We’ve written recently about the importance of keyword research in developing your navigation structure for your website, optimizing your website and driving better-targeted traffic to your website.
Now we are going to drill down further and explain how to use different market research techniques to find the right keywords, monitor your ongoing keyword strategy and improve your web SEO.
Google Analytics for keyword research
Google Analytics will be able to tell you what people are searching for to find your website. For keywords to be successful in appearing in keyword searches there needs to be an alignment between keywords and content such as page titles, headings and meta keyword and description tags.
Search Engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing want to see a SEO consistency and that the keywords match the content. By examining your analytics and your bounce rate, you will gain additional insight into how visitors who come to your site through your targeted keywords actually perceive your page.
You may find that the keywords that you are using are not the problem but rather the associated content where is there is keyword inconsistency and a discrepancy between keywords and content.
It is always important to monitor the competition and find out what keywords they are ranking highly for. There are tools like KeywordSpy that you subscribe to help you analyze your competitor’s websites but you need to know how to use them to get a competitive SEO advantage.
There are many different factors that affect how well your site will rank for a given keyword such as the quality and quantity of your incoming links, onpage elements such as the page title, keyword meta and description tags, the content and so forth. You will need to take all of the data and examine how your competitors stack up in each of those various areas.
Social Networks are becoming increasingly important in keyword research and providing more clarification into:
- the language your target audience use
- the popularity of a particularly keyword and
- what search terms are used to look for a particular product or service.
There have been a few tools developed to measure keyword usage such as Tweet Volume which will show you: how much your keyword is discussed and also compare its results to similar terms and Twitscoop monitors specific keywords along with custom graphs that display the activity for any given word on Twitter.
Websites like Delicious will show your keyword related terms and most popular bookmarks about that particular keyword term and Facebook are also developing their own analytical tools.
Focus groups are a powerful tool to interview your target audience and ask them how they search online through direct questioning or better still, through observation. It is important to interview your target audience who are new to your website as well as internal stakeholders who are familiar with your website.
Directly asking your target audience and internal stakeholders about their user experience on your website can help to clear up inconsistencies in your keyword strategy and content, and uncover new keyword opportunities to improve your website.
Usability or landing page tests
Usability or landing page tests are important for keyword identification and monitoring and whether your content is engaging and converting your visitors into customers and/or clients.
Google has a handy little tool to help your Google SEO called Google’s Website Optimizer where you enter two URLs and a conversation page like a booking form or contact us page to see what page has the higher conversion rate.
It can also analyze content and design alternatives to your site visitors and monitor which pages have the highest conversion rate. Read more about how four companies used the tool to increase their website conversions and make their pages more engaging for their users.
Keyword tools play an important role in identifying keywords but use your marketing dollars wisely by taking a strategic approach to keyword research and engage with your audience in a more meaningful way. Watch, listen and learn about the language they are using and the search terms they are utilizing and modify your keywords, website navigation and content in alignment with your keyword research results.