What if you could increase your chance of connecting to your prospects and leads? After all, this has been the goal of marketers since the beginning of time. We’re all trying to sell something to someone, to find out a need and fill it, as the great Zig Ziegler once quipped. Understanding the thoughts and actions of your prospects is one of the first steps to fully understand how you can communicate with your target market.
Enter Keyword Research.
With the vast amounts of both free and paid keyword research tools we can literally, in a matter of a few hours, dig deep into the minds of those searching for products and services online. It’s one huge focus group just waiting for you to tap into it. Most companies are doing an okay job using the keyword research in their online marketing platforms. So, I would like to explore some thoughts and ideas with you of how to translate your keyword research and use it in not-so-often thought about areas of your marketing.
Strategies Affected by Keyword Research
1. Web Site Architecture
More and more companies are starting to use keyword research before they begin a web design project, but far too many still ignore this vital step. Without it you are shooting at the target with a blindfold on. To properly structure your site and provide the information your visitors want, it is an absolute must to do the keyword research. The idea is to try and be in sync with the thinking of the user at the right time in the buying process. And, at the same time have a structure that is search engine friendly. Here are a few more ideas on how web design supports your SEO efforts.
2. Social Media
Keywords give you insight into searchers’ thoughts. Social is all about conversation and engaging your customers and prospects. If you are armed with how most people are searching for your particular solution or services, then you can increase the chances of creating this engagement. Look for keywords in your research that have both a high number of searches and a conversational tone. Do any of those keywords lend well to questions? For example, let’s say you are in the catering business and you want to engage brides who are looking for a catering company. What is on their minds?
Some quick keyword research reveals the following:
It shows that what is most on their minds is not really “wedding catering,” as you can see it only gets 2900 searches a month. What seems to most be on their minds is: “How will it look?” All the top searches are about the venue and the look of the event. From this you can easily see what kinds of conversations you can have on the social front that would get the most engagement. Of course, this is a quick look at the data and more research is needed but I think you can see the point on how keyword research can be used for your social strategy. Give it a try.
3. Email Marketing
We all get a lot of these. The idea is simple: When possible, try and use those keywords which are most searched in your subject line. Now it does depend on the type of email and the purpose of the email of which you are sending out. But when you can, you should test using the most searched keywords in your subject lines. As an example, I get an e-newsletter from Sales Gravy. The subject line of the most recent one is “Increase Your Sales With One Easy Solution.” Not a bad subject line. However, if you look below you will see the top section of the email I received (which was actually an ad)
This was the actually copy in the email:
The headline here is “Stop Wasting time. Start Making Sales.” This is a shift from the email subject headline which focused on increased sales. The headline of the actually copy is also disconnected from the email subject. If you do some quick keyword research it reveals the following:
Notice that the wasting time words get a lot more searches. What do you think is on the mind of most people? Maybe this would warrant testing a different subject line, such as: “Wasting time in your sales? Easy Solution.” Remember the goal is to align with the thoughts of those you are trying to reach. They do a good job of this in the actual email copy, but the headline may have stopped some from seeing it in the first place. Only testing would reveal this.
Strategically using your keyword research in your offline marketing can be as easy or complex as you would like to make it. Let’s take a look at some of the main offline mediums and discuss some thoughts and ideas you may be able to try.
4. Broadcast Media
This would include network TV, cable, radio. In the past, before the online world was with us, once you ran your ad your main options for people to take were either pick up the phone and call (if they remembered the number) or simply build the brand so when you were ready you would shop with them. Well, now with the online world with there is a third option: Go to the web and search – either for your brand name or for whatever keyword or phrase they remembered from the ad. You can use this to your advantage or drive traffic to your competitors if you are not careful. Some thoughts to keep in mind:
- Use the keywords you’re using in your online marketing that have proven successful online, in your broadcast media.
- Offline advertising can have a dramatic effect on the words that potential customers use to search. Make certain you are ranking for those key phrases or risk driving traffic to your competitors with your media dollars.
- Much like in the email example, make sure you are using keywords and phrase that people are actually using. This improves your chance on connecting with them. Check on Google Trends as well to make sure you are riding an uptrend with the keywords and not a down trend. Invest in what is getting popular, not only what is now hot.
5. Print Advertising
While not as important with print because people may be in front of their computer or have their phone with them and go direct to your site, you still want to try and connect with them. What better way to connect than to use the same words they are using and talk to them in their language? Not only that, not everyone acts immediately to your ad so for the same reasons as broadcast you want to do everything you can to increase the chance they find you when they go online.
The keyword phrases we use to search give us a direct link to how someone is currently thinking about that particular topic. It can give us clues to the actions someone may take when they are using a certain phrase. Hopefully by reading this it has motivated you to think about keyword research and how to use it in a different light.
Do you have any additional ideas? Would love to know your thoughts. The uses are endless.