Google Keyword Research

Keyword research to market your company, organization, product, or service is a process of trusting data to deliver results. Google is very open with search trend data.  People search for things in a multitude of ways on Google, and the trick is to find what they are searching for when you have the answer.  There are many ways people go about selecting keyword terms. This is the process we have adopted after launching many campaigns with customers large and small with diverse sets of goals.

Learn how people search for your offering

The first question to ask yourself when doing keyword research is, “If I was looking to buy the product or service I am selling what would I search for?”  Then go to Google and type it in.  This begins an intense process of learning how customers are searching for your product, what it costs to market to them, and what can you do with your budget.

Create your keyword list

Next, pull up an Excel sheet and start creating a list of all the keywords you can come up with which you believe people may be searching for related to your product or service. If you buy keywords which Google is promoting you can get ahead of the game.
Next, look at your analytics data. Under Traffic Sources in Google Analytics you can see keywords people are searching for to find your site currently.  Add those keywords to your list. (The list will quickly become a long one.)

Consider using the Google Keyword Planner’s url suggest feature.  The keyword planner will search for terms it thinks you might market on the page if you simply put in the url you want to market.
Then, copy and paste the terms from Excel into the Google Keyword Planner.  Google will spit back a much longer list of keywords. Those are exported into a spreadsheet and the process of research continues.

Finally, try entering your competitors’ domains into the Google’s Keyword Planner as well.  Sometimes your competition has done some of the work for you, and there is no reason to reinvent the wheel. Export and add this list to your master keyword Excel sheet.
It is important to understand who your customer is online. They don’t think of your company in the same way you do, they may not know your brand, but they are looking for your product or service.  Don’t be afraid to use a thesaurus when coming up with additional ways people might be searching for you.

The Google Suggest feature can often tell you how Google is recommending how people might search for your product or service.  The way Google suggests people search for your product or service is often one of the best ways to market your product or service.

The keywords you choose when marketing yourself need to be directly related to what you are selling.  Broad and unrelated keywords will run up costs of your campaign and bring the wrong people to your site, not customers.  Now begins the process of eliminating any keyword or phase that is not something you would search for if you were looking for the product. Pay close attention to weed out keywords related to a broad range of topics.

Continue to monitor your keyword list carefully. Begin by sorting based on traffic volume. Then look at the number of searches a month, both locally and globally.  Think about what your target audience could be, and what you can afford. The more flexible your budget, the more flexible you should be with trying out broader terms.  Terms that have high traffic volume, are directly related to what you are selling, and have little competition are a goldmine.

Go through, delete terms, removing any duplicates, organizing terms by themes in columns. This keyword research and the themes you see in similar terms will ultimately determine how you organize your campaign.  It doesn’t have to be perfect at first. Go for a lot of different terms.  You will want try out a few things and understand what works, not limit the list so much that the traffic volume is low.

Depending on your market there may, or may not, be a lot of competition. Don’t be afraid to put terms with heavy competition into the mix.

Pick keywords that are appropriately related to your product, service, or organization’s goals  Google’s keyword planner in tandem with the traffic estimator provide the perfect set of data to drive customers to your website.

Keyword research is an ongoing process.  You have to try it out. Measure and test the results of your keywords.  The optimization is where you begin to fully understand who your customer online is, and how ultimately they turn into an offline one as well.  As you learn what isn’t working you can pause keywords that don’t convert into customers. Go back to the drawing board and come up with a couple of new ways people might be searching for you every six months or so.