In this article I want to tell you that there is a central element for the content about your products or services to be the hook for people who carry out searches to reach them: the keyword. In this guide I will explain what keywords are and how to conduct research using the right tools.
What is a keyword?
Let’s start with a technical definition: keyword, translation from English “keyword”, is a term used to explain the exchange of information between web pages and Internet users.
Another way to explain it is this: keywords are the terms used by people to get answers and solve their problems through search engines.
When we talk about keywords we refer to terms made up of one or more words. For example, “bag”, “leather bag”, “bag trends in 2020”. All of those terms are keywords.
What is keyword research?
Keyword research is the process of finding and analyzing search terms that people enter into search engines.
And through this investigation you will be able to understand how they search the internet for a product or service like yours.
Why should you care?
Because it is about understanding what people are looking for on the internet.
It serves to identify your main competitors.
It helps to discover and select market niches where you can enter to compete with your product or service.
It gives you valuable information to develop your content strategy.
Where to start?
There are two perspectives that can guide your approach to keyword research.
The first perspective has to do with product orientation. It is a very common situation where you produce something and try to sell it.
While the second approach (which I personally recommend, if your situation allows it), is customer orientation, where this is the core value of the business.
Depending on the targeting, your keyword research will be different. Let’s first see what product orientation is.
If you already have a product or service, this will be your source of inspiration. In this case you can start from:
- The category of the product (for example, “the bag”).
- The type or class of product (“leather bag”, “eco-leather bag”).
- The use that will be given to the product (“office bag”, “laptop bag”).
- The user of the product (“women’s bag”, “men’s bag”).
- The attributes of the product (“small bag”, “elegant bag”, “green bag”, etc.).
- The occasions in which the product can be used (“cocktail bag”).
- The trends (“mini bag”).
- The styles (“crossbody type”, “satchel”, “tote bag”, “shoulder bag”, etc.).
In addition, there are two elements that you should take into account when starting your keyword research:
- The vocabulary of people, because sometimes we write and speak in different ways. Also, your potential customers may not handle the technical language that you use.
- Semantic differences from one country to another. For example, in the different Spanish-speaking regions we say a lady’s bag, a women’s bag or a women’s bag and there are many ways to call a similar product.
If we go to the second type of perspective, in terms of doing keyword research, we have customer orientation. If you think you can reflect on your current product or service, making a design adjustment, reviewing the way you sell your product today, this approach will help you.
What is it about?
It’s about understanding and finding the sweet spot between what you can create or sell versus what people are looking for on the internet and what people are willing to pay.
Perhaps, that space, that opportunity, is something that you don’t have right now. Probably, you are not manufacturing a product or generating a service, but you can create it, you can design it.
The interesting thing here is to identify opportunities that you can execute or capture in the short term.
For example: if within your exploration of keywords, of search volumes, you find more terms related to a product for men than for women, you should analyze if you are willing to design a new product. Can you do something different and eventually stop competing in one market and start competing in another?
This is the customer’s perspective: it is to stop thinking about what we are generating as a business, about the type of product we are used to manufacturing, to start thinking about what people are looking for and solving those people’s problems.
How to do keyword research?
First, and with greater reason if you have a customer orientation, you have to understand well the behavior of people, that is, how they speak and how they search. To do this, you can do:
In-depth interviews with your current clients.
Read the comments and evaluations that your customers leave on your eCommerce site (this way you will see what vocabulary they use).
Analyze the emails you have received with comments or complaints.
A focus group with clients.
In the execution of the investigation, what you need, mainly, are SEO tools that collect strong and precise data about what people are looking for in search engines and that allow estimating variables such as monthly volume and competition.
There are many tools that allow you to do keyword research, which you can access directly on the internet. Let’s see how some of them work, such as Ubersuggest to estimate the search volume on Google, Marmalead for Etsy, Jungle Scout for Amazon and ERank, which allows you to obtain the search volume of different search engines.
Consider that this process is iterative and there can be a lot of back and forth between the first step (understanding people’s behavior) and the use of tools to quantify or put numbers on the use of that vocabulary in queries.
How does Ubersuggest work for Google searches?
Ubersuggest is our favorite tool for its very intuitive operation, fast learning and because it offers the option of free use, which will be useful to try it before signing up for a paid account, as well as to carry out shorter investigations. We will develop a step by step with Ubersuggest that will also help you to understand concepts and the operation of the other tools, which we will see in a more summarized way.
