A big piece of the inbound marketing puzzle is SEO and content. At the center of those pieces are the keywords. But when I, as an Inbound Marketer, am putting together campaigns, strategies and content calendars, I am often asked: How can you tell that people are using certain keywords?
When it comes to figuring out what keywords buyers, customers, and potential customers are using, there’s a lot of due diligence to do, and it’s something I take very seriously. In this article, I share with you some secret keyword research weapons so that you can do it yourself, if necessary. Here are some tried and true ways to get a feel for the keywords people are using.
1) Use your people
Yes, your people. Who qualifies as “your town”? Your clients, potential buyers, staff, etc. Anyone who is familiar with your business, uses your product, buys your goods … even those who choose a competitor, those are your people. So do some homework, what questions are they asking? What are ‘hot topics’ or trends?
These notes will be important in your keyword game. When you are doing this, be sure to step away from the process and put yourself in their shoes – use the words and terms they use, ask questions the way they are asked, etc. Often times, the keywords that a business thinks it should rank for or that it should talk about are not the terms that its customers actually use.
Don’t overlook your social media channels, especially when it comes to trying to figure out what your people are talking about, asking, or complaining about. Advances and updates on social channels have brought with them a look at trending topics and more, including:
Facebook: Facebook has made many updates to its chart search tool, which allows you to search for pretty much anything your connections are talking about. Take a few minutes to learn more about Facebook Graph Search and how to best use it. They also have a Trends toolbar on the right side of their newsfeed that shows popular topics and the option to limit yourself to Politics, Science and Technology, Sports and Entertainment.
Twitter: Twitter actually has two different ways of getting an inside look at what people are talking about. And the good news is, you don’t actually have to tweet yourself to see them (although you will have to follow others from an account). These can be tailored based on location and interest. You can also use Twitter’s search feature for hot topics, keywords, and hashtags.
Google+: When you log into your Google+ account, you can go to the Trending page, similar to Facebook and Twitter, to see who is talking about what on Google+.
YouTube – Like your friends on the social media platform, YouTube also has a trending dashboard, right here, that shows what the hottest videos and topics are. You can limit yourself to these trends by selecting a city, state or country, an age group, and a gender. According to YouTube, “Trending topics are algorithmically generated topics from keywords in the video title, tags, and description within currently gaining popularity of video sets. Trending videos are based on embedded video views. and views on YouTube. “
3) HubSpot keyword qualifier
HubSpot’s Keyword Grader users to get real-time insights and statistics on the keywords that are most relevant to your business and industry. You can compare keywords, search volume, ranking, and more, all in one place, and in a way that integrates with the rest of your content.
4) Google tools
It’s probably no surprise that Google has a comprehensive set of tools to help you get to the bottom of your keywords and phrases. And in this case, they have some golden tickets for keyword information …
Google Trends: this tool is one of my favorites, it fascinates me. This allows you to get an inside look at Google’s search databases. You can view Google searches by region, category, language, and set search time and properties (image, etc.). You can look at a single keyword or compare multiple terms.
Google AutoComplete: Do you know when you are going to search for something and Google starts to finish your question or thought? That is autocomplete. Google explains, “Autocomplete predictions are possible search terms … The search queries you see as part of Autocomplete reflect what other people are searching for and the content of web pages.” Very cool.
5) Word tracker
Wordtracker is a tool that gives insight into whether a particular keyword or keyword phrase is worth your content efforts. This tool gives users an estimate of how many times a keyword or keyword phrase is searched each day, in addition to the related keywords or sentences. Wordtracker requires a membership, but you can try it multiple times for free.
Even the most important questions can be answered with some time and tools, so making garish use of these tools can create a huge shift in your SEO perspective and can drive more traffic for you from Search.
I hope this has been helpful.