Keyword research – How to gain deeper insight in market needs, desires and opportunities

Every second, Google processes about 40,000 search queries worldwide. Most are irrelevant to brands and are downright weird. However, a part does relate to certain ranges of products and to specific brands.

Potential customers are out there articulating exactly what they want. All that’s left to do is to listen and to provide them with relevant answers and options.


Best practices

A keyword research is conducted with the aim to detect which search terms people use to describe what they are looking for. Seems quite vague and, believe us, it is. However, when performed correctly, it’s a goldmine. It allows the marketer to provide search engine users with more relevant answers to their specific search queries and questions, whether it is through:

  • Organic search (SEO – Search Engine Optimisation): ensuring the most relevant search terms are used on different parts of each corresponding webpage in order for the right landing page to appear on top of the search results for those terms;
  • Paid search (SEA – Search Engine Advertising): when the competition is too strong, generating ads which appear for specific search queries;
  • Content: creating content about the topics search engine users show an interest for.

Of course, we did say “when performed correctly”.

We further lay forth some tips and tricks regarding keyword research.

Goal of the research

First and foremost it’s important to know what the goal of the research is. It’s best not to tar all keyword researches with the same brush. Every purpose and every goal requires a different approach.

For instance, queries including brand names (e.g. “bed ikea”), implying buying intention (e.g. “where to buy a bed”) or relating to services (e.g. “custom made bed”) do not apply to SEO KWR’s. These are not keywords that can be included on a website. However, they are most useful for SEA purposes. You want your ad about your bed store to appear when someone types in “where to buy a bed” in a search engine.

Execution of the research

When the goal is established, it’s essential to think before to execute. Looking into people’s minds is not something to go over lightly. Thoroughness is key.

Thoroughness in tools

Do not solely rely on your own assumptions nor on one single tool’s propositions to create a list of keywords. The research requires own imagination to create a basic list of keywords (e.g. “bed frame”), Ubersuggest to retrieve longer alternatives (e.g. “bed frame with headboard”), AnswerThePublic to gain insights in questions people ask (e.g. “how does bed frame attach to headboard”) and Google Keyword Planner to find relating keywords (e.g. “bed mattress”). It’s best to use these in a loop until the topic is exhausted. Finally, pouring all of these search terms into Google Keyword Planner will produce the needed statistics.


Thoroughness in selection of keywords

Relevance is a very delicate and subjective issue. It’s a matter of trying to find the right balance in terms of time, budget and needs.

  • Will you also include the keywords with very little search volume?
  • Will you only include the products you already offer or will you explore the entire sector?
  • How far will you go in competitor research?
  • ...

Thoroughness in visualisation and conclusions

When handled with poor care, the final document of a keyword research can become a meaningless list of words. However, with a little effort, it can be transformed into a working file where the keywords are visualised

  • across categories and subcategories (e.g. frames, mattresses, linen),
  • along the buyer cycle (discovery e.g. “bed” versus understanding e.g. “black bed frame with headboard”) and
  • in terms of seasonality (is the amount of searches stable all year round or do we notice differences between winter and summer for instance?).

A keyword research can disclose market needs, desires and opportunities. Don’t let this goldmine get lost in clutter.

Thoroughness in next steps

From the research, tons of conclusions can be extracted. But what are conclusions worth without next steps?

As far-reaching as the research can go, so can the next steps. Some examples:

  • The website’s URL structure can be regenerated;
  • The website’s content can be expanded and enhanced;
  • A content calendar can be shaped for social media, newsletters, and more;
  • Search engine advertisement efforts can be relocated or rethought.

The magnitude of it all

The most important thing to bear in mind during a keyword research is the magnitude of it all. It gives the researcher the power to unravel people’s thoughts, questions, desires and needs regarding products and brands. We now can brainstorm for free:

  • about digital opportunities such as:
    - the features of, navigation through and the information on website and app,
    - social, email, website and app content,
    - SEO and SEA efforts;
  • but on the other hand also about non-digital issues, for instance:
    - which products and services to sell,
    - how to design them,
    - where to sell them,
    - how to promote them.

Digital research has a far greater impact on other business units than often assumed.

A keyword research is a must for every company with online presence or ambitions. It enhances all online efforts from website navigation to social content. An opportunity to grasp. It does take time and effort, but not to worry, our digital marketers are skilled researchers who can do this for your company. If you’re interested in optimising your SEA, SEO and content efforts, do not hesitate to contact us.

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