With March Madness on everyone’s mind, it’s got me thinking; creating a winning college basketball team is a lot like creating a successful SEO campaign. In college basketball, teams need a great point guard to be the foundation of their team. A great point guard can make the perfect pass to the big guy down low, knock down the clutch free throws at the end of the game, break the press, and be the coach on the floor.
With a successful SEO campaign, your keyword research is your point guard. It is the foundation in which your SEO campaign should be based. As the old saying goes, “If you’re not targeting the right keywords, you might as well not be targeting at all.” Okay, so I made that one up, but there are a few tricks to follow to make sure your game plan for keyword research is successful:
1. Feed off your crowd energy; see what people are talking about.
The best basketball teams will use the crowd to give them momentum to win a game, especially during a home game (your SEO campaign should always feel like a home game). Good keyword research can also use the crowd through social media. Twitter search is a great tool to see if anyone is talking about your product or company. Another great place to look is industry specific forums. Often people using forums have no other objectives than to start a conversation, or learn new things about the your industry.
2. Be creative.
Good coaches in basketball will often surprise the other team with new schemes on offense or defense that the other team has not seen before. The same applies in keyword research. Don’t do the same thing that your competition is doing. Find long tail keywords that are specific to your business that will bring you new leads and sales. A good marketer knows their audience. A good search engine optimizer knows what their audience will be searching.
3. Utilize the free tools available online.
I know this tip is as obvious as do not turn the ball over in basketball, but it still needs to be said. My favorite free tool is the Google Keyword Planner. With the keyword planner you can get exact keyword searches, and get other keyword ideas. Another tool I like is Google Trends. With this tool you can get an idea of what is popular now, and what is going to be popular 6 months from now.
Just like it takes years to perfect a jump shot, it takes years to perfect keyword research. Marketers are always coming up with new tactics to perform keyword research. What are some trick you have found in doing effective keyword research?