Let's face it. Online marketing IS keyword research. Without hours of research (and ensuring your research aligns with your goals), how can you expect to have success with PPC, generate quality traffic from SEO or monitor the correct conversations in social media? This isn't a post to discuss the basics of keyword research, but instead will introduce some often-overlooked tools that can add value to your search and link-building campaigns.
Delicious is a great site that can help you discover terms you may not have originally thought of within particular niches.
Let’s say you're trying to find keyword or content ideas for a children's health blog. Enter 'children’s health' in the Delicious search field to yield results related to children's health—those that have been bookmarked by Delicious users. Those sites are potential link building opportunities.
The search results will also clue you in on the other tags people used to categorize posts related to children's health. For example, "adolescents," "antibiotics," "fever," "vitamins," and the list goes on. Here you can gather ideas around current events and gain a better understanding of what type of content users find interesting.
People use word clouds to show a visual representation of common keywords. You typically find them on blogs as a way to dig deeper into tagged content.
Did you know you can use Wordle to get a visual representation of a competitor blog's commonly used keywords? Simply visit Wordle.net/create and enter the blog URL.
One of the most popular hockey blogs, Puck Daddy, for example, is creating content around today's free agency period. So terms that pop up in their world include "Free Agents" as well as the names of some of the top free agents available: "Jagr" and "Ehrhoff." The now-defunct Atlanta Thrashers are relocating to Winnipeg: Naturally, "Winnipeg Jets" appears in Puck Daddy's Wordle cloud.
One popular blog technique is to develop content related to current events. Current events are interesting to everyone, and while 'everyone' might not be your target market, if you can somehow relate your industry's trends with hot news items, you may be able to attract loyal readers.
Google Insights and Yahoo's "trending now" section are great places to look for popular current search terms. Just remember to choose a topic that will be relevant to your own content!
Keyword research isn't all about finding terms that generate the highest monthly search volume. Always be thinking of creative ways discover new audiences.