How to find your target market using keyword research
one of the most important tasks you’ll face in creating your web site is whom to invite to the party, so to speak. In other words, who are your visitors and your buyers?
Keyword research a key to success online
Keyword research is the key to a well designed website, being comparable in its effect on your business’ success to the location, layout and design of a brick and mortar store.
As Jakob Krug so rightly put it in his must-have book about the precepts of web design – Don’t Make Me Think – pretend you’re a member of a ski patrol who is looking for lost skiers. Your job is to find people who are likewise looking for you! Except in this case, the tools of your search are words rather than things. The big question here is: which method(s) can be employed to make this search into something other than a futile attempt to find a needle in a haystack.
5-step keyword research method
‘Mark Nunney is an SEO guru at Wordtracker.com. Read about step one of his five-step keyword research method here! This is a finely tuned program for finding those keywords that will give you a fighting chance or more at attracting qualified traffic and ready customers to your web site…
“Keyword research for a new site can start with a process called the Keyword Research Funnel that goes through the following five stages:
1) Find target markets
2) Prioritize target keyword niches
3) Create first content
4) PPC to verify target keywords
5) SEO for verified keywords
Then when your website has organic non-paid search engine traffic, you can move on to the Keyword Research Circle of Response.
In this article we’ll look at step 1: Find target markets. You can learn the details of the full process of keyword research for new and established sites in Wordtracker Masterclass: Keyword Research.
Finding your target markets for search marketing involves finding their associated keywords – the words and phrases used to search Google, Yahoo and Bing.
You are looking for big markets at the start of your keyword research process. So if you are selling cars, the markets might include cars, family cars, sports cars and ford cars.
Later you’ll move from target markets to target keywords. Those will come from within your target markets’ keyword niches like family cars. Eg, cool family cars or big family cars. You’ll find those later in step 2.
Keyword research starts with seed keywords
Seed keywords are the core of a market or keyword niche. Eg, the seed keyword of the donuts keyword niche is donuts. The donuts keyword niche is all keywords containing donut, including glazed donuts and chocolate donuts.
So if you’re making a search on a keyword research tool like the Wordtracker Keywords Tool, enter a seed word or words. You might sell chocolate and start with, well, chocolate. Starting with chocolate, you might expand and find more seed keywords like gourmet chocolate, chocolate desserts and organic chocolate. These keywords are all markets (as well as keyword niches) that you might target and build content for on your site. But always follow this rule:
Only create site content you would want whether or not it brings traffic or response. So no work you do is wasted.
Think about this when you are considering a possible target market. Do you want the content required to target that market on your site? Let’s explore some different ways of finding possible seed keywords …
What are you selling again?
Ask yourself what you are selling and write down relevant products and markets.
Perhaps you and I together are launching a gourmet tea site that sells tea, including:
Always ask yourself how these subjects might relate to the keywords customers search with. No detailed research is required yet. I just want you to keep reminding yourself that you will be looking for the keywords your customers use.
Save all these potential target keywords in a file called Potenti
al Target Markets.
What do you and your employees and colleagues think?
Think beyond the products you sell. Consider problems you solve and related subjects that people talk about and want to know about. (If you’re an agency ask your clients these questions.)
Mark Nunney has been a successful professional SEO since 2000. He is CEO of The Website Marketing Companyand he publishes Leadership & Management Review from ThinkingManagers.com, thebusiness management website.
…for more articles by this SEO maven go to http://www.wordtracker.com/authors/mark-nunney