Step 2: Know your Keywords and Competitors
This week, I’m sharing how to do top level market research so you can win with your advertising. This can affect your website and SEO too, so tune in for real world, usable tools that will make an impact.
First, I want you to learn your keywords. These are the words that people use when they google your company or your services. When someone looks for you it’s called Active Search. When someone isn’t searching for you but learns about you through advertising, it’s called Passive Discovery. Research and develop your keywords and use them across your business and in your marketing. Whether someone actively searches for you or discovers you passively, the right keywords will draw them in. Keywords create advertising that converts.
As I mentioned last week, sometimes the first word that comes to mind isn’t the best keyword for your business. Think, mechanic vs. auto-repair vs. broken down. Don’t assume your customers are using the same search terms that you would. What are people asking for most in regards to your business?
There are two types of keywords. Short-tail, which is usually one word that describes what you do. For example a travel agent would use the word “travel.” These words have high competition because everything to do with travel is going to contain that keyword.
The second type of key words are called Long-tail. These are more specific and can be highly targeted. Instead of just “travel”, if someone searched for “family friendly resorts in Bali” and you happened to write a blog post about that, they have a much higher likelihood of finding your website. Both kinds of keywords are important for SEO but also in your advertising. If your travel agency specializes in family vacations, you can create advertisements detailing that expertise so families will want to work with you.
How do you find out the best keywords for your business? I am glad you asked. First, google one of your primary products or services. Scroll through the results, and about a quarter of the way down the page, among the results is a section called, “People Also Ask”. Listed are questions that have been asked often enough that google displays them in case you have the same question. Here is a screenshot of what this looks like.
Chances are, if people who google things ask that question, and it applies to your business, then you should answer it. Use it as a topic in your advertising, on your website, or in the form of a blog post where you detail the answer and establish yourself as the authority on the subject.
I use this because the more I know what people might be asking in my community and the better I am at answering these questions, the more likely I am to earn their attention. You can do the same thing. Find out what questions people looking at your company might be asking and use the answer to speak to them.
Another tool I find incredibly useful is Answerthepublic.com. You can use this tool on a limited basis for free and for a reasonable price, you can make more searches and utilize it more. I use the $100 a year version and I find it well worth the cost. It analyzes the subject you enter and gives you information regarding what people are searching for and what questions they ask, and how many people search for that question. I typed “Local Marketing” into the search bar and this is some of the information it spit out.
This data tells me that people ask for “local marketing examples” and “marketing locally” quite often, whereas the term “why is local marketing important” is searched very rarely. I can use this information to make decisions on what I publish on my blog as well as what to teach my sales team to focus on when they visit prospective customers.
This will give you a very powerful tool for creating effective advertisements. For example, for a local bakery, the most common Google search is “Best Local Bakery”. You could then create an ad titled “Why _____ Bakery is the best in Ogden (Or your community)!” You could also include this in a blog post talking about why you are the best bakery in town and give examples. Share recommendations from customers who love your business. This information is vital to your marketing and will help you be found more often when people search for your service or product.
As I mentioned in last week’s post, I used to walk through the Kmart in Henderson Nevada and think, you would think these guys have been in a Walmart, right? Walmarts have an air of energy, and shopping happening. There are signs all over and tight isles filled with products. There are people on the floor nearly 24/7 restocking shelves showing you that the products are moving so quickly that they have to restock as you shop. People follow trends and like to do what others are doing.
I worked for a direct sales company for many years. We sold DVD packages to people and had an offering of monthly plans. In order to get people to talk to us we would give out a free DVD to anyone who would listen to our pitch. It was a great tool to get potential customers to listen. Sometimes we would sit at a home show or county fair and hundreds of people would walk by and we would call out, “FREE DVD!” over and over but no one would stop. Sometimes you could sit there for 30-40 minutes without a taker. Then one person would come over and say, “I want a free dvd.” We would start telling them about our plans and then suddenly 4-6 people would line up behind them waiting their turn to hear our spiel and get their DVD. We would go from no one interested to suddenly several people interested and many others looking over at us a bit longingly wishing they were getting in on the action. It is a classic human behavior to want what others have.
Kmart stores were the opposite of Walmart. The store was in a nice new shopping center and was a Super Kmart so it was supposed to be special. When you walked through the store, however, it felt like you were the only one there. It felt like you might hear birds chirping up in the cavernous warehouse feel of the store and the isles were wide and spacious. It was easier to move your cart around for sure, but it didn’t give a sense of urgency or make me feel like I should be buying stuff.
You have competition. They have websites, google reviews, and maybe even a store. All you need to do is go to their website and see what they are doing. What are they offering? What do people like about them and what do they dislike? What do you notice they do well and what can you improve on? Do google searches about your industry and how you can offer the best service. Take your time to find out what successful companies do so you can do that too, but also look for ways to do even better. Or even offer something that isn’t being offered by your competitors. As they say, sometimes there are riches in niches.
Every plumber probably knows how to clear a drain. What if you were to say “I am the plumber who wears shoe booties and overalls so you don’t get plumber’s tracks or cracks in your home!” That may be something people will remember. Even better if it pertains to searches people are already making in your community it will speak to them and capture their attention.
Do not sit across town thinking your competitors are the enemy. Don’t take the word of one of their disgruntled customers who came to you after a bad experience. Look at all of their customer reviews and think bigger. They obviously do some things well or they wouldn’t be where they are. Learn from them, be like them where they are good and be better than them where they fall short. After this research, you may need to adjust your WHY to fit the market.
This is step two in crafting a marketing strategy that converts. Know your keywords and your Competition. Once you have completed your analysis, it is time to move on to step 3. Tune in next week for…Choose your Channels and Set a Budget.