Increasing web traffic is a common topic of conversation these days.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t start teaching keyword research and the basics of search engine optimization in high school.

Gold key on words - Keyword ResearchThe most traditional way to think about keyword research is to think about the words people use when they are searching.  We all know our own businesses and  the industry terminology;  we can talk in acronyms, jargon, and company-speak along with the best.

There may be situations in which your prospective customers are looking for those specific terms, but more often than not their search is behavioral in nature.

People go to Google with a question in mind or a problem they need to solve, sure sometimes people search just for the fun of it, but most of the time they are looking for detailed and relevant information.  They are searching with intent.

Back in the old days, searches tended to be on one or two words and searchers had to spend a lot of time sifting through the results to find the information they are looking for.

As both search engines and people have gotten more sophisticated search phrases are getting longer and more specific.  This makes blogging a powerful tool for driving traffic to your website.  It doesn’t make sense to add a page of content to your website for every long tail keyword phrase, but it does make sense to write a blog post that provides great information and is optimized for the phrase.

So when you’re getting ready to write that blog post, article, or fill out the content on your website, there are a few things you can do to take your keyword research to the next level and take advantage of the long tail phrases to drive more free traffic to your website.

5 Advanced Keyword Research Tips

  1. In addition to the root words for your industry, include behavioral terms as well.  People don’t want to find something generic, they want the ‘best,’ or the ‘warmest,’ or the most ‘affordable.’
  2. Think about whether the intent is to research or to buy, the words and the content you create may be completely different based on the searcher’s ‘intent.’
  3. Continue to use keyword tools to validate your phrases, but also include intelligence from social networks and the trends that relate to your niche.
  4. Research and use related topics – if you sell swimming pools, those buyers also need pool cleaning products, suntan oil, and other pool accessories.
  5. Use Google’s related search as as source for additional ideas and as a source of validation.

For example, the related searches for the phrase “inground swimming pool,” might generate an idea to write an article to help a prospective buyer understand various options and the long term and short term costs associated with putting a pool in.  This is the type of information someone would be looking for during the research phase.

inground swimming pool google related searches

When it comes to doing keyword research think about why a person is searching in addition to what they might be searching for.  Don’t forget to have fun and use your imagination.

One last bit of advice: Google has recently limited the amount of data available for users who pay below a certain amount for their ads, but there is a workaround.

What’s your favorite keyword research tip?

Until next time.