Keyword Research to Match the Buyer’s Journey



https://www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-PH23R8X

Keyword research is as old as SEO itself. Search engines use keywords to provide a list of relevant results to the searcher, and as this SEO market expanded, Google brought in an advertising platform that gave businesses a chance to appear on search engine results pages for keywords.

From there, Google offered a tool that enabled businesses to see how many searches occurred for any keyword, eventually giving way to keyword research. This tool is indispensable for business because it came from Google itself and offers additional insights to gain leverage over the competition.

As businesses began using more data for marketing, however, it showed that keywords are useful, but may not always be completely accurate. More software tools emerged to provide additional keyword insights, giving marketers more opportunities than ever to use keywords to their advantage.

Unfortunately, historical keyword research has a few problems:

  • SEO is focused on the decision stage of the buyer’s journey, and not the whole process.
  • SEO is focused on keywords alone, and not on categories or topics.

These two issues are being addressed as marketers focus on topics more than keywords, but that’s only part of the whole picture. Optimizing keywords to align with each stage of the buyer’s journey is the key, which we’ll cover here.

What Is the Buyer’s Journey?

home remodeling leads

The buyer’s journey refers to a framework that acknowledges the buyer’s progression through the research and decision process, which ultimately ends in a purchase. This concept isn’t new, but it’s evolved over the years with new technology and marketing insights.

There are three stages to the buyer’s journey:

  • Awareness: The buyer is experiencing and expressing a problem and conducting research to understand, frame, and name the problem. This stage involves question-based searches that center around the problem.
  • Consideration: The buyer has identified the problem and is investigating the available options to solve the problem.
  • Decision: The buyer has developed a solution strategy and compiled a list of products or services to address the problem. They are narrowing down the possibilities to come to an ultimate purchase decision.

Most marketers focus only on the decision stage, but there are opportunities at each stage of this process.

Buyer Personas

online home improvement lead generation

A map of your ideal buyer is vital, since it’s the only way to truly understand your buyer’s journey. You should understand their needs and problems, which will ultimately drive them toward your solution.

This can be done a number of ways:

  • Website and social media data: Your analytics should give you key data points about your audience. You can find everything from your audience’s demographics to the type of content they engage with most.
  • Surveys and feedback: The best way to get insight into your ideal buyer is by speaking with them directly. This can be done through polls, surveys, feedback requests, and other questions regarding their buying behavior at each stage of the buying journey.

This information allows you to connect the dots and create accurate buyer personas and mapping of the buyer’s journey.

Shifting From Keywords to Topics

construction contractor leads

Much of the SEO community has begun shifting from keywords to topics already. This comes in the form of long-form content that connects to others across sections, providing a comprehensive overview of the broad topic. This approach addresses the new way that search engines are interpreting content.

For the purposes of this discussion, these long-form content pages typically target the short-tail keywords that have a higher search volume, ultimately addressing the awareness or consideration stages. Key decision-stage pages are narrow content.

These can be further subcategorized into pillar, target, and cluster pages:

  • Pillar page: This page covers the broad topic on a single page, with smaller cluster pages that link to it. This is focused on the awareness or consideration stage.
  • Target page: This page has a keyword or phrase linked to a specific product or service page. This is focused on the decision stage.
  • Cluster page: This page gives more detail about long-tail keywords related to the pillar page.

Putting It Together

The process to put all these pages together is simple. It begins like any other keyword research task, which is based on the keywords that a business is looking to rank for, and provides a starting point for what a prospective customer will search.

From there, you can begin to consider keywords outside of the obvious, such as synonyms and colloquial terms. This is the time to use keyword research tools, such as Google Ads, or consult customers about terms they may use to find a product.

Once this list is expanded, it can be narrowed down for better targeting. Irrelevant keywords can be filtered out, then relevant keywords can be sorted by topic and buying intent. For this part, be sure to put yourself in the shoes of the customer and consider what they would search to address a problem, as well as what keywords show intent to purchase.

