We’ve seen a fair few blog posts about keywords on the internet, and you probably have too. This isn’t one of them, because we’re sure there’s more to it than simply keywords. Keywords fit into the larger strategy that every business needs for greater success. Too often keywords conversations become detached from the real needs of the customer or business. It’s time to change that.
The modern day business owner is faced with wearing more hats than ever. Everyone’s got plenty to do and not enough time to do it. Therefore, this post won’t be a to do list to add onto your already overflowing one. The question we want to answer is how can you approach keywords with stronger objectives of converting more customers and therefore driving more sales for your business?
Smart businesses know the secret to greater search engine visibility resides in the killer partnership between keywords, content and tracking. The money is in the content which contains your desired terms and phrases, as people don't buy from a keyword they buy from businesses (and people that work within the business). Your content is a direct reflection of your business and staff.
People don’t buy from keywords. People buy from businesses and the people within it.
The biggest and most effective changes to your approach often begin with the smallest shifts in thinking. To pursue those long term wins, try these starting points for shaking up your strategy.
Focus on needs and pain points
Keywords are all about speaking the language of your ideal customers — it’s one of the most common ways they’ll find you. However, not just any keywords will deliver you the kinds of customers you want. People use search engines differently depending on the urgency of their needs and the types of pain points they have.
Is your keyword strategy incorporating all types of search queries?
- Transactional queries — are used when people want to “do” something. They want to find and obtain the solution to their problems and are ready to take action. For example, they might want to book a plane ticket, purchase a home appliance or visit a local cafe.
- Informational queries — are used when people want to “know” something. They’re in the research process of finding out more on your brand, on discovering the best restaurants in their area or weighing up different solutions based on pros and cons.
- Navigational queries — are used when people want to “go” somewhere. They know what they want and they’re using Google as the GPS to get there. This could be a quick search to find the website of their favourite restaurant, local footy comp or famous brand.
Ultimately, the secret sauce to using keywords the right way is figuring out first what your ideal customers actually want. You’re onto a winner when you’re able to define key wants, needs and pain points of your ideal customers — and then tie these back to long tail keywords catering for every stage of their journey.
The Takeaway: When was the last time you established and evaluated your buyer personas (ideal customers)? To give your customers more than keywords requires figuring out exactly what they want. Give your buyer persona documents a sprucing by trying out this handy persona builder and diving deep into some good ol’ research.
Evaluate what's worked and what hasn't
We’ve worked with a lot of clients. They’ve encountered some interesting campaigns presented by other providers, featuring:
- Attractive “unlimited keyword” campaigns
- Monthly reports that detail irrelevant visible keywords with no real tie back to the overall business objectives
Fixation on the bottom line won’t get you anywhere, but ignoring it altogether is another pitfall when it comes to keywords. The right numbers will tell you if you’re wasting your money and your efforts on campaigns that just won’t deliver. Unfortunately, the above promises that are often made will fall through because, simply put, quantity doesn’t trump quality. The best approach is targeting fewer keywords that are more relevant to your potential buyers and their buying habits.
Truth is, “marketing with your eyes closed is like driving with your eyes closed” (Dan Zarrella).
This means gathering the stats and analysing them is an essential part of the process 👇 here are some key starting points to ensure your strategy is backed by data.
- Track URLs — understanding your sources is key. Inbuilt tools like Hubspot or addon tools Bit.ly will enable you to figure out where all your traffic is coming from. Are people discovering your website through some social platforms more than others? Is organic search traffic a successful cornerstone of your current strategy?
- Track events or conversion points — knowing how your users interact is a must. When you’ve mapped out the most common conversion points, you can evaluate which contact point is performing. This could be anything from a specific keyword, lead nurture email, blog post or offer.
- Gather more specific prospect data — ensure all of the forms on your site are pulling their weight. Forms need to ask all the right questions, allowing you to gain insight into a contact’s wants, needs and pain points. Smart forms, an incredible Hubspot feature, can help you work towards gaining more information by asking for different information each time a visitor returns.
The Takeaway: When you’re running with the wins and learning from the misses, that’s when you’re on the path to big wins. Setting up the right analytics will help you ensure your efforts are in the right direction and close the loop on customers.
Over to you
Every marketer knows the starting point for any campaign is researching — keywords is just one part of that process. However, the secret sauce is all in seeing how those keywords fit into your broader business objectives. How do you give your customers more than simply keywords?
Whether you’re in the nitty gritty of delivering a campaign right now, or knee deep in strategy, now’s the time to give your customers more than just keywords. Establish your business’ buyer personas, set up efficient methods of gathering and evaluating results, and map out the real needs and pain points that your content is addressing. Then, it’s time to consider how keywords fit into your strategy. To help you hit gold on the right keywords, we’ve created this handy keyword planning guide to get you started