the other hand, someone searching for “best prices for Grand Theft Auto 5″ already has their wallet out and are ready to spend. Understanding the search demand for your keyword is critical.
Now that you’ve learned something new you’re probably asking: where do we go to use this knowledge about keywords and keyword referrals? Here are some research sources to help you get started:
Google’s AdWords Keyword tool is the most common starting point for any SEO keyword research. It not only suggests keywords and provides you with estimated search volume, but also predicts the cost of running paid campaigns (PPC) for these terms. To determine volume for any keyword, be sure to set the Match Type to [Exact] and look under Local Monthly Searches. These represent total searches. Depending on your ranking and click-through rate, the actual number of visitors you recieve for these keywords will most likely be much lower.
It’s vital to not only understand the demand for a given keyword or phrase, but also the work needed to achieve good rankings. If big brands take the first ten results and you’re just starting, it will be an uphill battle for rankings can easily take years of effort. This is why it’s essential to understand your keywords difficulty and if it’s the right one to target, so a tool like Keyword Advantage can help you out immensely and cut down on the learning curve.