This is when the stages of the buyer’s journey come in. Keywords should be categorized to each stage, using your judgement about what you believe the buyer is looking for. Categorizing is important, because it provides you with framework for what type of content is appropriate for certain phrases or keywords.

You’ll often distinguish patterns in the keywords along the buyer’s journey. Words like “cost” or “price” are usually found in the decision stage, whereas “how to” will be the awareness stage. These patterns will help you streamline your content planning.

Here are some examples of keywords at the awareness stage:

  • Fix.
  • Problem.
  • Troubleshoot.
  • Upgrade.
  • Optimize.
  • Prevent.

Here are some examples of keywords at the consideration stage:

  • Provider.
  • Solution.
  • Supplier.
  • Vendor.
  • Comparisons.
  • Software.
  • Features.

Here are some examples of keywords at the decision stage:

  • Pros and cons.
  • Benchmarks.
  • Reviews.
  • Ratings.
  • Pricing.

Once this is complete, you can group your keywords into pillar page, target page, and cluster page. This gives you insight into what type of content should be used, based on how competitive a term is, what the search volume is, what stage the buyer is in, and how profitable a keyword might be.

This information not only informs your current content, but it also helps you fill gaps in existing content. Check that the topics haven’t been covered before, and look for gaps resulting from keyword searches that aren’t currently being targeted.

Moving Forward

Traditional keyword research isn’t successful because most marketers only consider volume and competition. They tend to go for the terms with the highest traffic, but traffic doesn’t necessarily indicate buyers. In many cases, traffic indicates users looking for information about their problem, but are still weeks or months away from searching for a specific solution to that problem.

Because of this, current keyword research is a nuanced process that considers the needs of the buyer above all else. Used properly, keyword research can drive your content strategy to generate leads and convert customers, provided you address their needs throughout each stage.

Keyword Research to Match the Buyer’s Journey originally published by Contractor Media

Advertisements

Generate Leads for your Small Local Business Today!

Make your business visible online, and you will get a larger share of customers.

Operating a small and local business doesn’t mean you cannot increase your customers and scale.

Get a Website. Don’t you have a website yet? Where have you been all this time? From plumbers to dentists, the local handyman to big engineering firms – they have websites. Your website will be your 24/7 storefront.

Make sure that your website is mobile-friendly. You are increasingly using your mobile phone when searching for a product or service, right?

Get some Traffic with SEO. Many of your potential customers probably do not know that your business exists. However, when they go to Google searching for a product or service they need, which you offer, and finds you because you’re doing SEO — then bingo!

Make sure that your SEO is well-planned with a comprehensive blueprint to ensure ROI.

Get on Social Media. Many more of your potential customers may find you in social media. When a recent customer following you in social media likes or shares an article, a photo, or a video you posted, then that post will be visible to their friends – who might as well try out your product or service.

Become active on at least 4 social media channels. Your potential customers are actively using more than one.

Capture and Nurture. Capture your leads through an opt-in form on your website and nurture them through email marketing.

Be on top of mind all the time to your potential customers by constantly communicating with them through email. Once they need something you offer, boom, you got a customer.

There you have it. 4 simple steps.

Follow me, and we’ll guide you along the way. Contact Bradley Benner at bradley@contractor.media.

Optimize Your Ads To Grab Attention and Raise CTR

When you are running ads on Facebook, AdWords, or LinkedIn your copy needs to be able to stand out among all of the competition that is surrounding it.

We at Contractor Media want to help you make your ads grab your target’s attention and get you as many clicks as possible!

Here are a few of the tactics that we use to increase click through rates:

Offer Promotions and Incentives in the Headline

Grab attention right away by showing the potential customer exactly what you are offering them. Set yourself apart from the start by showing that your business is the best value.

Use Deadlines for Your Offers

Create a sense of urgency for your targets by showing that they have a limited amount of time to click on your page and take part in that offer. Using AdWords you can even set up a countdown within your ad, which will motivate your potential customer to click so that they don’t miss out!

