Keyword research is a multi-faceted process that can be used effectively to establish your brand and create awareness. Most importantly, businesses are concerned with increasing online conversions when it comes to keyword research.

Choosing the right keyword(s) to meet any of these marketing objectives is something that requires continual attention and re-tweaking irrespective of whether your doing SEO or Paid Search. Continually evaluate your objectives and marketing results in order to implement the right course of action to increase conversions. You have to revisit your selected keywords throughout your online marketing campaign(s) and introduce new keywords into your existing campaign(s) in order to assess and conclude what keywords achieve optimal conversions for your business.

Keyword research is considered more of an art than it is a science but by using Google's keyword tools and putting yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer you have a better chance of choosing the right keywords to increase conversions.

Here are 5 tips on how to conduct keyword research to increase conversions.

1. Think Like Your Ideal Customers

Ask yourself; who are your business' ideal customers?

The ideal customers in any circumstance are customers who are looking to retain your business for the service or product you provide.

So how do you think like ideal customers and consider what keywords the majority of them use to find your business?

Remember that all your potential customers are searching for your business service/product for one of two reasons.

  1. They know exactly what they want and are call you to inquire about your product/service.
    These customers are usually further down the sales cycle and require little to no nurturing or conditioning and are a definite sell. These customers are also more likely to be more specific in their search query.
  2. They are doing their research.

So remember that your potential customers are at different points in the sales cycle and you need to be creative in finding ways to reel them in.

What are the different keywords they may be using to find your business online? If you are a travel agent looking to bring in more customers looking for Costa Rica travel specials you would be naive to think that the majority of your potential customers are searching for your business under the term "travel Costa Rica" or "Costa Rica travel". So truly put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer(s) and brainstorm the various different types of keywords that are more likely to bring in conversions.

2. General Location Based Keywords

Select a few keywords that represent the general nature of your business along with your location. General location based keywords are also referred to as categorical keywords as they represent your business category and the location you serve.

For example if you are a Toronto based plumber, having the keywords "Toronto plumber(s)" and "Plumber(s) Toronto" should be included in your campaign at the very least because these keywords target users searching on general location based terms. Statistics show that location based searches are done by users who are further down the sales cycle.

If your budget allows consider adding variations such as "plumbers in Toronto", "reliable plumbers in Toronto", etc. as well. Ensure that the landing page you create for these searchers also speaks to them, using effective call to action buttons and statements so they are more inclined to pick up the phone and call you.

3. Be As Specific As Possible

Statistics show that the more specific a user is in their search query the more likely they are to turn into a conversion.

For example, websites for criminal lawyers may receive a great deal of visits from keywords such as "Criminal lawyer". However, from my experience the keywords that held the most conversion potential were the more specific ones which reference the nature of the criminal charge such as "theft under $5000" or "credit card fraud Toronto". Other conversions also stemmed from referenced statutory offences such as "Criminal Code of Canada Part II Section 46 Offences Against Public Order". So, if you're a criminal lawyer, the more specific you are on the keyword the more likely you'll pull in visits from those ideal clients who are further down the sales cycle.

Another example are medical malpractice lawyers. While medical malpractice lawyer sites may receive lots of visits from general terms such as "medical malpractice lawyers" there are a great deal of conversions that stem from the actual type of malpractice claim such as "appendix misdiagnosis".

Under this scenario, it becomes imperative to consider the types of claims you are more willing to take on as a malpractice lawyer and include these in your online marketing campaign in addition to your general categorical location based keywords.

4. Consider Market Opportunities

Consider what opportunities exist right now to capitalize on to bring aboard more customers.

For example, the Province of Ontario recently issued a Bill titled Ontario Bill 124 which requires architect design firms to submit plans for building permit approval to meet province wide standards in the form of a Building Code Identification Number (BCIN). Essentially, some home owners who were looking to do renovations to their home would need to obtain a BCIN in certain circumstances and would require the services of a design firm for this.

In this case, if you are a design firm owner it would be wise to introduce the keyword BCIN into your online marketing campaigns. This brings visits to your site from potential customers searching the term BCIN as these users are more likely to require the services of a design firm.

Visits from the BCIN keyword in this case are far more valuable to a design firm than visits on the general term "design firm Toronto" as the BCIN searchers are warmer leads that require less conditioning and nurturing. Therefore be aware of what's going on in your industry and how you can capitalize on keywords surrounding certain events or changes.

5. Use Google Insights And Google Analytics To Identify Seasonality & Trends

Google Insights is an excellent keyword tool that essentially gives you a historical breakdown of keyword trends from a global, national and local perspective.

It's a great tool to identify seasonality and trends for your keywords.

Once you have finalized which keywords you want to include in your online marketing campaigns make sure you run them through Google Insights to see their trends.

Also pay close attention to your Keyword Visits report in Google Analytics to spot the trends in which keywords bring visits to your site.

Using both Analytics and Insights together helps you make informed decisions when you consider what keywords to add to your current online marketing campaigns.