It is all about the keywords right? Well not really. It is actually all about the demographics each keyword represents. When someone searches Google for “Seattle real estate” you have to put yourself in the mindset of the searcher. Who searches for that phrase? It could be a prospect for a home, a real estate agent checking local properties, or a real estate broker looking for a new recruit. Assuming a keyword will generate a return on investment for the time and budget it takes to have an organic result in the search engine may be a monolithic mistake.
Rather than think entirely “in the box” of search terms and keywords, think demographics. Think target market.
Consider social media a chance to explore your target market. One keyword leads to another, leads to another. Within a few steps you may discover that your best prospect for your business may be two or three levels removed from where you have been trying to reach them.
Example: Real estate professionals always want to show up for “city state real estate” as a term. Yet often they need to reach a person much earlier in the process. A real estate transaction is a relationship based sales process taking one to twelve months. There are indicators online regarding what people do before buying a home. They get married. They find a new job. They get divorced. They have kids. They go to school.
Social Media generates an entirely new set of keywords to compare and look at in the “big picture”
hobbies and interests
Taking the real estate example: You can look at schools, churches, major employers, lawyers, hospitals and create a niche for themselves in a strong and consistently producing category. For instance Boeing, Idearc, AT&T, Comcast, Amazon, Microsoft, etc. are all heavily present in the Seattle area. More importantly, some of those companies have huge employee groups clustered around certain neighborhoods.
How do I find my niche? Think out of the Box
There are a variety of tools out there that will help you with keyword research and drawing some basic conclusions. There are different categories of tools that can be used together or individually, they will help you discover:
the popularity of your keyword
who is talking about your niche (and the people involved in the conversation)
keyword synonyms and related terms (One letter may make all the difference)
niche industry trends and traffic patterns
Keyword Research Tools
-Google AdWords Keyword Suggestions- Use the Keyword Tool to get new keyword ideas. It works with providing keywords based on words or phrases and can also recommend based on site content.
-Google Traffic Estimator- a very simple to use traffic tool. You can dump in a list of hundreds of keywords or phrases and see what choices make sense for your next article.
-WordTracker – Wordtracker is the best non-Google system, however it requires you to purchase a membership to get real usage out of the tool (and I am a fan of free/low cost)
Competitive Keyword Tools
-Compete.com Search Analytics – Identifies rival search marketing strategies to take your SEM and SEO efforts to the next level. Also defines traffic patterns on competitor sites.
-KeywordSpy – shows terms that competitors are buying or ranking for in the organic search results, including pay per click ad text.
-KeyCompete – shows pay per click words that competitors are buying.
Social Media Specific
-TweetVolume , TweetScan, Summize all give insight to Twitter. They can show you how much a keyword is being talked about and the associated terms that are drawn to it.
-del.icio.us tag page- StumbleUpon tags – – The most popular tags (keywords) can be seen in clusters of information.
-BlogCatalog Directory – MyBlogLog Directory – are both massive directories of sites that have been tagged by a member community. You can quickly search for a term, see associated terms on a site, and popular members on each site that may be influencers.
-IceRocket Trends – Technorati Tags – Useful for seeing keyword trends (Icerocket) and authority value (Technorati- the number of sites linking to another site)
by Barry Hurd