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Market Research and SEO: Are You Going After the Right Keywords?

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Market Research and SEO: Are You Going After the Right Keywords?

Market ResearchThe success or failure of a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising investment is often less a matter of ad copy and more a question of keyword selection. After all, what fundamentally separates PPC advertising from conventional advertising is that it’s designed to engage prospects at a time when they’re somewhere between “interested in finding a solution” and “ready to buy.” Ad copy doesn’t determine whether an advertiser will successfully place their ad somewhere within this target range: keywords do.

However, the vast majority of advertisers — including those that are enjoying significant ROI from the PPC investment — don’t have an optimized keyword list. That means they’re leaving potential sales and profits on the (virtual) table and giving their competitors a chance to increase market share at their expense. That’s where market research enters the picture and turns ordinary keyword lists into optimized ones.

That’s because market research enables advertisers to look beyond keyword search data — which is often limited (especially through free web-based tools) — and build a focused, relevant keyword list across three levels: brand, benefit, and substitute.  

  • Market Research & Brand Keywords

Brand keywords are terms are associated with a specific company. Even though searches for these types of keywords may be relatively low, prospects who type them into Google, Bing, Yahoo and so on are often the most profitable — because they are revealing through their search that they are aware of, and interested in, a business’s products. Market research helps identify these keywords and all of their variations (i.e. prospects often search for partial or hybrid product names, and they also routinely misspell words).

  • Market Research & Benefit Keywords

Benefit keywords are terms associated with what a company’s products and services enable. Prospects using these terms may or may not know about a specific company, but are nevertheless revealing that they have an agenda: to solve a problem (e.g. “fix leaky roof”) or achieve a goal (“plan a honeymoon”). Market research highlights these benefit-based keywords and ensures that businesses are not just targeting these prospects, but are prepared with optimized landing pages and assets (e.g. checklists, infographics, eBooks, reports, etc.) to help spark a relationship and progress towards a sale.

  • Market Research & Substitute Terms

Sometimes, prospects don’t always use the best or most logical terms to find what they need. For example, if they’re looking for “travel insurance,” they may instead search for “trip insurance” or “vacation insurance.” Businesses that want to target these prospects through PPC — including travel agents, insurance brokers, banks, and so on — need market research to identify all relevant substitute terms, and include them in their list.

The Bottom Line

There are many pieces that must work together to maximize a PPC investment — but by far the biggest and most influential is keyword selection and maintenance. Leveraging market research goes a long way towards ensuring that lists are consistently optimized and prospects who click ads are engaged, nurtured, and ideally converted into profitable, loyal customers.

To learn more about how market research can measurably improve your PPC ROI, contact the Communications For Research team today. You’ll chat with our co-CEO Colson Steber about your business goals and if improving PPC or starting a campaign is one of them, we can help you find the right keywords!

For more information on how to communicate the value of market research to your clients, download our FREE eBook today: 

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