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Keyword Research = Market Research!

I was recently working on an SEO engagement that began with an extensive phase of keyword research and analysis.   As we worked to categorize, organize, and generally make sense of the terms that populated the language of our client’s industry, we began to notice clusters of search terms for which no corresponding content could be found on their website.

Did our keyword research efforts somehow run amok, inadvertently pulling in keyphrases unrelated to our client’s business?   That was certainly a possibility, and can happen quite easy if you’re not careful.   Another, more exciting possibility is that we uncovered niches within our client’s market (perhaps even potential products or services) that they weren’t even aware were worth considering.

The beauty of well-executed keyword research (using some of our favorite tools like Google’s Keyword Tool), is that the keywords you come across often paint an interesting picture of the subject you’re investigating.   Looking at the language used by searchers can give you insight into their needs or motivations (consider, for instance, the different needs associated with the search terms ‘buy dog leash’ vs. ‘dog leash training’).     And better still, Google’s Keyword Tool doesn’t just give you keyphrases related to your subject, but the traffic volumes associated with them, as well.   With this information, you begin to understand the degree of interest associated with the terms your keyword research uncovers.

Of course, this is a very simplified demonstration of the potential for using keyword research to aid in market research, but it’s a beginning.   With the right tools and know-how, there’s a strong case to be made for using keyword research to kick-off your quest for new market niches and opportunities for new products or services.

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About Jeremy Lopatin

Jeremy was Director of Product Development and head of the SEO team at Pure Visibility until November 2013. You can find him on Google+, LinkedIn, and on Twitter as @jeremylopatin.

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