15 Situations When You Should Do A Keyword Research (And Why To Do It)

It's almost a month now since we started talking about keyword research.

By now, we have seen how we can do a quick 1-hour keyword research, how we should approach a local keyword research and how to choose the best tools for keyword research (along with an exhaustive list of 40+ keyword research tools to choose from).

Today's blog is going to be my last in this keyword research series. 

While we have talked about the How’s of keyword research, we also need to understand the When and the Why of keyword research.

And that's exactly what I am going to talk about in this post.

Before understanding when to do the keyword research, let's see why we need to conduct a keyword research in the first place. 

Later, we will also see how "when to do keyword research" drives "why to do keyword research" (man that's a whole lot of questions in one sentence!).

Why To Do Keyword Research At All?

Well - technically speaking - you can go about with your marketing campaign (or any other goal for that matter) without doing a keyword research. This means:

A: You will either be selecting the keywords based on what we call in marketing terms as gut instinct, or
B: You don't select any keyword at all (this is worse)

Options A & B could have worked a decade ago (maybe), but not today. Not with the kind of competition in today's digital marketplace - what with so many competitors vying for the limited digital space in every niche, new competitors coming up everyday, and user search behavior changing at an exponential rate.

You can no longer just “feel” like a given keyword that you have thought of is going to work for your business. You got to have data and research to back this feeling.

When you are doing a keyword research, you trying to understand and evaluate the search behaviour of your target customer. The type of search is the preferred to do the kind of keywords that a trending, the keywords that your business is already ranking for, the keywords that your business is not ranking for but your competitors are, the difficulty level of ranking a particular keyword. All of this is critical intelligence that is going to help you take an informed decision when it comes to selecting keywords for your business.

Initiating any marketing campaign without a thorough keyword research means you are about to spend valuable time, effort and budget without having understood where exactly you are going to spend it. Keyword research gives you a S.M.A.R.T goal to achieve, so that the marketing campaign can be aligned with the final objective. This is much better than having ambiguous and floating goals which are finally left unachieved.

In order to get a better understanding of why keyword research is important let's also see when should you typically do a keyword research. Ideally, these scenarios will also help understand why keyword research plays such a pivotal role in a digital marketing ecosystem.

15 Scenarios When You Should Do Keyword Research (and Why)

1. When initiating and SEO campaign

Why? In order to understand the niche, the target user's search behaviour and identify the best keywords to target in the SEO campaign - both on the website (on-page) as well as in the off-page campaign. 

2. When initiating a PPC campaign

Why? To identify profitable keywords - with higher CTRs, and lower CPCs - that will improve the ROI of the PPC Campaign. This also helps identify negative keywords to utilize in the PPC campaigns.

3. When initiating an inbound marketing campaign

Why? To study the user behaviour of the buyer personas and create relevant offers based on this information. For example, some buyer personas being developed may show a search behavior that makes a checklist a better idea for an offer compared to, say, an ebook.

4. When initiating a sales campaign

Why? Keyword research before a sales campaign will help you get an idea of your niche, your user's issues and how you need to design your sales campaign around the solutions to these issues. 

5. When initiating a link building campaign

Why? One of the driving forces of a link building campaign is the anchor text that is used for a respective backlink built and received. Keyword research will help identify all such keyphrases that should be used as anchor text during the link building campaign.

6. When initiating brand reputation management campaign

Why? Reputation management campaigns are meant to evaluate and improve the brand reputation of the business. This makes it essential to conduct a brand keyword research an evaluate the current scenario of the business reputation. This also opens the options to try and utilize new brand keywords as part of the  BRM campaign.

7. When initiating social media campaign

Why? Conducting a social keyword research before initiating the social media campaign will help you identify trending topics, discussions, terms, etc. that can be valuable for your social media campaign as well. For example doing keyword research around the trending hashtags within your business niche is a good idea before initiating the actual campaign on Twitter.

8. When doing a competitor research

Why? Running a keyword research on the competitors gives you leverage in terms of understanding the gap between your business and that of your competitors. This will help identify new keywords for which you should also be ranking for, apart from your competitors. This also helps provide new keyword ideas which your competitors may not necessarily be targeting. This helps form the basis of your marketing campaign.

9. When launching a new app, website or landing page

Why? A new mobile app/website/landing page means new content to go on the respective webpage as well. Performing a keyword research before creating this new content will help align the future marketing objectives with the web content from the beginning. This will also save a lot of time in the upcoming marketing phase of the web property.

10. When creating sales/marketing assets

Why? These marketing assets are usually meant for the consumption of your target audience (potential users, leads, customers, partners, etc.). Doing a Keyword research helps identify what is working best in terms of sales and marketing content for your target audience. This will make these marketing assets more relevant as well as successful

11. When looking for business prospects

Why? Before you started looking for prospects, it is important for you to know what your prospects are looking for. And more importantly where to look for these prospects. Doing a keyword research in the beginning gives you the base to start off from. For example, if you're trying to find prospects in the US, it would be helpful if you do a keyword research to understand the demand of your services in the various US states/regions. This information will help you run a geo-targeted prospecting campaign that has the maximum potential of success.

12. When looking for blog ideas

Why? This opens up new opportunities in terms of blog topic ideas by evaluating the popularity of your ideas as well as suggesting new ones. Especially keyword research around long tail keywords and question based search terms (how to, where to when to, why to, etc.) generally help generate some of the best blog topic ideas.

13. When writing a blog post

Why? Once the blog topic is finalized, it's a good idea to do a Keyword research around the Central theme of the blog post and identify all search keywords that are relevant and being searched within this theme. This helps produce a piece of content that, apart from being helpful, also includes aspects that users are looking for.

14. When looking for video ideas

Why? A video keyword research will help identify trending search terms being used on video search engines and help come up with new ideas based on the viewers demands. This will also help optimise the video for search engines once it is published, so that it can improve its reach.

15. When writing a resume or job posting

Well, this may not necessarily be related to digital marketing. However, it is essential that you do a keyword research before writing your resume, so that you study and understand your potential employers’ search behaviour, esp. On job sites and create your resume based on the findings. Just like Google search, the keywords used in your resume, LinkedIn profile, etc. should align with what the employers are looking for, what your competitors are using, etc. The same logic holds true for an employer looking for candidates. Running a keyword research will help identify search terms used by job seekers, thereby helping you create a relevant job posting and subsequent recruitment.

There you go! 

15 situations when you should go for a keyword research.

I hope the when's and their why's helped you understand how keyword research can be used in multiple scenarios and why it plays such an improtant role in digital marketing (and otherwise).

Don't agree with me? Or have more scenarios to add to this list?
Feel free to post your comment below and let me know your views.

As always, I am giving away this Keyword Variation Permutation Generator, to help you with your keyword research chores.

Go ahead! Download your free copy today!

Free Giveaway - Keyword Permutation Generator

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