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Do You Call it a Sofa or a Couch? The Basics of Keyword Research

People call it a “sofa” and not a “couch” in the U.S. about 2/3 of the time. The top associated search terms are “furniture,” “ sofa set” and “sofa bed.” This is incredibly important information to know if you’re a furniture retailer trying to connect with audiences online.

Do people shop for swimwear or swimsuits? It’s pretty closely divided, though there’s a spike for swimsuits every year in February (Sports Illustrated publishes their swimsuit edition in February). The spike for the term swimwear is in June when you’d expect people to be shopping.

If you owned a swimwear company you would want those terms to appear on your website to help your rankings in internet searches. It would also be helpful to include relevant terms in the brief description of the business on internet directory listings like your Google My Business listing, or a Yelp entry (those listings are free, by the way) and in your ads. By choosing the right keywords you can make sure your business is placed in front of as many searchers as possible.

In general, research can yield great insight into who your target audience is, what they are looking for and what they think and say about your products and services. Yet, many businesses jump into marketing before they fully understand their target audience’s behavior and mindset. That can cost marketing dollars up front that could have been saved by starting with research.

At Anglin PR we place great emphasis on getting to know our client’s audiences. Depending on the project, the research takes different forms, but it is always most effective when gathered early on. Our firm conducts focus groups, writes and administers surveys for stakeholders and target audiences, digs into analytics for web and social media and carefully considers keywords.

Search engine keyword research can be a good place to start when you are looking to understand your audience. Find out what kinds of terms users are plugging into Google related to your organization, and what the results are. Does your website appear on the first page of those results? On the first 2 pages? Beyond that and you might be in trouble. It is important for a business owner or marketer to think about the language and words you use to describe your business so that a) customers can find you online and b) you understand public perception of your organization or industry.

The implications of keyword research can reach even further than your online presence. Knowing how people are interacting with your industry online could and should impact the language and design of all of your marketing efforts. It might change the direction of your organization's social messages or next direct mail piece or drive conversations surrounding an annual giving campaign or branding revamp.

Many great tools for preliminary keyword research are free. Use a keyword planning tool to see how well certain words and phrases are performing with your audience. You can break searches down by geographic region, timeframe, demographics and other qualifiers.

With a little time and effort, you can learn a lot about your customers’ behaviour and avoid being a sofa potato when it comes to conducting research.


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