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How to conduct online keyword research (or realize you already started and didn’t know it).

May 9, 2016.Finn.0 Likes.0 Comments
Home/Blog/AdWords/How to conduct online keyword research (or realize you already started and didn’t know it).

If you’ve been following along in the How to Start a Digital Web Presence setup series, then to this point you’ve already started your keyword research. Surprise!


If you haven’t been, first read our article on “Monitoring and measuring competitors’ online activities w/ these Tools.”

“How so?” Because:

  • You now use tools to monitor your competition – even if all you use are the free tools and free trials. You still got something. Those tools gave you keywords.
  • You use tools that monitor how people reach your site, what they do on your site, and how your site performs in search engines. Those tools gave you keywords.

The rest of us use keywords as chess pieces on the digital marketing board

You’ve got your pieces.

You now know about your market’s products and services:

  • What you and your competitors call your products / services
  • What you and your competitors call their products / services
  • What your customers / clients call you and your customers products and services
  • What media, public personalities, “thought leaders” and pundits call y’alls stuff

You know what aspects the customers want to know about both you and your customer’s products and services. They want answers to the basic questions:

  • how to…
  • what is/are…
  • where is/are…
  • why is/are…

They want to know about deals and specials and coupons and (for B2B), bundle discounts…and free stuff. Always with the free stuff: free discounts, free shipping and delivery, free installation, free initial consultation. Free as the eye can see – (which, at the moment, is pretty far. I’m on the 29th floor of the Wynn Las Vegas while my wife helps her company set up for their conference this week. We have an unfettered western view out to Red Rock Canyon and beyond. Please take this horizon view into consideration with my last statement).


Your moment of Zen. Casino-less Trump Tower Hotel in-the-way-combover-style notwithstanding.

They’ll want to know fundamentals.

  • ingredients for…
  • how to make…
  • benefits of…
  • how legal is…
  • is it certified…
  • is there a warranty…
  • is there a recall…
  • how does it reduce my carbon footprint…

They’ll want to know the experiences and perceptions of other customers and clients.

  • …review
  • …scam
  • …complaints
  • …fraud
  • …rip off
  • [competitor a] vs. [competitor b]

You also know the chess board.

You are also in a market that has products / services, in a marketplace. Typically, those marketplaces have geographical borders. Customers want to know if those products and services are in those borders. And if it’s B2B, geography matters less because of technology, but even that knowledge helps you pair things down as your keywords I wanted to say, “combinations,” but we’re not there…yet.

Now, take these pieces and make combinations

Now you’re getting “[My product or service]” + “reviews” for “[My product or service] reviews.” Or you’ll get “[My product or service] in [my immediate area” – aka “Smithville plumbing free estimates.” Et cetera, et cetera.

Who knew you already knew how to do keyword research? (Well, I did, so buy me a beer.)

Yup. If you already knew how to do business research, then you already knew how to do keyword research. What will take you from, “good,” to, “great,” will be when these keywords and phrases get tested.

Two directions at this point

If you’re reading the tutorial on web presence, you’ll want to go into local SEO.

If you want to learn more about how to test these keywords, grab your best customer / client / product offers and meet me over in the testing grounds (coming soon).

Afterword: to perform searches, customers need to type in words and phrases to look for information on product and services

As dumb as that sounds, it’s even dumber that this fact is overlooked so often.

There isn’t a magic pill to keyword research.

Too many digital agencies doll up modern graphics with glitzy textures and dizzying fonts in order to conjure up your fears so you subconsciously cling to a belief that there is some magic secret or phrase out just for you, that no one before has ever used in the time since Al Gore invented the Internet, there that’s going to get you extra clients and / or sales that will roll over this phantasmal, cosmic windfall of unprecedented success, retirement, life-story book deals, HBO movie and a pampered life in a land where the weather is perfect every day and even the wildlife’s shit can be filtered into incredible coffee. The only way to alleviate these fears and discover these legendary riches is to watch their easy, exclusive webinar for only folks like you. It’ll only be $299.00 for the introductory class and you’ll be rich like them. That’ll bring you to the precipice and you’ll learn everything but the one cog to make it all go. To learn that, you take their advanced, masters class for $2,999.00 and you’ll know everything they’ve ever learned. You’ll even get to take a photo with them in Vegas.

Eventually, you do the math on how many people only like you have paid that fee and it starts to quickly become self-evident from where they got their wealth.

kopi luwak: thanks for the coffee, kitty.

Thanks for the coffee, kitty. (Image source: w/ creative commons use w/ modification rights)

The truth is that unless you catch a comet and are the first mover in a lucrative, emerging market with a heavy online presence and little competition, you’re probably going to have to grind it out like the rest of us.

Once you get this going, you’ll have to keep track of it because, spoilers, the data changes.

There’s a reason why after a farmer does his chores, he goes into town, has a little breakfast with the boys, and listens to the farmer report: he’s learning about what’s new and how it’s going to affect him.

There’s a reason why after a stock trader does a 7-mile run on a treadmill at 5am, showers & shaves, and heads to Wall St., he takes a copy of the Wall Street Journal to ready on the subway: he wants to know what has changed in the market and how it’s going to affect him.

Keywords are the same way. You’ll want to keep checking the tools you set up, keep checking the data, keep checking on the competitors: you’ll want to see what’s new and how it will affect you. A new product, new government regulation, new consumer trend will change what your customers / clients are searching for. This means you’ll have to make sure you’re using those keywords and phrases so they find you.

Roll up them sleeves. Them fields ain’t gonna’ sow themselves.

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