How Keywords Affect Other Departments
Keyword research affects much more than just paid or organic search campaigns and projects. Other departments can use keyword research to make the most of their customer offerings in the following ways:
- Customer Service and Sales: By knowing the top terms customers are searching for, the sales team can better craft their pitches and bring up specific products during conversations with customers.
- Content Marketing: Looking at popular long-tail keywords that your SEO team is optimizing for can help the content marketing team make sure these themes are weaved into blog posts, white papers, and other indexable (findable by search engines) content.
You can start creating your list of long-tail keywords by doing keyword research. This process involves using a combination of several tools and resources, a few of which are mentioned below, while also tracking your progress in your target areas. Most people track their rankings simply by checking search engine results pages (SERPs), but because there are so many variations of keywords (especially long-tail keywords), it doesn’t always give the best picture of your efforts. In your analytics, you should also be tracking overall traffic, bounce rate, time on site, and new/recurring visitors.
Use the tools below to compile a spreadsheet of short- and long-tail keywords you want to optimize and try to rank for, or, in layman’s terms, become one of the first results on a SERP. Then, you can start creating new blog posts (with your content team) or optimizing existing pages for longer terms. Just make sure you continue to use a variety of keywords so your website isn’t over-optimized or considered “keyword stuffed,” which is frowned upon by Google (as part of its Penguin update).
Popular Keyword Research Tools
Of course, you can always look at your own data in Google Analytics, but the [Not Provided] update in 2011 removed many of the search queries Google used to show analytics users in their own dashboards. Before this, you could log into Google Analytics and view most, if not all, the search terms users put into search engines to reach a page on your site.
However, not all hope is lost. There are tons of different keyword research tools, usually built into full-featured SEO tool suites. What works best for your company or clients depends on budget, features, and user experience.
Below are some of the most-recommended keyword research tools. Take advantage of free trials or compare the free tools to paid alternatives to make sure you are getting the most keyword possibilities possible.
Free With an AdWords Account
Currently, you can use Google’s Keyword Planner tool within any active AdWords account dashboard. You can search by long- or short-tail keywords, as well as domains. If you search by URL, Google will return its recommended keywords based on that page’s content. This is a good option if you’re starting from scratch and have a lot of content on your site to pull from. You can also check competitor pages to see what keywords they use.
Find Out What Your Customers are Searching for with Google Autocomplete
- Factors that affect Google’s autocomplete feature:
- What you type
- What others search for
- Your previous searches
- Where you’re from