I know that every SEOer and SEMer will say, “Keyword Research is Critical!” And I know that WordTracker.com and Google Trends can give you insight into keywords and traffic; as well as AdWords, Overture (Yahoo!), and a host of other vendors. But, have you tried the ‘duh, obvious’ places to look for keywords aside from online? Are you up to speed on emerging keywords/phrases?
1. Direct Relationships – What words do your employees (or friends, if you don’t have employees yet) use to describe your products/services? What key phrases do your customers use when looking for specific products? This is invaluable, direct marketplace data and should be treated like it. I’m not suggesting that each of your employees be trained and certified in data collection and market research, but encouraging everyone to ‘write down the obvious’ and to mention noticeable customer trending could lead you to the end of the rainbow.
2. Lateral Relationships – Do you listen to your competition? Do you follow them in off-line media? Sometimes just looking in on your competitor yields bits of knowledge that solidifies a campaign. Check out any print advertising, media campaigning, community events, private functions, or other PR activities that your competitor is involved in. A great exercise is to write down any new slang words or tech-terms that you come across and post a blog entry using each term at least 2 times (once at the beginning of the post and once at the end). Remember, this is all about finding new keywords/phrases before anyone else does, so you’ll have to experiment a bit.
3. Supply-Chain Relationships – This is a great source of information. To put it a certain way: knit-cap or skully-cap? Many producers will market both names, so why would you choose one over the other? A smart entrepreneur will target both phrases. So, go ahead and ask your suppliers, vendors, and bulk-order clients what ‘other’ names their products may be known by. A particular item may have one label on the West coast and another on the East coast – Make sure your online business can serve both!
4. Demographic/Industry Specific Media – Ok, you probably want to know what that is, so I’ll explain what I mean. I’m referring to media items such as The Wall Street Journal, Food Network, or 104.3 JACK-FM (I am a fan of Chicago radio). Each of these media outlets has a very specific audience and each, also, has to stay ahead of current topics or risk losing loyal clientèle. Even industry specific media is fair game to pillage and plunder for fresh keyphrases/words – expos and trade shows work especially nice for this.
5. Coin It! Have you ever noticed an emerging trend and gave it a default title? Have you documented your ‘slang?’ I can’t remember when I first started using the term ‘multi-task,’ but I do know that people would comment with things like ‘nice phrase’ and such when they heard me say it; I’d never heard it before and, apparently, neither had the vast majority of people I interacted with on a daily basis. Now, it seems that multi-task is a household term. Albeit, ‘multi-task’ is not a money-maker of a term (unless someone’s willing to have a go at it), but other coined terms are.
So, there you have it: Five out-of-the-box, always-on-top keyword/phrase generation ideas. The overall idea is that online is not be the only place that you can do keyword research – the sources are as endless as, well, your imagination.
P.S. BONUS: Use your ‘coined term’ as the anchor text in a link to an appropriate page of your own for two reasons: (1)Establish your ownership of the term, and (2) Establish your authority on this term to the Search Engines.
Thanks for reading. If you would like to add to out-of-the-box keyword strategies, leave your tactics in the comments below.