Beyond Keywords Into Behavioral Research
If you have ever studied
search engine optimization, then you'll know that most
educators place tremendous importance on performing good
keyword research. After all, it's true that we need to
optimize our pages for the best phrases, or we will never
realize our true traffic potential. It's all about trying to
attract the ideal audience of searchers to our Web site,
right? Is that not what most of people do? They build a Web
site offering their business services, then they say to
themselves "How do I get traffic to my site?" For
many Web site owners, their source of traffic is an
It's much wiser, to first
try and discover what keyword phrases people are searching for
on the major search engines and then optimize Web content for
those specific phrases. However, there are still further
regions to explore that go beyond keyword research. Let's call
it researching the "behavior"
of your target audience.
The difference between keyword research and behavioral
research is that keyword research keeps us in a rather
technical mode and focused on finding out what words people
are entering while searching. Behavioral
research has the added advantage of enlightenment and
understanding that not only reveals what keyword phrases are
being used, but why those keywords are being used.
Give this some careful thought. What could possibly be more
important than getting inside the head of your target audience
and discovering what they really want? Actually nothing! Once
we understand exactly what someone is looking for, we can give
them exactly what they want. Think “behavior.”
Every day, people around the world use the Internet as a tool
for a vast array of purposes. A study of behaviors
can carry you much deeper into understanding the desires of
your target audience and ultimately, an understanding of what
kind of useful content to provide for them.
While most people are thinking about what keywords to use, try
to expand your scope to focus and discover the fullest
possible picture of what your customer REALLY wants, what they
really are doing, by simply studying their searching behavior
on the major search engines.
Why make all this fuss about behavior
trends anyway? What creates behavioral
trends? Think about it this way. If you can discover how a
certain target audience is using the Internet, then chances
are the rest of your target audience may be doing exactly the
same thing. This is not only helpful with respect to the ideal
keyword phrase selection but also may be helpful to your
writing style. How you communicate to a grandmother will have
a completely different spin than how you communicate with a
sports enthusiast looking for sports scores or a photographer
searching for a place to review several different lenses.
If you happened to learn that a grandmother is shopping online
to buy a gift for her daughter’s newborn baby, then what are
the chances of there being many other grandmothers doing the
same thing. If enough grandmothers are doing this in real life
every day, it creates a trend.
So lets get down to talking
Some people have already
realized that online consumers are searching for price
comparisons online. Wouldn't it be useful to know exactly what
prices or what products people are comparing? How easily you
could you take advantage of this information by creating ideal
content within a retail site, that compares exactly these
things that people are searching for and want to know! Not
only that, but suppose you could research those exact products
and determine fairly quickly where the biggest "window of
opportunity" would be for you?
One of the most powerful
and useful tools for researching human behavior
As an official member of Wordtracker's question and answer
support team, I help answer peoples questions about keyword
research every day. The questions I answer are mostly things
that customers are curious about, but often the answer to
their question does not allow me the time to explain about
some of the special advantages of Wordtracker. This is why I
wrote an e-book called Wordtracker
Magic, to help people understand some simple, easy
alternatives to performing keyword research and behavioral
research. Many people miss the behavioral
trends simply because they are thinking too narrowly about
“keywords" which may already be pre-programmed into
their minds. Remember, if there is enough common interest in
any topic, so that a similar search behavior
is occurring then it will often leave an identifiable trend
behind in Wordtrackers database. Every time you can discover
those trends, it's like pure gold!
About John Alexander
John Alexander is Co-director of Training at Search
Engine Workshops offering live, SEO Workshops with partner
Robin Nobles as well as online search engine marketing courses
through Online Web
Training. John is author of an
e-book called Wordtracker
Magic and co-author of
the Totally Non-Technical
Guide for A Successful Web Site.
John is also an official member of the customer support team
answering keyword related questions.
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