Traditionally, SEO experts deliver keyword research through a spreadsheet of possible terms for companies to target. Potential keywords are targeted based on search volume and competition. This data may be organized into sections like Brand, Product 1, Product 2, etc.
Little or no thought is given to:
- Client’s Business Objectives and Goals
- Buyer Personas
- Buying Cycle
- or Customer Journey
When clients are presented with the often overwhelming keyword spreadsheet, it’s the first time they’re active participants in the SEO process. Clients more often than not sign off on the bucket of keywords, whether or not they fully agree or even understand it. This is not a collaborative effort, so last year we changed how we conduct keyword research and how we deliver it to clients.
Today, we start by asking clients questions like:
What are your goals or objectives for the website in the next 12 months?
This question steers the direction of the research to come. If a client says that they want to grow online revenue by double digits in 2015, or that they want to increase brand awareness—those are two completely different goals and require very different strategies.
What are the attributes of your best customers?
This question focuses on our target audience. What problems do these customers have that our client is solving? Are these the types of customers that like long form content (PDFs and whitepapers), or do they prefer short FAQ style answers or informative videos? Maybe it is a combination of the three. To decide, we need to figure out the values and habits of the targeted consumers.
What does the buying cycle look like?
By understanding the buyer’s journey and the client’s goals, we can focus keywords on a specific part of the journey while providing coverage across the whole journey. A well-considered keyword strategy includes keywords that target customers who are in each section of the cycle.
Does your current keyword strategy consider your objectives, goals, buyer personas, buying cycles, and customer journey? If not, consider updating your SEO strategy. Contact us today to match your strategy with your goals!