Include Keywords in your Ad Copy

It makes your ad look more relevant to the viewer at a glance and it also gives you another line of valuable text in your ad copy.

Use Emotional Triggers

Connect with your potential customers on an emotional level, don’t just throw out technical jargon about what your business does. Say something personal about what your business can offer that will connect to them on an emotional level.

Use a Call To Action

Make your viewer curious about what you are offering with a call to action. Asking them to click to “find out more…” or “To learn more about this offer…” will force their mind to wonder what more you are offering and will make clicking on your ad more enticing.

If you need any help with reviewing your ads and making them as successful as possible, please visit us at https://contractor.media/5days

Does Social Media Marketing Work?

LinkedIn has 467 million users. That’s a huge audience. Facebook has an astonishing 2 billion daily users. There are 974 million Twitter accounts. The list goes on, and the audiences continue to grow. It’s obvious that if you want to succeed you should be interested in this huge pool of potential clients.

Ninety-one percent of retail brands use 2 or more social media channels. Having control over your social media is essential if you are to become a successful brand. Controlling the messages you send out to your customers is a key factor. Contact us and we’ll let you know how to get it right.

Here are 10 questions to ask when thinking about a Social Media campaign for your business:

How to Use Image SEO for More Site Traffic



https://www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-PH23R8X

best contractor marketing

Keywords, content, and SEO tend to be the focus when you’re trying to direct more traffic to your website. Images are a powerful tool for traffic as well, but unfortunately, many marketers aren’t using them to their fullest potential.

Images are content as well, which can be easy to forget. In fact, images are an essential part of any content marketing effort. Users are also searching for visual content, so if you’re not using images as part of your SEO, you’re missing out on valuable opportunities.

How Do Images Boost Traffic?

construction remodeling leads

Images serve many purposes for your site, such as:

  • Aesthetics: Images make your site more visually appealing and easier to digest, which keeps people on your site longer and decreases the bounce rate.
  • Image search: Images pull traffic from image searches, which may direct a different audience to your site than other searches.
  • Social media shares: Images get more shares and engagement on social media than text-only posts. The more your content is shared, the larger your potential audience is and the more likely you are to get readers for your posts.

Optimizing for Image Search

commercial contractor leads

Images need to be optimized just like anything else. Optimizing images isn’t much different than optimizing other types of content, and they rank similarly. The first image on the image search results page is the equivalent of the first website to come up in a standard search.

Image search has more results, however, and people view images differently. Because of this, it’s important to optimize your images to be sure they’re close to the top.

Here’s how:

File Names

Cameras use a series of letters and numbers as the default name for images. Unfortunately, this doesn’t do much to boost your SEO.

Whenever possible, rename your images with a relevant title that reflects the content, which gives a search engine an idea of what it is.

Alt Tags

Image alt tags are metadata that help a search engine index an image. Editing alt tags not only improves your ranking, but it also boosts your SEO overall.

An ideal alt tag description is short, but filled with keywords. It should accurately describe the image for visually impaired users as well.

Compression

Your images should be as big as possible, but use as little storage space as possible, which can be done with compression. Tools like Compressor.io can be used to reduce the storage size and retain the quality of the image.

Now that we know how to optimize, let’s take a look at how to use image search to direct traffic to your website.

Use Your Own Images

leads for kitchen remodeling

Stock photography has its purposes, but if you’re consistently using stock photos, it’s not going to help your site. Stock photos don’t accurately reflect your brand, and they give your site a disorganized look, which is then communicated to your visitors.

Original images, on the other hand, show your visitors that you put the extra effort into the look of your site and the overall image of your brand. Original images are also traced back to your site, which means that you’re more likely to earn backlinks when others use them for their own content. They’ll also show up earlier in the image search results, giving you an SEO boost.

If you don’t have the resources to create your own images, it’s acceptable to use stock images. However, you should be doing all you can to limit your use of stock photography and provide as many original images as you can.

Related Image Keywords

Just like text content, image content has a primary keyword that’s included in the file name and alt tag. You should still be using related image keywords, however, to give your strategy more variety and to target searchers who want to find your image but may not be using the proper keyword.

