Marketers feel the pressure when it comes to keyword research and tracking. Part of it has to do with the incredible speed at which certain keywords fall out of popularity to be replaced with new ones. It’s a natural part of accelerating Internet culture and how fast search technology evolves.
Another has to do with just how much influence keywords have on every other digital marketing strategy you might otherwise want to employ. Select the wrong keywords and your aim is off in a big way.
Think of keywords as the building blocks of digital marketing.
Whether you’re trying to research the market, craft a new SEO strategy or better target your PPC ads, you need the right keywords to make the magic happen.
Time to brainstorm a new campaign? You hit keywords to not look into old successes, but also see how competitors performed.
Time to develop a new product? Keywords unlock the doors to your customers’ strongest desires and needs. There’s almost an art form to selecting the right keywords to better your standing as a brand and we’re here to guide you through the selection process.
To best understand why keyword tracking is essential to brand monitoring, we have to step back and look at brand monitoring as a practice. We’re sure you’ve encountered terms like social media monitoring and brand monitoring, but are not exactly sure what they mean in great detail. Perhaps, you even use them interchangeably and that’s fair. However, you should know the difference.
Social media monitoring handles brand mentions on social media platforms, so every time you log into your profile and check your replies, shares and DMs, that’s a form of social media monitoring. Brand monitoring expands this process. Under its umbrella you’re tracking down your name and reputation off social media platforms on news, blogs, think pieces, review sites and forums. You take a look at any digital place where your name might pop up, and keywords take you there.
Monitoring your brand online gives you insights into how to improve by having you…
Marketing helps you only so far to move units off shelves or increase bookings. The product fails to live up to the expectations you create? Customers will learn better and any initial purchases will fizzle out in the short to midterm. Longevity rests on the combined strength of your marketing and value proposition. To that end, you have to know what in your product checks customer boxes and where your product fails to meet their needs.
Keyword monitoring taps into customers’ unfiltered opinions. Yes, you’ve those aggravated souls ready to tell you the unvarnished truth directly in your mentions, but conversations weighing your virtues as a brand happen without your direct involvement. Listen and:
Keywords are the signposts along a hiking trail leading you to the heart of conversations online. It is imperative you bend your ear to your audience and chime in when the need arises. Accept criticism with grace, when it’s important, and engage with dissatisfied customers. Maintaining a healthy, open relationship with customers through social media and other platforms strengthens brand reputation and retains customers (arguably more lucrative than acquiring new ones).
Bear in mind, you can go too heavily in the other direction. Responding to any and all complaints (some people cannot be pleased no matter what you do) only highlights your shortcomings. If all your feeds overflow with replies to dissatisfied customers, especially those with minor gripes or issues you can’t do anything about, then you lose faith and trust from loyal customers and leads alike. Review what’s important to you to respond to (use the pain points you’ve identified in the prior step) and don’t hesitate to be selective about responding to customer feedback.
Nobody can do your keyword research except for you. However, what we can do is point towards the right direction. Not every company has the same marketing needs at the same time and this is also a factor in determining what specific keyword groups to invest in. You also have to factor in how much money you have to allocate for keyword monitoring and whether you have enough manpower to tackle an ambitious project.
Disclaimer out of the way, let’s investigate further the five must-have categories of keywords no marketer worth their salt will turn a blind eye to.
Have only one major product or product series to monitor? Then perhaps this doesn’t apply to you, but companies that have reached the stage where they can diversify and expand their assortment of products should divert their attention to each individual product. Before customers mention the brand, they will mention the product first and sometimes the products are synonymous with brand names.
We say Kindle. You know it’s all about Amazon. We say Whopper. You know we’re talking about good old Burger King. Macbook = Apple. Your effort should be focused on individual products – specifically your bestsellers, because they will be the conversation starters online.
What’s the point of even doing keyword monitoring, if you don’t monitor your brand? Naturally, brand keywords should be your top priority. We’re only going to build upon your understanding of the category as a whole. Ensure you’re thinking about:
Once you master the specific turn your gaze onto the broad. Identify the industry keywords you’re likeliest to compete for better ranking on search terms and those that reveal market opportunities and trends. Industry keywords should be present in your sales copy and core value proposition so that you target potential customers. It’s essential you keep in step with the top keywords of the day so that you maintain the drive of related traffic to your website. Visibility will never not be an asset in digital marketing.
Organic search, however, has not been the main tool of discovery and sales conversion as it once used to be. Customers prefer to receive recommendations for products and services from people they trust and respect. Word of mouth through friends and relatives is the best, but this preference overall has created the category of influencer marketing, which is efficient, still growing and cost-effective. Monitoring industry keywords can identify those influencers best suited to endorse your brand through collaborations and sponsored posts.
Competitors remain the best resource on what to do and what not to do in your niche. This age-old adage applies in full force to competitor keywords. At the very least, you can compare ranking on industry-related keywords and terms you both appear on and take note on who leads the pack and by how much. However, that’s only scratching the surface.
Monitoring competitor keywords like brand name, products, branded hashtags or campaigns gives you a rich set of data points you can use to your advantage:
Consider this a hybrid category – something to keep in mind when researching brand mentions on other websites. Are people writing about your brand and products linking to your home or product pages? Building links to your URLs is essential to running successful SEO. You improve ranking on searches for essential keywords and contribute to your site’s authority. So whenever you’re observing online conversations surrounding your brand, check for an URL to your website. If they are not linking, write the politest email and reach out to the author with a request to be linked to.
You should also consider monitoring your competitors’ URLs. Why, you might ask. For one thing, your competitors might have more visibility within your industry. You’re in a position to identify those websites willing to write about your competition and link to them. It stands to reason they might do the same for you and thus such monitoring reveals more opportunities for backlinks to your brand’s site. Keep in mind, this works mostly for places that publish guest articles.
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