Of course, one of the most important things you can do when you choose keywords for your search engine optimisation campaign is research how many people search for certain words and what your competition will be for various terms. However, an often-overlooked process is to take time to consider what kinds of words your market actually uses.
As an employee at your business, you are very close to your brand. You most likely think of your brand differently than your market does. In order to choose effective keywords, you need to distance yourself from your brand and put yourself in your markets’ shoes.
The Importance of Using Your Market’s Point of View
Looking at your business and products and trying to imagine what your potential customers may type into a search engine is vital to finding keywords that will help your SEO efforts and build your brand. If you simply guess what kinds of keywords people use, or use the keywords you think they should use, you risk choosing the wrong keywords. Even if you are able to correctly identify some of the keywords your market is likely to use, you probably won’t identify all of them, meaning you could miss out on some traffic from your target market.
What Words Does Your Market Use?
You may know the technical terms, or official names, of your products and services, but your market may not always use those when using a search engine. Brainstorm words that members of the general public would use to describe your products. These words may include replacements for brand-specific words. For example, Nike’s exercise tracking wristband is called a Nike+ FuelBand, but the general public may search for terms like “Nike wristband” rather than the product’s official name.
If you aren’t sure what kinds of words your market uses, you can do some research to find out. If you use analytic software on your website, you can find out what keywords are bringing people to your website.
Use Keywords that Solve a Problem
Consider what your potential customers are thinking by defining what kind of problem your business solves. For example, if you sell sports equipment in London, realize that people looking to buy a tennis racket may not even use the words “tennis racket.” Instead, they may be searching for terms like “sports equipment in London,” or other words that define and solve their problem. These keywords may be more general and shouldn’t replace niche, long tail keywords in SEO campaigns, but these broad keywords can help you capture a specific market.
Realize You Don’t Know Everything
As you do research into the types of words your market uses to find your website you may be surprised. We very rarely know exactly what someone is thinking when they use a search engine, so some of the words that lead people to your site may seem obscure. However, if you can understand how these words relate to your website, and they are bringing in quite a bit of traffic, you can use them as a basis for coming up with more related keywords.
Don’t be afraid to use keywords that may not have been at the top of your brainstormed list. Be open minded and realize that you don’t know everything about your market, but that by understanding how they view your business and products, you can choose more effective keywords and create a strong SEO strategy.