This may seem like extra work, but you’d be surprised at how different the images can be between similar keywords. When you cast a wide net with related keywords, you’re reaching a much larger audience.

If you need some assistance in coming up with related keywords, just look at the image keyword suggestions at the top of an image search results page. This will give you an idea of what others are searching, which you can use as part of your own strategy.

Relevant Images

Relevant images are images that are directly related to the topic. While this may seem clear, it’s not always the case. Many people use images that are unrelated to their topic to enhance their posts, which directs unrelated traffic to your site.

For example, you may use a pop culture reference that relates to one section of a blog post. Because of this, anyone searching for that pop culture reference will find themselves on your blog post, when they were actually looking for entertainment. When they discover the actual purpose of your site, they’re likely to bounce.

Infographics

Infographics are an excellent way to boost your SEO and create custom imagery that is easy for your readers to digest. They drive thousands of visitors to your site and help you establish yourself as an authority as well.

Not every bit of content needs an infographic, but they can help with content that is research intensive or contains a lot of data. By putting it in a quick, clear infographic format, you’re allowing your readers to quickly skim the information to get the answers they need.

Watermarks

Watermarking is common with artists and photographers, but not so much for business owners who create their own custom images. Watermarking can be used to copyright your images, which is always a good thing, but it has another purpose — traffic.

Watermarking your images tells people where the image came from using a link, so it gives you credit and tells viewers where to go to find similar content. This is a good way to get traffic to your site and social pages, no matter where the image is shared.

Conclusion

Image SEO is powerful, but few marketers are using it to their advantage. Keywords and meta descriptions are important, but images can give you that extra edge over the competition.

People always need images for their own posts or videos, so driving traffic from optimized images is quick and easy. If you put some effort into optimizing your images and combining them with your other SEO tactics, you should see an increase in rankings in no time.

How to Use Image SEO for More Site Traffic originally published by Contractor Media

How Much Should Your Marketing Budget Be?

Do you have a set rule for marketing budget allotment?

Or do you just place funds in marketing whatever is left after all of the projected business expenses for the year have been set?

USBA suggests 7% to 8% for small businesses. However, you can shoot for up to 20% if you really want to smash it hard in the marketplace.

A survey from the CMO Council, on the other hand, comes with similar results with 74% percent of marketers allocating 4% to 6% of their annual gross revenue to marketing, while only 2% apportion more than 20%.

The size of your marketing budget will fuel your marketing efforts, and so if you’re in a very competitive industry, and most especially if you’re in the early stages of your business, then you should really have a strong budget.

How do you structure your marketing budget?

Reach out to us and get some advice.

5 Easy Ways to Better Engage Your Audience

Every time a user comes to your website or social media page you have the opportunity to interact with them and turn them into lifelong customers! We want your customers to enjoy coming to your page and to look forward to viewing your content. So that leaves us with the question, what does your target audience want to see on your page?

Here are some of the top ways that you can encourage viewers to get involved on your page:

Trivia Questions

Give your followers a chance to show off a little bit of their knowledge! Also, if you can come up with interesting bits of trivia for them, it will spark a lively conversation on your page and give viewers a reason to share your post.

Interactive Infographics

These are a great tool because they are visually pleasing and eye catching, but they also can pass along useful information about your business or industry to your potential customers.

Polls

A poll shows your audience that you want to hear what they think and gives them a chance to make their voice heard on your page.

Live Video Streaming

There isn’t a better way to make the viewer feel like a part of your company then by giving them a live window right into your office! They can feel confident knowing exactly who you are and what you do!

Interactive Mobile Apps

Make an easy to access App for your customers to use. It will allow them to stay constantly connected to your business.

All of these tactics are going to give your targets the opportunity to engage with your business. This will show that you care more about just making the sale, you care about your customers and want to hear from them. This will go a long way towards building followers that will stay with your business for a lifetime.

For more help engaging your customers, visit us at https://contractor.media/5days.