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Keyword Research

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

What is it?

To begin with actually deciding all keywords we're going to use, we're going to do what's called keyword research. Now, what is keyword research? Keyword research is the process by which lists of keywords relating to a product or a service are created using tools like the Keyword Planner. There are other tools available to us, and you can, indeed, manually build out your keyword lists. But the keyword tool, or the Keyword Planner in Google AdWords is a very powerful tool for just building out ideas, building out related, you know, search queries that you may not have thought of before, and developing new search queries, it's an ongoing process in search to do this.

So keyword research is the starting point of everything to do with keywords, which is the cornerstone of search marketing indeed.

Buyer journey

Throughout this course we've talked about the buyer journey.

And another visualization of the buyer journey is this particular funnel. So, within the funnel, we've got our awareness keywords, our interest keywords, our consideration keywords, conversion keywords, and retention keywords.

So depending on where that person is in that buyer journey, they may be at the interest stage which could be evaluating alternatives, or indeed seeking the information. Consideration, which is deciding on purchase, conversion, which is purchase, and retention which is the post-purchase evaluation. So you can see how that slide, that one slide, is, I suppose, conceptually the backbone of any kind of business objective around search marketing and how you would, indeed, approach a search marketing campaign or activity.

Google Keyword Planner

There are tools available to us that we can deploy within search marketing, such as Google Keyword Planner.

It is an input area where we could decide on the types of keywords we're looking for, the targeting we best want to associate with those keywords whether it's location or language targeting, and then the ideas that will be the ultimate output from that.

Let’s start with the top area, Area A, in the image below. This is where you enter your keywords. This is the starting point for anyone's keyword research. Just three, four, five broad keywords around what you think your consumers might look for when you're building your campaign. A second option for getting your keywords are, you could just enter your landing page.

Now this is a less controlled option because what's happening is you're saying to Google, "Just look at my landing page and decide what keywords might be relevant to it." You've less control over what, you know, what type of keywords you're directing Google to give you because essentially, it's kind of making a leap based on the content of your page. So you're using your page content to decided what your keyword output might be, whereas in the other section, you're using your consumer intent to decide what your keyword output might be.

The third option you have to get keywords is the category option. So with this, it's a very wide, it's a very, you know, uncontrolled way of getting keywords. Essentially, you're saying, "I am part of the travel vertical. I work in airline," and you will get a whole lot of airline keywords, but it can be very off-topic, it can be totally irrelevant to what you're trying to achieve.

It might be worth exploring. My recommendation is always to input just four or five keywords into that A section there and go from that rather than letting Google scrape your site in column B, or indeed, just choosing a category-based group of keywords which is totally uncontrolled, and can be off-brand. Now, this has to be understood in the context of your targeting.

The targeting section D contains things like your location, your language, and, this is information about your consumers. Where are they based? What do they speak? Ideally, what do you speak? Because if your website is in English, you don't want to be serving to people who don't speak English or don't have indeed their browser set to English as the standard language.

In order to get the right type of keywords back, you should consider your language options and your location options. And then finally, in section E, we've got the Get Ideas CTA button, which is the next step.

Keyword Planner benefits

Well, once you've input your information into section A, you can press that button and then Google will return to you a list of keywords and the search volumes, your existing keywords, and the ability to plan, or create a plan around these keywords.

There are two methods for getting keywords out of the Keyword Tool. One is to press that right-hand arrow button. It is the blue icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the Keyword Planner, and that will add that particular keyword to your plan. It's an uncontrolled way of structuring an account. It's a very quick-fix way of visualizing the account structure. It's not recommended.

Now, what is recommended is download your keywords. If you download your keywords using the download button just below that keyword volume graph, you can see all your keyword lists in an Excel doc and then you can structure them and upload them in AdWords Editor, for example, or indeed the AdWords interface.

Now, just to go through some other items on this particular visual, we've got our graph here just above the keyword list. So, while we're solely focused on what keywords Google is going to give back to us, it's also interesting to know what those keywords did over the year. Where their peaks and troughs were, where the most interest was, what month did we see the highest volume, the highest amount of interest from users on that particular keyword list.

And again, this can be changed over on the left-hand side with what country and location you're targeting. You might find that particular keywords in the US behaved very differently in May than keywords in the UK, and that is a consideration for your territorial targeting. But as part of your keyword research, it's always good to know your search volume and indeed your seasonality and this is what the Keyword Planner will give you.

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Please note that the module slides are designed to work in collaboration with the module transcript document. It is recommended that you use both resources simultaneously.

Digital Marketing Resources:

Cathal Melinn

Cathal Melinn is a well-known digital marketing director, commercial analyst, and ecommerce specialist with over 15 years’ experience.

Cathal is a respected international conference speaker, course lecturer, and digital trainer. He specialises in driving complete understanding from students across a number of digital marketing disciplines including: paid and organic search (PPC and SEO), analytics, strategy and planning, social media, reporting, and optimisition.  Cathal works with digital professionals in over 80 countries and teaches at all levels of experience from beginner to advanced.

Alongside his training and course work, Cathal runs his own digital marketing agency and is considered an analytics and revenue generating guru - at enterprise level. He has extensive local and international experience working with top B2B and B2C brands across multiple industries.

Over his career, Cathal has worked client-Side, in digital marketing agencies and media owners with brands including HSBC, Amazon, Apple, Red Bull, Dell, Vodafone, Compare the Market, Aer Lingus, and Expedia.

He can be reached on LinkedIn here.

The following pieces of content from the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library have been chosen to offer additional material that you might find interesting or insightful. While relevant to this module, you will not be assessed on this content.

You can find more information and content like this on the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library


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