It’s no great secret that people use search engines to find what they are interested in. You could learn a lot about a person simply by looking at their search history. But while you may not have the ability (or desire) to do that on a person-by-person basis, you do have the ability to look at the search history of your entire target audience.
3 Things Keyword Research Can Tell You About Your Audience
Keyword research provides a wealth of information that gets you inside the heads of your target audience. Not only does it help you grow your business, but it helps you understand your audience even better. Here are some specific things keyword research can teach you about your audience:
1. Topics your audience is interested in
Keyword research can be a valuable resource for discovering topics you can write about. Most businesses suffer from a lack of topic ideas. Usually, that’s because they are trying to come up with them on their own. But why not let your audience tell you what they want to know about?
Your audience likely has a wide variety of interests that they are already searching for. All you have to do is uncover this information using your favorite keyword research tool, and you have a near endless source of topics to write about.
But don’t assume this is only for blogging. Many of these topics can point to new opportunities for services or products that you can focus on. Or at least new solutions that your existing site doesn’t adequately address.
By looking at your audience’s specific interests, you’re able to engage with them on their terms, addressing what they really want. This will help you produce better content that improves existing engagement rates.
2. Terminology your audience uses
If one thing is a constant in my SEO experience it’s that keyword research will inevitably uncover specific terminology that a business wasn’t already aware of. Industry terminology for a product or service can vary greatly from how it’s commonly referred to by those outside the industry.
Just because you know what something is called, you can’t assume everyone does. The digital marketing industry is a good example. There are a dozen different ways to search for the same thing: web marketing, internet marketing, seo, search engine marketing, online marketing, search engine optimization, etc. I have a tendency to call it “web marketing,” but the most common uses are “seo” and “digital marketing.”
Without this knowledge, we would have a tendency to write about “web marketing” rather than using the more common vernacular. There is nothing wrong with using both, but I need the knowledge of the terminology in order to write about any of it.
3. Deliver content your audience consumes
Searchers often use keywords to describe the type of content they want, using words such as video, infographics, podcast, or pictures, etc. in their searches. If you see any of these terms show up in your keyword research, this tells you what kind of content you need to be producing.
All too often we get stuck in “text mode.” All of our content is text, text, text. Yes, text is the most popular form of content, and video is a close second. But any other format that your audience wants is a worthwhile format to produce content in.
Think of it this way: If searchers want video and you have none, those are searchers that won’t ever find you. Period.
But if you do have video, well, now you’re in the game.
Not so secret secrets
People may keep secrets from their friends, but very few keep secrets from Google. And while most of these secrets aren’t anything to be ashamed of, getting that information can help you do a better job of creating messaging that your audience wants.
I recently read a book that said that if you can convince people you know what they are thinking before they say it, they’ll think you’re really smart. Keyword research gives you the opportunity to do just that. When you find out what your audience wants, you can provide the solution before they ever search for it. And that makes you someone they just might want to do business with!