How to assess the volume opportunity of your target audience on search engines
A true understanding of your target audience is one of the most crucial elements to successfully maximising your use of website data. This will not only help you make smart decisions about where to apply resources when it comes to marketing spend but will also input into marketing strategy going forward. Knowing your market is perhaps most of the basic elements of business and when it comes to assessing the volume opportunity of your target audience on search engines, keywords are the most important part.
What are keywords?
Keywords are words or phrases that effectively describe the contents of a web page – a very short description that sums up the page. They are important as they help search engines to match the right web page to a search query. So, if you have the correct keywords then this will help to naturally generate more ‘organic’ traffic as the search engine matches your site to the keyword searched with. The right keywords are also crucial for your PPC campaigns, as you are paying to have the search engine suggest someone go to your web page when they enter that keyword in a search. This is why keyword research is such an important part of the process of assessing your advertising opportunities online.
Your entire PPC advertising campaign is built on keywords so getting this right is important. Keyword research is an ongoing process and once you have created your initial PPC keyword list you will need to continually refine and grow it. The best keywords share certain characteristics:
Relevance – keywords that relate closely to what you are offering are important, whether that’s products, services or content. Otherwise you will be paying for people to be directed to your site on the basis of search terms that aren’t relevant to what you do or sell.
Variation – the most popular and often-searched keywords in your niche are important but you also need to research those that are more specific and less common. These are known as ‘Long Tail Keywords’ – they tend to have more words so will catch less people than a shorter, more general term. However, as Long Tail Keywords are more specific, when someone arrives on your site via a Long Tail Keyword, your product or service is exactly what they’re looking for. As a result, this often generates a sale or other conversion for you. These key words also tend to be less expensive as fewer people are competing for them.
Negative keywords – these are the words that you know you don’t want your ads to be attached to. So, if there is a word or phrase that is close to what you are offering but which is actually completely different then excluding this can help you avoid wasting money. For example entering ‘iPod nano’ with a broad match, might also catch ‘MP3 nano’ or even ‘iPod classic’. However, adding these as negative keywords means that anyone searching for those terms won’t come to a landing page that offers only iPod nano.
Keyword research tools
While some organic keyword research is useful, it can also be time consuming. Thankfully, there are plenty of different tools available to help you identify what keywords you should be using. With each of these tools you will be able to make a decision on the best keywords to use based on factors such as the cost per click, level of difficulty of achieving a good position on those search terms and the volume of searches for those keywords.
To provide some insight into how to go about using these tools here is a brief summary of the process for Ubersuggest.
- Enter the keyword you’re considering into the search box and hit ‘Suggest’
- The results will bring up the most common terms associated with your query
- Ubersuggest allows you to see these terms as a ‘Word Cloud’
- You can then add words or letters to filter down the keyword
- Click on the keyword and a dropdown box appears – select Google Trends and to see an overview of Google Trends for the keyword, for example showing how much interest there has been in it over the past 12 months, or over all time
- Choose your keyword by checking the box on the left next to it
- Select ‘View as Text’ and you will be given a list of keywords that you can copy and paste into a spreadsheet or download as a csv file
It is worth noting the importance of making sure that your landing pages match with the search terms that you are going to invest in.
Read our article on: Running & optimising a PPC campaign