First we need to find the core of our target group’s daily needs and challenges. It doesn’t matter how many of your product categories that rank on Google, if no one ever searches for them. Your keywords have to be highly relevant to your particular target group, and hit them just where their need is. Here’s a classic example:
Chuck has opened a business selling printers. His web shop has just launched, and he has made an effort to find keywords that include all his products and services; “Printer”, “Epson”, “A4 Printer”, “Photo printer”, “Fast delivery”, etc. All done, he sits back and waits for the traffic to start rolling in. But nothing happens…
Google has over 3.3 billion searches a day, and the competition for a page ONE ranking is tough as nails. So, if Chuck thinks he’ll appear in a Google search for “printer”, he’s in for a mighty long wait for his first customer. But, what else can he do?
What are their needs and problems? And are what are they searching for when they are looking for a (new) printer? “Cheap printer”, Printer with economic colour cartrigde”, “Good photo printer with correct colour reproduction”, or perhaps “White A4 printer of limited size”. Chuck might check industry forums, social media and online FAQs to find out about different personas, their problems and objectives, how to answer their questions, and what terms and language to use when communicating with them. He should also look at his existing customers.
Make a List of Relevant Themes
Chuck may be able to find 5-10 recurrent themes within his industry that would be highly valuable to be found in searches for, eg. “Economic toner”, “Colour reproduction”, “Colour assortment”, etc. This list of relevant themes can be used to brainstorm for keywords that specify each theme, so “Economic toner” becomes “Printer that holds colour well”, “How can my printer toner last longer”, “Cheap long lasting printer toners”, etc.
Investigate Related Searches
There are lots of tools to help come up with common terms and niche word to expand the list of keywords. Google is a good place to start. If you search on “Cheap printer”, Google automatically includes a number of related searches including “Best cheap printer”, “Cheap printer ink”, Cheap laser printer”, Cheap printer black and white”, “Cheap printer free shipping”, etc. Here Chuck will notice that those searching for printers also uses words like toner, cartridge, and ink, and if he makes a search on photo or video, he’ll get even more results.
Use Long-tailed Keywords
The shorter the keyword, eg “printer” – the harder to be found. Long-tailed keywords of 2-3 words significantly increase ranking, but obviously the searches are also fewer. Chuck’s business will, however, be much more relevant to this particular well defined and better qualified narrow audience.
Make a Continuous Stream of Content that Captures the Entire Customer Journey
When Chuck has his list of keywords all worked out, knowing exactly what his personas problems and objectives are and how to help them within relevant themes, he’s ready to start producing relevant that engages potential customers through the customer journey from awareness to the crucial decision making phase and keeps customers coming back. This will attract the right traffic and hot leads to the site and create great customer experiences and loyalty.
But there will be no resting on the laurels for Chuck. He must abandon the idea of ever just sitting back and relaxing. From now on, he has to set devote X hours a week to keep generating engaging content and partake in a continuous online dialogue as well as keeping updated on his customers. Soon he’ll be able to see which activities perform, and enjoy the great results of a flourishing business.