Lots of what I do in my SEO role usually involves keyword research in one shape or form. I’ve been studying keywords and researching online markets for several years now, and it always strikes me that this would be a really useful research technique for any business, even for those without a website.
That may sound like quite a strange statement. I can already hear you say, “How can an offline business benefit from keyword research?” But surely if you are a local restaurant, wouldn’t it be interesting to find out how many people are looking for restaurants in your area?
For those of you who aren’t 100 percent sure, keyword research is a process whereby you look into what people are searching for online. By investigating different variations based on anything such as geographical locations or different products, you can start to build up a good picture of what the public is looking for.
If you are selling a product or service online, then keyword research should form a vital part of your initial planning. Even if you aren’t planning on getting too involved in SEO, understanding how many people are potentially looking for your product is vital. Armed with this information, you can plan effectively and produce more accurate projections for your business.
Another thing to research here is the average conversion rate for your particular industry. The conversion rate is basically the percentage of visitors that turn into paying customers. Most ecommerce stores will expect something in the region of a 1 to 2 percent conversion rate, with 3 to 4 percent being an amazing achievement. You should now be able to work out what level of business you could potentially receive.
What Should You Be Targeting?
Understanding what your consumers want, and then serving it up in an accessible and instant way is the key to success online. Even re-phrasing certain search terms can yield huge differences in search traffic, and this is the information that could make all the difference. Looking into your industry you should aim to build a thorough picture of what people are searching for.
Look into what products people like; are there any big brands or models that lots of people search for? Are there any particular geographical hotspots? Or, what about people searching for information relating to your business? Once you know all of this, you can then produce the right content and give the consumers what they want.
As mentioned earlier, this is all useful stuff for any business. It all boils down to trying to get into the mindset of your potential customers. Also, it’s not hard information to find. Simply go to the Google Adwords keyword tool and start entering in relevant search terms. You’ll be amazed at what you can find out!
Got a question? Leave a comment or tweet me @jonquinton1.
Guest Author – Jon Quinton is the SEO specialist for Us For Homes, a listings website for private house sales in the UK. Previously, he has been involved with a large range of businesses selling everything from gifts to software.