Categories: MDC

8 Ways to conduct Keyword Research and Planning

As we progress along the transformation path towards Industry 4.0, organisations realise the efficiencies and effectiveness of adopting technologies such as social media platforms and online marketing to promote products and services.

To stand out from the intense competition, organisations have to understand how digital marketing works and what can make your products and services rank as the top ten searches in the Search Engine. The answer to it, “Keyword Research and Planning”.

Keyword research and planning entails the mapping of a list of keywords to the customer buying experience from Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action. Keywords are fundamental to an online unique selling proposition.

Keyword Research is about a systematic approach to words or phrases that you want to be associated with what people search for online. Keywords will always be broad and general in the beginning. They branch out to niche phrases and a consequential long tail to serve the entire buyer persona that a brand has formulated.

Here is a short introduction to keyword research and planning:

  1. Keywords in Search Engine Optimisation will become the AdWords for Display Advertising or Search Engine Marketing (SEM) on Google Display Network. Keywords form what is essential to your online exposure and AdWords determine if you wish to compete directly with your strongest competitors or serve a niche market that no one else is focusing on.
  2. A comprehensive Content Marketing strategy can evolve from Keyword research and planning. The broad and general keywords, which consist of no more than three words, can become categories of content you should be creating. The content format can also be in infographics, which are suitable to explain processes. Content in picture format is more suitable for motivation and visual impact. The long-tail keywords can be topics for a series of blog posts.
  3. Keyword research and planning helps to anchor main points or concept in copywriting. Your advertising copy for direct mailing and print advertisement can resonate with more prospects if the keywords used are adapted from meticulous research and planning. The right phrases used in the copywriting can trigger the right emotions leading to a purchase decision.
  4. Keyword research and planning can be adapted to create new hashtags. Keywords are an excellent inspiration for popular hashtagging if they are memorable, concise, and relevant to the brand essence. The popularity of these hashtags may not be proportional to the search volumes on Google. Hashtags on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter or Google Plus are the new keywords in the social media sphere.
  5. Keyword research and planning gives life to your images for optimisation in the form of anchor texts. Image optimisation is one of the most neglected areas in Search Engine Optimisation. There are at least five opportunities for any image to optimise under the right keywords. They are filename, alt text, description, title and caption with the first three words used on search engine and the last two used on people.
  6. Keyword research and planning form the basis for authentic social media conversation. The sales and customer service conversation can revolve around some critical centralised ideas – interest level and high desire to purchase. The phrases which are designated to be the Unique Selling Proposition of the brand can be monitored easily using tools like socialmention.com.
  7. Keyword research and planning enables corporate communications professionals to craft a press release and alert. Public Relations communication targeted to traditional media is generated in alignment with the key message of the brand online. Using the same phrases create a perception of congruency and consistency. All online and offline press release will eventually affect or skew the way news is reported by the press.
  8. Keyword research and planning help influencers to internalise your brand message and create amazing posts. Many influencer marketing programs end up in disaster when the influencers provide very little information about the brand. Apart from the usual press release, influencers should give a list of your keywords and hashtag. They will form part of the co-created content from the influencers and the social media follow-up actions subsequently.

Generating keywords from research and eventually planning how to use them in the right places is a significant challenge for many digital marketers today. It requires both strategically thinking like a customer and linking them to the brand uniqueness.

In summary, Search Engine Optimisation is about matching the brand’s unique selling proposition to the People’s Universal Search Phases. Simply put, Information meet Intention is the key to success for digital marketing strategy.

This article is written by Mr Andrew Chow, an Associate Trainer at the Management Development & Consultancy, MDIS’ corporate training arm.

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MDIS

Founded in 1956, the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) is Singapore’s oldest not-for-profit professional institute for lifelong learning. MDIS has two main subsidiaries: Management Development Institute of Singapore Pte Ltd which oversees its Singapore academic operations, and MDIS International Pte Ltd which focuses on MDIS’ globalisation strategy. MDIS offers internationally-accredited courses in Business and Management, Engineering, Fashion and Design, Health and Nursing, Information Technology, Languages and Education, Life Sciences, Media and Communications, Psychology, Tourism and Hospitality Management, and Safety and Environmental Management.

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