Keyword Research Types: –
Keyword research is broader than one might think.
- Keyword search for SEO / PPC.
- Keyword research for social media marketing.
- Keyword search for content creation.
- Keyword research for market/audience research.
If one has been addicted to Google search traffic, everything else may feel inferior.
Google is responsible for most of the referral traffic on the web.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn combine for <10% of what Google Search sends to the open web.
Google may be getting more greedy to keep traffic to the site, but those other platforms, from day one, were built to retain visitors, not send them elsewhere.
There are traffic opportunities beyond Google.
The open web itself, dozens of social media sites, hundreds of content platforms, publishers of all kinds, podcasts, blogs, news sites, webinars, email, and many more can send quality traffic.
The truth is, the better to do on those other channels, the more rankings and traffic one will get from Google.
Google’s search ranking system is based on signals such as engagement, links, traffic, branding, referrals, and word of mouth digital equivalents.
Get those signals from all those other places, and Google will reward with increased visibility and traffic.
Keyword Research for SEO / PPC:
Classic keyword research begins and ends with Google. Regardless of the tool, the data comes from a single source: what people type (or speak) in the Google search engine when they search for information.
Google search suggestion:
Objective: Discover the keywords that search engines use and identify those that are worth targeting for paid or organic search marketing campaigns.
- Step 1: Think of keywords relevant to the audience.
- Step 2: Use tools (and/or customer interviews) to expand the list.
- Step 3: From a master list of selected keyword options, use metrics and intuition to prioritize.
Sources / Tools:
- Google search suggestion (that is, go here; start typing)
- Google Trends
- Moz Keyword Explorer
- SEO Clarity Research Grid
- SpyFu KW Research
- SEMRush KW Overview.
- Google Keyword Planner (biased to paid search keywords).
This data can be immensely valuable if the sole goal is to rank in Google results for search terms.
There are many other complications and limitations in Google keyword research, including severe biases in most data sets around which terms/phrases are displayed, volume estimates, value, and precision of metrics such as difficulty and competition, etc.
Keyword Research for Social Media Marketing:
Social media is a broad field, and while the goals of most campaigns are similar (gain awareness, followers, traffic), the platforms vary widely.
The same photos that work wonders on Instagram won’t necessarily resonate on Pinterest.
That deeply humorous tweet can go flat on LinkedIn.
The keyword research process is meant to help.
Objective: To discover the topics of discussion and participation, as well as the hashtags that attract attention to be able to answer key questions such as,
- Hashtags to use in publications.
- Topics to follow and on which to publish.
- Words/phrases should be used in posts to gain greater visibility.
- Step 1: Start with a topic, keyword, hashtag, or audience.
- Step 2: If using a manual process, visit the networks of interest, enter the terms/hashtags and sort/filter through the list of recent and/or recently popular matching posts.
- Step 3: If to use a tool like SparkToro (or other audience intelligence / social monitoring tools), enter the search term and navigate to the Text Insights section (tags may be different on other products, but most have a section for hashtag and test results).
- Step 4: Identify the text and hashtags that match the marketing objectives on a platform.
- It is a manual process and will need to rely on intuition to determine if a particular phrase or hashtag is truly relevant and useful.
- Step 5: Apply those text insights to the campaign.
- Use them in social posts or in ad targeting.
- Follow them to identify content trends that might want to emulate.
- Discover the accounts that have the most influence among the users who employ them.
- Integrate them into social media monitoring if the goal right now is just learning.
Sources / Tools:
- Sprout Social.
Not all social media marketing activities are demanding, but they have been nervous to see how people who could make excellent use of this knowledge completely ignore it and rely on intuition or past experience.
Those traits are valuable, but like SEO and PPC, there is simply no substitute for real data when prioritizing efforts and solving business problems at scale.
Keyword research for content creation:
Too often, content marketing overlaps exclusively with SEO, and while the two can share goals and results, they don’t need to!
Create content for reasons that go beyond mere keyword ranking.
Some of those non-search ranking goals include:
- Grow an email subscription list.
- Develop thought leadership.
- Attract consulting opportunities.
- Influence a social, political or business issue.
- Get followers on social media or expand an existing one.
- Build relationships with other content creators or consumers.
- Attract links that can help the website authority to get rankings on other pages.
Content has become a staple of modern digital marketing precisely because it serves many use cases.
To access that information, will need a different set of tools.
Goal: Reach and influence a group of people with the post by understanding their interests, what worked to reach them previously, what they pay attention to in the space, and proven formulas.
- Step 1: Start with an existing topic, area of interest, content, hashtag, website, or a social account (often a well-performing competitor or competitive content can be a good catalyst).
- Step 2: Enter the word/phrase/website/account in a social network, content network (such as Reddit, YouTube, Google Discover) or Google News.
- Step 3: Find websites, posts, coverage, and content (of any relevant type) that have gained significant traction, and compile a list.
- Step 4: Add metrics to the list whenever possible (for example, Buzzsumo can provide a social share count for various content, SparkToro can provide data on audiences, Reddit and YouTube themselves provide upvote/view counts, etc. .).
- Step 5: Use this data to inform the content creation, promotion strategy, and formulate an excellent answer to the question Who will amplify this and why?
Sources / Tools:
- Content networks like Reddit, YouTube, Quora, Google Discover, Google News.
- Buzzsumo (the gold standard for competitive content analysis).
- SparkToro (especially for viewing words, phrases, hashtags, and influencer sources that work with an audience).
- Ahrefs and SEMRush (both have Buzzsumo-like clones in their product suites, although these may be more focused on SEO use cases).
Before creating content, point it to something and someone know will likely work.
Keyword Research for Market / Audience Research:
When looking to learn more about a group of people, the data on the topics they follow, the words and phrases they employ in their public posts and writing, the hashtags they use, and how they describe themselves and their interests are invaluable.
Market research companies often spend months of work and tens of thousands of dollars to extract this knowledge through surveys and interviews.
If to get this information, one can tackle thorny issues related to positioning, product descriptions, ad copy, landing page creation, branding, and of course ad targeting.
Purpose: Learn more about an audience’s preferences, behaviours, and self-descriptions so that one can answer questions.
- Professions, titles, job roles, and descriptions should speak in marketing text and guidance.
- Topics of interest should serve and relate to products/services.
- Reach target customers online.
- Step 1: Find the audience (s) are trying to reach.
- Step 2: Make a list of relevant attributes that directly relate to whatever problem are trying to solve.
- Step 3: Apply keyword data to use case as needed, just don’t go months without updating as profiles, behaviours and attributes can change quickly
Sources / Tools:
Everyone in the world of market research is contributing data, but the emergence of public social profile information on a large scale, covering such a high percentage of the world’s population, means that we should probably not ignore the sources that can provide it.
Surveys and interviews are definitely useful here, too, but not in the same way, or with the same precision in groups of thousands.
With these tools and this knowledge, one is off to a great start in expanding marketing opportunities.
Research is expected to be incorporated into the conversation in searches, but in other fields, it’s a way for agencies, consultants, and in-house marketers to stand out from the crowd.
Data-driven marketing is powerful, especially when it can be backed by reliable and replicable sources.