Unlocking the mystery of keywords

keyword strategy unlocking mystery keywordsHuman beings are fickle. One day people are searching Justin Bieber’s haircut and the next day the black and blue dress is the most searched term on the net.
Google suggests that 25% of all searches done each month are net new, meaning that people are searching words, topics or ideas that have never been searched before. That is a staggering number of words and phrases being entered into a search engine each month.

So what’s a poor marketer to do when trying to design a keyword strategy that will actually perform?

The easiest place to start is with a set of keywords that describes your product or services. That coupled with branded keywords like the name of your company, is often where the keyword process starts for most people.

Sadly, that is also where most keyword strategies end.

Most B2B companies we speak with, particularly in the technology sector, have not done a good job of developing a comprehensive keyword strategy.
Because:

  1. I don’t want to spend time understanding my buyer and how they buy something. I just want instant sales results.
  2. I don’t want to spend time testing. I want the quick fix now.
  3. I don’t understand where my keyword opportunities are because I have not consulted an analyst or done thorough keyword research. That’s too time consuming and expensive.

You see the problem? Google AdWords has made marketers lazy and made CEOs and business owners believe there are a huge pool of keywords just waiting to be purchased to drive qualified buyers to our websites.
This is a huge falsehood. If you think layering on SEO or AdWords to your marketing program is going to tap a huge market for your product or service, you are going to be very disappointed with the results.

A winning formula for developing a keyword strategy has to be built on the cornerstones of four important things:

  1. Mapping your best customer’s buying process to understand how they buy or think about a product or solution.
  2. Developing a strategy that includes the lead generation AND the lead nurturing life cycle.
  3. Developing good content that speaks to your keyword strategy.
  4. Testing and evolving your keyword strategy month over month to test AUDIENCE not search engine engagement.

Point #4 is huge and here’s why. Go back up to paragraph two. 25% of all searches done on Google each month are NEW! This is a problem for B2B companies that are not in an established category or know exactly how potential customers search because each month it could be different. You can’t just buy a pool of keywords based on AdWord research and grow your business. You have a lot of continual trial and error work ahead of you.
When companies approach us to help with their web presence strategy and execution, they come to us thinking they are going to drive traffic to their website with a pool of keywords, that if properly placed on their website, will garner big lead generation results. This is seldom the case.
For B2B marketers that understand the nature of complex selling, it’ll likely take you months to discover your best keywords and determine what words and what content will drive the right prospects to your website.

So to unlock the mystery of keywords, you need to start with the objective of your website and components of your sales process.

You need to have different keywords for different parts of the funnel and buying process.
This is where your keyword list should start, not with your products or your brand but with content and keywords that address the top of the buying process.

keyword strategy identify keywords

A successful keyword strategy looks something like this…

 
keyword strategy keyword loop
Sometimes, it is human nature to ignore what is right in front of us. Most enterprising CEOs and business owners believe there is an untapped market for their product or service but your current client and prospect list is likely your best and fastest route to understanding content and keywords that will drive the type of traffic you need. If you get the content and keywords on your website right for your current customer base, chances are more people like them will find you. Thinking that a pool of keywords magically exists that will drive volume to your website leading to conversion is a fool’s game.
Unlocking the mystery of keyword is sheer labour to identify opportunities, build content and test, test, test.

Get our guide to developing a keyword strategy for your business, click here and start unlocking the power of keywords for your business.

 

Thanks to the WaterTAP team for having us speak on this topic on June 2nd, 2015 at the Marketing User Group.

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