December 13, 2007
One of the biggest challenges that most of us have, when it comes to performing keyword research, is that our mind is usually trying to offer us suggestions, that can actually prevent us from truly exploring new data. Many of us are consumed with our own Web site objectives rather than exploring and researching our customers real time search habits. Many of us use Wordtracker, a powerful research tool with a “keyword hunting” mindset. After all, is that not what it is all about? Finding important keywords that relate to our Web site that will also attract more traffic? Well, that is partially true. But in my short e-book Wordtracker Magic, I talk about the power of Wordtracker to explore “user search behavior,” too.
Quick Example of a dental related product or service:
A dentist who is selling a cosmetic tooth whitening service, may continually be coming up with words related to the product or the benefits of the product or service. But to widen our scope, why not try and research the “conditions” that exist in and around a customers life that cause them to search the Internet, the way they are searching. It’s about understanding all of the opportunities for keyword selection based upon the “searchers interests” not the sellers objective.
The natural “keyword hunt” mindset is where we begin guessing at important keywords. The only trouble is, usually they will be the same keywords that everyone else is guessing at. When it comes to search marketing, you want to eliminate the guessing game and perform solid research to discover actual evidence of the searcher behavior. In the example of the dentist above, the most natural guesses (terms that first come to mind) are going to usually be about the service itself. For example “Teeth whitening” or maybe “white teeth.”
“teeth whitening” currently has 2,810,000 competing pages on Google (at the time of this article)
“white teeth” currently has 1,900,000 competing pages.
There are people who would insist that there cannot possibly be any better search terms than this and while it is possible to optimize for the phrases, it is going to take some work and some time because of the competition. But let’s dip into Wordtracker and show you how you can find much better terms that are far less competitive and yet will definetly bring you better results (even just with mild optimization.)
Using Wordtracker Magic: I go into Wordtracker and very quickly discovered these phrases in less than 5 minutes
“teeth bleaching” is being searched for and it only has 162,000 competing pages.
“teeth whitening kits” is being searched for and it only has 52,900 competing pages.
“laser teeth bleaching” only has just 712 competing pages.
The point is that it is possible to find much less competitive phrases and find them very quickly by following the techniques I describe in Wordtracker Magic. Other interesting phrases that I just happen to notice along the way, are questions that people have about their dental condition. Could a dentist, (just as an example) find a way to answer these questions and satisfy the user search? Perhaps even sell them a solution or treatment through an affiliate program.
Why would someone be searching for this phrase?
Example: “bad taste in mouth after wisdom teeth extraction”
This exact phrase has been searched multiple times on the Internet and yet it only has 8 competing pages!
Natural thinking may suggest…but why would someone not ask their own dentist about this?
But the point is, people are researching lots and lots of information on the Internet so why not be the source that helps answer their questions. A good optimized page should be content rich and satisfy the reason why the searcher searched in the first place. I could share a lot more on the topic but let’s give you some more tips to expand your field of scope even further.
In our dental example, we still have not expanded our scope fully, because we are just getting started.
The real question is this:
What type of articles, information and other topical content would attract the right kind of audience in for a tooth whitening service or product? The more fresh, original and engaging content you have on your Web site, the more people will be able to find you for searched topics of importance to them. Far too many Web site don’t widen their scope any further than just touching on the benefits of their product. Good marketing to attract the right traffic means that you need to move beyond just talking about your product. It’s not about your product only, it’s about your readers lives.
But how about the impact that can be made on a persons personal life when, because of that fresh white smile, they begin to have new confidence. Could a more positive image contribute to actual changes in behavior on the job or in their everyday abilities to perform? Think about it and explore the conditions that exist before tooth whitening and after tooth whitening. We are not just expounding on the benefits, but I’ll bet if you talk to a real dental service that offers this, you’ll learn that this service has done some amazing things for changing how someone feels about their own self.
Could it mean a new job or a promotion or a new relationship for someone who had previously had low self esteem because of their appearance. Let’s think about this..could these also be the people who need to find your service in the first place?
But you see how examining something in depth can bring a whole range of topics and behaviors to explore inside Wordtracker.
The secret is really in our point of view and understanding what the world is searching for. Switch to your customers point of view instead of your own and you’ll begin to really discover what the world is searching for and even why they are searching for it.
A few more tips to consider in conclusion:
- Instead of just thinking about “keywords” learn how to explore the conditions in peoples lives that set the precedent for them doing a search on the Internet in the first place.
- Stop hunting for “keywords” and begin exploring your ideal buying audiences “topical interests.”
- Satisfy the reason why the user is searching by delivering up valuable content that meets their needs first. Who knows, they may just become a customer next.
- Continually work at adding fresh new topical content to your Web site consistently as possible.
- Expand your field of scope in understanding truths of importance from your customers point of view.
- How can you relate your customers “real life experiences” positive or negative into your behavioral research?
- Don’t let the natural tendency to “guess at keywords” stop you from exploring all of the hidden evidence that just needs a little practice to uncover.
Author: John Alexander is Co-director of Training at offering live, SEO Workshops with his partner SEO educator Robin Nobles, author of the very first comprehensive online search engine marketing courses