Start with the end in mind
For you as an entrepreneur or marketing manager, good keyword research is an indispensable basis for a good SEO strategy. That strategy is based on where you want to go with the company. The most valuable result from a keyword research is gaining insight into the needs of your target group. With search term optimization, your website is optimized for the search terms that your target group uses.
What does my target group look for?
An essential element and the core of our search engine action plan is the keyword research. A keyword research is also called a search term analysis. With a well thought-out keyword research, you can create a basis and a well-thought-out action plan with which you can organize your website according to the search behavior of your target group.
The holy grail in keyword research is of course the ultimate list of keywords that people in your target group search for, on which few competitors bet eventually yielding a lot of conversion. It is , however, easier said than done. Ultimately, the entire strategy narrows down to being about the combination of the right strategy, the right search terms, the right tools and the right analyses. Finding the most suitable, or perhaps even the ultimate, keywords is the important first step.
To prepare for a keyword research, focus on the following questions:
- What are your Unique Selling Points (USPs)?
- What is your company really good at?
- With which products or services are you distinctive from the rest?
- In which area do you really deliver added value?
- Where are the great opportunities for my company?
- Which search terms match my objectives?
- What trends are developing in my field?
- What do search terms say about what I have as a company?
- What international opportunities are there for my company?
- Can I participate in the most recent and relevant developments?
After answering these questions, you have a first longlist or inspiration list with keywords in your pocket. This gives you immediate insight into the needs of your target group. You can deduce a need from each keyword individually. People are looking for a purpose, they want something, they need something: a product, a service, or just entertainment and relaxation. You can also expand the created list further with new search terms and the search volume per month. For that, you use the Keyword Planner from Google.
How do you translate this list of search terms into action points around search term optimization?
Identify the gaps
Explore the gap between what you offer and what your target audience needs. The gap can be in a content gap on your website: that is content that is irrelevant to your target group. It can also be a complete mismatch between the needs of your target audience and the product or service you offer.
Write new content
The keyword research shows what your target group really needs. Draw inspiration from this. It offers you the opportunity to provide your target group with a real need. Respond to people's questions or wishes and focus specifically on answering them specifically. Use the important search terms, so that you are immediately engaged in search term optimization.
Adjust and supplement existing content
During a keyword research you not only get new ideas for new content, but you als come across changes or additions to your existing content. Your existing content may have been overtaken by current events and therefore needs some updating. Make your existing content completely up to date again and adjust by removing or adding where necessary.
Also improve your offline marketing
Use the insights you gain with your keyword research for your offline marketing as well. Write a better brochure, place a sharper advertisement and engage in more targeted conversations with the customers you already have. After all, you now understand even better what needs your target group has.
Use it for your social media
Based on your keyword research, create highly targeted publications and advertisements based on the needs of your target group. Content must primarily meet a specific demand / need. You can respond smartly to this through your social media.
Anticipate the trends
Keywords can also be trend sensitive. Suppose you offer financial accounting software on your website and your target group no longer search for 'accounting software' but have changed overtime to searching for 'online accounting'., how do you go about it? Through a good search term analysis you will find out in time and anticipate trends beforehand instead of reacting to them.
Always ensure you do a search term analysis. You will see that this will pay off in a great way. It will provide you with insights that go far beyond the SEO technicality alone. It will provide you with real insight into the needs of your target group thereby offering new opportunities and possibilities to respond even better to the wishes of your customer. A technically less qualitative website with super relevant content is better than a technically optimal website with the wrong content.