Most people who run an online business will be aware of search engine optimisation, and understand the importance and significance of picking the right keywords for maximising business profiles. Generally people understand the basis of how the system works and what it does, even if they’re not particularly adept at understanding the mechanics of the process. So, it might come as something of a shock to find that only 42% of businesses really understand the role of keywords and their importance. This minority appreciates that technology moves on, and with it, so does the terminology associated with it. As a consequence these businesses constantly review their keywords and will change them if they consider it necessary. But what about the silent majority: the other 58%? Do they have a similar understanding and appreciation of what keywords are used for?
Well, not according to the latest survey to be released on the subject. The study, conducted by software-as-a-service marketing technology provider, Hydra, found that over half of the300 digital marketing companies interviewed admitted that they were a little confused by the significance of keywords, and were certainly unaware of, and unable to keep up to speed with, new keywords and expressions commonly used in the market. In fact 58% of these companies confessed to not knowing which keywords were really worth investing in.
Keyword research is essential for any company that wants to maximise its market share through search engine advertising. Identifying all the relevant keywords and phrases that potential customers might use in online search queries to find products and services is one of the most crucial elements of any digital marketing campaign. A failure to capture and command the right keyword can lead to a considerable amount of lost business.
Hydra discovered that the biggest problem for many digital marketing teams is money, or more to the point, a lack of it. Economic recession has taken its toll on marketing budgets right across the board. Many marketing teams do not have the resources to conduct thorough and exhaustive keyword research, and are therefore at a disadvantage when it comes to keeping up to speed with the latest buzz words and phrases in their respective industries. According to Hydra’s solutions consultant, Ruth Zohrer, this is becoming a serious problem that will need to be addressed as soon as possible:
“Keyword research makes the difference between the vendor’s goods and services being immediately visible to the searcher or them being swallowed up, and lost in the myriad of returned search results. Ultimately, the lack of thorough keyword research can prove costly as it leads to vendors failing to maximise on the online opportunity available, both in terms of directing potential sales leads/traffic to their site and garnering revenues from the online channel.”
Hydra claims the first and most important stage of any keyword research should be the ‘discovery phase’ to uncover and determine what words the customers will use to find these services when they go online. The next stage is to use keyword-page mapping, to see how the site and keywords relate to each other. Any gaps that are discovered can then be addressed. These keywords can then be prioritised and ranked on the basis of the size of the opportunity they offer.