“Getting an audience is hard. Sustaining an audience is hard. It demands a consistency of thought, of purpose, and of action over a long period of time.”
— Bruce Springsteen, American singer-songwriter
Keyword research is typically done as a means of identifying the verbiage a certain audience is using to track down various products, services, content and other offerings.
Many have considered keyword research to be a dying practice ever since Google’s Hummingbirdcame to town.
While this algorithm certainly did change how people look at keywords and phrases, many remain unaware of the various ways in which keyword research can be a wise teacher that provides deep insights into your audience.
People who are searching for offerings leverage specific words and phrases based on the outcome they wish to achieve. If business owners begin to shift their focus off the keywords themselves, and onto the motivating factors which spurred such a query, a goldmine of characteristics and desires can be uncovered.
This is the real information that you should be after. And once you have this data at your disposal, your brand can craft content that aims to be the answer the searcher is looking for; one of the most effective ways of driving traffic and conversions.
To help you read between the lines and understand the user data contained within keywords, here are four common audience attributes that keyword research reveals.
1. Who They Are
This one is the most obvious and most important of the bunch.
Depending on the type of person conducting the search, the verbiage they choose to leverage is likely to greatly vary.
For example, a college freshman is probably going to choose much different terminology than parents who might be searching for the same thing.
While your company might create buyer personas to help zero in on the ideal consumer types, keywords and phrases are much more concrete in helping to determine if you will be able to meet the needs of your audience.
For instance, if you come to find that the keyword you target is often connected with the word “infographic,” you then become cognizant that you need to be creating infographics that cater to that topic, otherwise, that traffic will be directed toward a competing site that is able to fulfill the searcher’s need.
While most keywords will remain the same across audience and demographics, what will frequently vary is the keyword qualifiers, or words that help to define the user’s intent; this is what helps to determine who your audience is.
2. How They Speak
You might have your industry’s lingo down pat, but that doesn’t mean you know the kind of lingo that your audience is slinging.
It’s very likely that your audience doesn’t have the same grasp of your sector’s language that those on the inside do. This means that there is a decent chance they are using variations on familiar terms or wholly different ones.
Keyword research helps to uncover these subtleties and gradations in verbiage that surround problems consumers have and solutions your business provides.
Searchers are only capable of leveraging the terminology that has made its way into their awareness. This means that by uncovering the words and phrases often used, you can create content that meets consumers on their level and makes your offerings that much more visible.
3. What They Are Interested In
Keyword research helps you to discover the interests of your audience and where these attractions collide with your brand’s offerings. Understanding this intersection can give rise to an abundance of content ideas that are geared toward driving high-quality, targeted traffic that is likely to convert in some way.
Be aware that you are doing more than just crafting and optimizing certain posts around specific phrases; you are digging through all your keyword data to establish any existing parallels or correlations that will help you to draft the most comprehensive and solution-oriented content on the Web.
This is the key to driving traffic: Giving the audience what they want in language that resonates and mirrors their current vernacular.
4. How to Meet Their Needs
As a business, you sell some sort of product or service. The problem, however, is that your offerings may be missing the mark on what consumers want or need.
For example, if you make an app that helps people connect with psychologists in their area, there is a great chance that users are hoping or expecting to find certain features present. If that function isn’t there, users are likely to seek out a similar application that does tout the features they are looking for.
Keyword research can help you identify and fill this need by including the desired components before losing out to rival brands. Moreover, the name of your product could change to assimilate with the terms that audiences are using for your offering; it’s a heck of a lot easier to change the name of your product than to retrain an entire audience to search differently.
Establishing exactly what your audience wants and needs is a prerequisite to gaining their patronage and loyalty. At the end of the day, these folks are out there looking for a solution. It’s up to you whether you are doing the homework necessary for your brand to become that solution; no matter if it’s physical products or digital content.
The knowledge gained from keyword research goes much deeper than what words to target. It provides a bevy of data on the people you are trying to understand more about. If you begin to view keyword research through this paradigm, your business will be more well equipped to deliver the types of content, products and services that reach the top of the SERPs.
Which one of these audience insights surprised you the most? What is your favorite keyword research tool?
Conscious online marketer, web executive, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney has been creating and fostering online innovations since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, influencer marketing, community management, lead generation, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, and accomplished life coach. Learn more on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.