Search is more than a direct marketing channel. A search engine may be classified as an intentions database. Data released by search engines can be critical for market research and planning. Mapping search demands in your market will lead to an understanding of how search volume data could shape your market intelligence and insight.
Regardless of the vertical you are into, it is essential to get a picture of the target market before you plan your SEO strategy. Just like in any SEO-driven process, it’s essential to start with some good keyword research.
- Brainstorm a seed keyword set – This is a key tool for analyzing relevant keywords. If your business deals with wireless routers, you can start assessing “wireless router” as a starting seed word. From there, get creative on keyword variation research.
- Expand your keyword set using Google Autocomplete – You can find relevant keyword considerations from Google’s autocomplete function. Simply type the start of a keyword or phrase and Google will suggest the closest match that is searched for the most.
- Add brand modifiers – Branded and non-branded searches can be equally important. Adding both into your keyword research may provide useful. It will help you narrow your search down to the product level.
- Expand and gather keyword data with Moz’s Keyword Explorer – This will allow you to augment your keyword lists and get search volume information and competitive data.
- Analyze volume and trends – Take your results from Moz’s Keyword Explorer or other tools and put them in Excel or any data visualization software. You can copy and paste data to create a table, which you can pivot later. You can then add a “type” column that will refer to the kind of search intent behind the keyword phrase. This will help you arrive at an idea of how your product or service should be marketed.
- Look at the whole picture – After narrowing down specific keyword attributes, you can look at the whole landscape, showing how an individual brand compares in volume versus categorical searches. You will soon feel confident in understanding if people are more interested in a more expensive, higher quality product, or whatever is cheapest.
Search intent is also important, not just traffic. Search has traditionally been used as a strategy for traffic generation and a channel for direct marketing. However, search engine data can also be used for a variety of analyses that involve consumer psychology. After all, it’s better to have one in ten visitors convert than it is to have higher visitor count with no conversions.