How does Marmalead work for Etsy searches?
Marmalead is a tool where you will only see the search volume of Etsy, one of the most important global marketplaces for handmade products. That is, it will be very useful if you have a shop on Etsy.com or decide to do so in the future.
Here the results are independent of the country from which the users access, therefore, it is a little more complex to estimate where those searches are being made from.
After entering the keyword you want to verify, it is relevant that you look at:
- monthly searches
- engagement (interaction) and
- the competition.
Low competition can be good, but it’s also possible that not many people are searching for the keyword you’re researching.
You will also be able to observe a large amount of information such as:
- the types of products,
- the type of office, etc.
And, just like on Ubersuggest, you’ll find related terms to help you broaden your keyword research.
For Marmalead, the recommendation is to search in English, because most of Etsy.com’s traffic comes from the United States, and obviously that’s the main language there.
Another recommendation is that you look at the graph that indicates if they are “long tail” terms. This means that there is some search volume on those terms and low to medium competition.
When you find an interesting term, create a list and add it. Then add other terms to that same list. But if you change products, create a new listing. That is the working logic in Marmalead. To order your keyword research, filter the ones that interest you and add them to your list.
Unfortunately, Marmalead does not have the functionality to export, so you must select the terms from your list and copy them into a file that allows you to work later (Google Drive Spreadsheet or Excel).
How does Jungle Scout work for Amazon searches?
Jungle Scout is a tool that allows us to investigate the search volume within Amazon, in addition to many other features. But now we are only going to see what interests us for the purpose of this article: Keyword Scout and the search for niches.
To research with the Keyword Scout functionality, the first thing you need to do is select the country.
When it generates the list of results on the keyword that you have entered, select the terms that interest you the most and download them just like in Ubersuggest.
Another feature that is quite interesting is the search for niches in “Niche Hunter”. Here you must also select the country and then enter your keyword. Use the filters to narrow your search for results, for example by specifying that they have low competition.
For different keywords you will see information such as:
- the price of the product,
- average number of units sold
- the level of competition and
- a niche score.
If your product is not in the category, you should keep digging until you find a related niche.
How does ERank work?
Let’s now see how ERank works, which is a tool that allows us to investigate the search volume of Etsy, Amazon, eBay, Pinterest and Google Shopping.
ERank works very well in English, however, it is possible that for some terms in Spanish it will return results. But, in general, it is preferable to focus on researching only English keywords.
In “Get keywords” search for the term that interests you and compare the search volumes on Etsy, Amazon, eBay, Google Shoping and Pinterest.
Just like we saw in Marmalead, you can check if the terms are “long tail”.
In ERank you can also download a file with your results.
A couple of considerations:
- It is normal that a term has more searches on Etsy than on Amazon, for example. Take into account the size of your search engine, if it is a very specific keyword and the level of competition for that product in each marketplace.
- If for a term it shows that there are no searches, that does not mean that they do not exist at all. Actually, it’s because the tool didn’t pick them up, probably because there are so few of them. The truth is that with these tools we work on assumptions.
- You need to define your perspective, whether it’s product-based, customer-based, or a mix of the two. This will determine whether your goal is to position your current products or services or seek inspiration for the design and development of new products or services.
- Prepare a first list of keywords related to your products or services.
- Select the appropriate tool according to the sales channel. If you are looking to improve your website you will work with Ubersuggest, if you have an Etsy shop you will use Marmalead, for Amazon you have Jungle Scout, etc.
- Do your keyword research with those tools. Select the terms that interest you the most and export or copy them to a document that allows you to work easily.
- Fine-tune your keyword research. It is important that you see this as a process in which you enrich your inquiry, as you progress and realize that every day you understand better what and how people are looking for.
In other words, consider your keyword research as an iterative process, where you must first define one of the two perspectives, then investigate and, finally, list a number of terms that you must refine along the way.
What comes next?
1. Filter your keywords in your Google Drive or Excel Spreadsheet. For this consider:
a) The relevance of the terms.
b) The difficulty of positioning (less than 40 in the case of Ubersuggest).
c) An interesting search volume.
d) Focus on the “long tail” terms, those with medium or low volume and low or medium competition.
2. Select the most interesting. If you find yourself with 500 keywords, you should still choose a reasonable number to work with in the first instance, depending on the products and content you can create in the future.
3. Match with the current and future content of the website, product pages or store in a local or international marketplace.
4. Optimize your current content about your products or services, and start projecting new products or services and the corresponding content.