If you want to work more efficiently, then smart marketing research is your best friend.

Take advantage of the opportunities that you and your marketing team have at your fingertips, understand your target audience and make the most of your SEO and digital marketing efforts.

These strategies lead to high quality leads, first page Google rankings, and more bang for your marketing buck.

Here are the top tricks, techniques, and tools that you should be utilising to ensure that your marketing campaigns are successful.

1. Find the most relevant keywords.

This one sounds obvious enough — but how can you determine what the most relevant keywords are for your brand’s website?

To begin with, you need to do the research and analyse which keywords are already being used to find your site. From there, use similar keywords and long-tail variations to drive even more traffic your way.

As Google becomes smarter and smarter it favours contextual content over anything else. However using keywords in your URL’s, titles, sub titles, meta descriptions and once with in the first 100 words of your content is still at the root of your marketing research and search engine optimisation techniques.

2. Research the long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords and phrases contain more words, and therefore tend to be more specific.

They do not get as many searches as their more general counterparts but they are likely to be more effective when it comes to your inbound marketing.

This is because competition for the most highly searched keywords is fierce. Depending on the popularity of the keywords you want to use, it may be very difficult to see any results from your marketing efforts.

For example, making an impact with the search term, ‘seo tips,’ can be a challenge. You may, however, be able to rank well with long-tail versions like ‘seo tips for beginners 2017’ or ‘best way to learn SEO.’

3. Use keyword research tools.

In order to get the most out of your marketing research, make the Google Adwords Keyword Research Planning tool the first, but not the last, tool you use. Google Adwords recently limited the amount of data it provides for free in a bid to encourage marketers to use paid ads.

While this marketing resource is still valuable for digital marketing, you’ll want to combine this foundational research with other free tools like Google Trends, SERPS, or simply look at the related searches at the bottom of any Google search page for an indication of similar keywords that Google prioritises.

This is an especially important trick to identify GEM keyword opportunities, this is mainly because Google holds back some keywords when suggesting keywords in their keyword tool.

Marketing managers benefit from using a paid keyword research tool like SEMrush or MOZ, these are vital to evolve your keyword targeting to match Googles sophistication.

While they do feature a subscription fee, these paid tools allow marketers much more than basic keyword analysis. They provide a variety of keyword suggestions along with in-depth trend data and information on what keywords your competitors are using.

A valuable tip here is identifying a Click Through Rate score for your identified keywords. As you know CTR is a huge factor that affects your SEO greatly. With thorough keyword research you can advance you CTR by identifying a keywords CTR score to help you refine your keyword list and decide on which keywords to target.

For example, MOZ’s keyword explorer gives a score from 0 (low) to 100 (high) labeled as “opportunity” estimating the relative click through rate of organic web results for a keyword. Their scoring system even takes into account other SERP features (ads, verticals, etc.) that compete for searcher attention and therefore will score a keyword lower.

4. Keyword intent.

While Google is fast becoming a master at understanding searchers intent e.g. “famous big circle of rocks” will give results for “Stonehenge” it is us as marketers that need ensure the keywords we are optimising for are inline with the searchers intentions.

When researching potential keywords, keep in mind what stage your buyer persona may be in. A visitor that is still in the Awareness stage is going to be looking for a different type of information than someone in the Consideration or Decision stage.

For example, someone in the Awareness stage may be searching for ‘SEO help.’ While a buyer in the Decision stage will be interested in ‘top local marketing agencies.’ Keeping this in mind can help you as you categorise your keywords, craft your tailored content and landing pages.

5. Refine your keywords.

Take the time to test out your keywords yourself.

Plug in your keyword ideas into Google and see what comes up.

What other pages are ranking well?
Could your keyword be more specific to help users find your site?
Is your keyword phrase relevant enough?
Is it in-tune with your content?

This is a simple trick that can help you refine your marketing while also developing your ability to conduct highly focussed keyword research to catapult you to success.

6. Research local keywords.

Don’t forget to take advantage of local SEO when researching your keywords.

Now that mobile search has surpassed desktop searching, local SEO has become an essential technique for digital marketers. It can be used to help you reach your buyers where they are.

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

7. Access tools to understand where your market is located.

For B2B marketers especially, tools that give your team insight into where businesses are located by state and region are particularly useful.

Choosing the right kind of tool can also help you to understand what is going on in each industry– today and historically — and can give your team even more data to help create successful campaigns.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics is a fantastic free resource with plenty of accurate statistics by region that can help you with your market research.

8. Keep your buyer personas in mind.

Always keep your buyer personas in mind when researching and developing your marketing campaigns.

Your personas are the foundation of everything that you do in marketing.

Think of them as the background of all your planning and strategising efforts, from the messaging of your brand to the focus of the content that you produce.

When you craft your marketing campaigns, it is to your well-developed personas that you are speaking to. Failing to keep them in mind can take away from the value and impact of your marketing efforts.

9. Understand your demographics.

Do you want to know more about the lifestyle habits and demographic data for your best customers?

MyBestSegments by Nielsen is an incredibly useful resource for marketers on the hunt for excellent data to help them create killer marketing strategies.

10. Discover market trends on social media.

One of the most powerful market research areas at your disposal today is social media. Major social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn are where everything is being talked about (or pinned, posted, and tweeted).

To find out what the trends are, explore what is being discussed and promoted on social media.

See what people are talking about and what questions are being asked. Using social platforms in this way means you’re able to uncover natural conversations about products or brands in real-time.

This will include the specific language they use, the questions they are asking and the key conversation drivers. This can all help to inform choice of topics and keywords, both for organic search, PPC, and content planning.

11. Find the market influencers.

Social media can also be a great tool for identifying the trendsetters and influencers in your field.

Take notice of those who have the most followers, and the most engagement on their social networking sites. This can help your team to better frame their strategies.

Great marketing research will give your team the information, insight, and tools to make better decisions and to develop the most effective campaigns possible.

The more you can focus your efforts on your specific targets, the better quality leads you will get, and the more you will be able to achieve the results you want in terms of future business, brand awareness, and a clear demonstration of ROI.

Ready to learn more about how to market with success using today’s tips, tricks and strategies? Download our free guide, “Building Brand Awareness: The Ultimate Guide for 2017”.
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