Keyword and topic research is a significant part of Search, Social Media and Content Marketing. An understanding of what customers care about related to a brand’s offering and how that manifests as keywords, helps drive how marketer’s approach content, optimization and promotion.
Over the past 5+ years, the search landscape has evolved significantly and optimization has extended beyond the web page to digital assets like images, PDF’s and video, news, social media and mobile. The increased diversity of content requires internet marketers become more creative in their keyword research in order to fine tune the matching of optimized content with what and where consumers are searching.
There are a mix of standard keyword research tools that most SEO practitioners will use, ranging from WordTracker to WordStream. Here are a mix of keyword tools and ways to use them in order customize keyword research for the increasing diversity of content types and methods of search.
Mobile Keyword Research:
Mobile SEO is the probably the most underrated of SEO practice areas. According to a study by Google, 77% of smartphone users visit search engine websites and 90% of smartphone searches result in an action (purchasing, visiting a business, etc). That’s pretty compelling data and if you have mobile-specific content, it makes sense to understand what words mobile users are searching with, relevant to your mobile website.
Recommended Mobile Keyword Research Tool: Google AdWords Keyword Research Tool offers several filtering options for mobile: All Mobile Devices, Mobile WAP Devices, Mobile Devices with Full Internet Browsers. Now you can leverage mobile-specific keyword insight when creating content that is likely to be consumed via mobile devices whether it’s a dedicated mobile site or a general website that is mobile friendly.
News Keyword Research:
News optimization can impact ranking of content within news search engines like Google News in addition to Google.com. Many marketers realize that the home page of the major search engines isn’t the only place target audiences are searching. News aggregator websites like Google News can provide an important source of relevant discovery and website traffic from end users and journalists. Internet Marketers that have access to publishing and distribution of content through a trusted Google News Source (website, mobile site or YouTube channel) may want to better optimize their content by understanding what keyword phrases are being used by News Search readers. The difference between popular searches on Google.com vs. Google News might modest, but for popular and trending topics, it could prove a worthy investment.
Recommended News Keyword Research Tool: Übersuggest provides a useful service by collecting the auto-suggested search words provided by Google News as you type. It can do this for Google.com as well. The Google Suggest feature tries to autocomplete user search keywords, suggestion words and phrases based on previous queries. By capturing an alphabetical sequence of the variations on your search phrase, you can get some good ideas about what’s popular and a whole range of variations. The temporal nature of news topics provides an opportunity to identify news topics that Internet Marketers can act on by creating news keyword optimized content. Optimizing news content means end users as well as journalists, analysts and bloggers that research stories will have an easier time of finding your content.
Video Keyword Research:
Video optimization is another hot area for Internet Marketers, especially since there are over 600 new videos published on YouTube every 60 seconds. Videos that rank well on Google have a good chance of also doing well on Google.com. If so, Google will display a thumbnail of the video, which stands out from the mostly text content that makes up most Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Recommended Video Keyword Research Tool: YouTube Promoted Video Keyword Research Tool provides insights into what users are searching for on YouTube with options to source your suggestions from keywords, another YouTube video or a diverse array of demographic information. This tool is intended to work in concert with ads on YouTube, but can provide some useful insight into words video content producers might use with titles, descriptions and even in the script.
YouTube’s Keyword Suggest feature of auto-completing your search phrase is another possible source of keyword ideas. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t make it possible to copy and past the list of phrases that are suggested as Ubgersuggest does above with Google.com and News search.
Social Media Keyword Research:
Social Media Optimization can mean a variety of content types from video to images to blogs, and that makes it a bit trickier to recommend one specific tool. Social media content can be optimized for better visibility in public search engines like Google and Bing as well as the internal search engines that power closed networks like Facebook and LinkedIn. At a minimum, understanding trending social topics can help inform social content planning so marketers can create content that’s being discussed by the social community, “right now”.
Recommended Social Media Keyword Research Tool: socialmention is a general social media search engine that provides a downloadable list of keywords that most often occur in conjunction with whatever it is that you search on. Sources range from Twitter to comments to video to forums.
There are many other tag based sources that you can use for social media optimization keyword research as well including: Delicious, Technorati, StumbleUpon, and Bing Hot Social Topics. But those are simply lists or tag clouds, not in response to a query where you get results based on popularity. Despite that, they could be worth checking for trending topics.
Image Keyword Research:
Image optimization falls in line with the intersection of digital assets and social media. Every 60 seconds, 6,600 images are uploaded to Flickr. Images are often shared through social channels from Twitter to Facebook to Instagram. Images can also appear on certain queries made on Google and Bing as well as their respective image search engines. Well optimized images can provide a very relevant source of traffic to a website.
Recommended Image Keyword Research Tool: Google Insights for Search using the Images filter, provides “top searches” and “rising searches” relevant to your query. You are also provided with regional interest over time that is presented as an animation highlighting different areas on a map as the popularity of the search term rises there. There are a number of additional filters including geographic region, time frame and industry category. Additional top level filters include News, Web and Product search, so essentially this is another tool for news keyword research as well.
Of course there are many other creative ways and reasons to do keyword research and I’m stopping at my shortlist of 5 so that you might share a few of your own. Have you found keyword research tools specific to other types of search engines or media? Have you used the tools above to any significant effect?