Posts filed under ‘Market Research’
Keyword research is the most important step when planning a new website. Knowing what your target market is searching for will save you hours, if not days, of content creation and web page building that could yield useless in the future. Can you imagine not doing any keyword research and designing a 100 page, content rich website targeting keywords that no one is searching for? You site will never be seen.
So which keywords should you target.
Usually your first instincts are to go with keywords that bring the highest amount of traffic, right? Because the more traffic you bring to your site, the more money you make. Well that might be true for some sites, (websites making most of their money off Adwords for example), but if you are selling something from your website this is usually not the case.
You are looking to target keywords that your soon to be customer is typing in when they are looking to buy something.
The first stage of our buying cycle is discovering the product. It can be from advertising, a TV advert, newpaper, practically anything can trigger the need, the want to buy something. Then we hop online and do our research.
The internet has so much information that we are spoilt for choice. You can compare prices of say a camera on 10 different websites in 5 mins as opposed to the offline method of browsing the mall for example. This is the second stage, the research phase. Now this might be (if you have a great deal) a good place to try and catch the buyer.
So for example: lets say we see an advert for digital cameras and we want one. We hop online and do the research. We would probably start with a generic term like “digital camera” or “cheap digital camera”. As you dive further into your research you will find the EXACT camera that you want, for eg. “Sony Cybershot DSCW120/B”. This is where you want to get your traffic from.The third and most important stage:
Buying phase. Now the person has done all their research and is ready to buy there brand new digital camera, they type it into a search engine and who comes up? You do, because you have researched your keywords properly and are waiting there to sell them the camera.
Remember, they keywords that bring you the most traffic are by no means the ones that will bring you the most money. If you liked this article and are interested in human behaviour and marketing check out Seth Godins blog. He is the master of these things!
Smart market research is the most important aspect of running an online business. What is market research? Wiki describes it as “the process of systematically gathering, recording and analyzing data and information about customers, competitors and the market.” No point in selling menswear to a dominantly female audience, right? You can see why it is imperative that that you choose the right market.
So how can you do this on the web?
I have touched on keyword research before and how important it is to your online campaign. Also I have written about what I personally think is the best keyword research tool around. With any research tool you can get estimates on the amount of times people are typing in a particular key phrase per day or month. The main word being ESTIMATES. Assumption is the mother of all fu#$ ups, right? So how can you get exact, accurate numbers that will tell you exactly which search terms to target on your SEO crusade?
We are going to use Google Adwords. Thats why this is *almost* free. On the internet we are lucky because in the offline world businesses pay big bucks to find out exactly what consumers are looking for. In our online world we can find this out in days, it will cost us hardly anthing – in fact, you will probably even make some money off it.
Here is what you do:
Use the Adwords Keyword Tool to come up with a list of the best keywords YOU think are relevant to your website. Now you will get some average search result numbers but now we are going to see which ones are REALLY getting searched. Divide them up into little groups (the more similar the better), put them in your Adwords account and make a few ads for them, pointing to the relevant pages on your website. Set a maximum of $10 a day and make sure you bid just enough to be on the first page of the ad results. Remember, we are not after clicks here, we are after impressions.
Because this will give us a great idea of which of the keywords are being searched for and which aren’t. Soon you will start to see impressions racking up in your stats and you will be able to determine which keywords you should be targeting with your SEO efforts.
So remember, there is no point in launching an entire website without knowing exactly what your target market is looking for.