Put people first and the keywords will follow

On the road to better search rankings, the temptation to go after keywords promising volumes of search traffic is alluring.  But while that might seem to offer the quickest route to the prize of more customers online – time and time again these goals are unrealistic.  The numbers based search campaign planning methods pay no attention to the intent behind those keywords i.e. they lack the understanding of people who’d actually buy off you, which is crucial if you want you want a positive return from your marketing spend.

Put yourself in their shoes

The first step in improving your search performance is to get a better understanding of the people who want to find you from their search bar.  As marketing managers have always known, this calls for figuring our exactly which segment of people you are trying to reach.  Only with an understanding of who these people are can you then target your content to appeal to their needs. Only with the demographic data like age, sex, location, can you have a background to understanding their search intent.

To understand your client base’s thinking, you have to know what it’s like in their shoes. Demographic profiles are needed to look at who your audience’s role models are likely to be and what they consume. Whether these are girly magazines, the nine o’clock news or the creative review, your direct competitors are likely to be positioning their wares to that audience. This exposure whether it’s advertorial or an editorial feature influences how they think discuss and search for the products or services that you sell.

Misleading shortcuts

With knowledge of how and where your target customers are likely to talk about your brand, you not only have a much deeper an understanding of the types of phrases used by your core buyers, you will hopefully know what it is they value about your products and services that prefer your brand over the competition.  It is high time to dump the notion of a quick trip to Google Analytics API is in any way sufficient; as you will be competing with all the other traffic based on the same set of keywords. A race you cannot win.

It’s a fair bet to surmise that Google itself has been loathe to point out with it’s numerous service updates that focus on quick and easy content or keywords is in no way sustainable.

Where is my business best placed?

Over the long haul, the clever money is creating content that fits with what your customers are already in tune with and is in the right place.  Where you don’t have a first to market advantage, look at what your competitors are writing, the phrases they are using and ask yourself whether you could do better. Only with that in mind do you know the key phrases and topics you should be writing about.

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