How not to do keyword research

As an Ohio SEO consultant, I love Moz. For real. It probably borders on obsession.

Anyway. The thing about tools that gather data is– even though they’re getting smarter all the time at a frighteningly fast pace– they’re still not always right. A while back I got the keyword suggestion “versace sunglasses 2012.” Seriously.

super strange keyword suggestion for an Ohio SEO agency

For an Ohio SEO consultant that specializes in bringing your brand to life online, this is… Really dumb. The dumbest. Hyperbole aside– and for more run-of-the-mill SEO keyword suggestions– you need to know what you’re doing with the data. Why you’re collecting it. What’s good, what’s not so good.

And no amount of data will spontaneously produce an insight for you. No insight, no strategy. No strategy, no bueno. Most times, research informs an idea you already have.

People prefer search engines to find local products

Add to that some data from an eMarketer writeup:

80% of internet users said they’ve used a search engine in the past week to find local goods or services. Only 63% used a company website.

Printed phone books had absurdly low weekly usage last year, at 13-16%. If you’re still buying ads in there, you should take that cash, light it and a phone book on fire, and stream it live on Facebook*. You’d probably get more interest that way. But! There’s hope. Once they’re ready to buy, internet users prefer a company website to a search engine. So, you better be using your site more for conversion than awareness.

People like using a search engine to find a local brand or product more than they like visiting a brand’s website. But, when they’re ready to buy, they prefer a brand website. Hope you’ve got a badass SEO agency to make sure potential customers find you, and a killer content strategy to increase the likelihood those potentials turn into actuals (if not, I’d love to help).

What a good Ohio SEO agency can do for you

Anyway, all that might seem like a no-brainer. But let’s put it in context, albeit a bit generically: I recently worked with a global retailer to create and edit SEO copy on certain portions of their website; within a month, roughly a dozen key pages shot from pages 4, 5, and 6 of Google search results to the first page; and generated $2M incremental revenue. In a month. Now, to be sure, there was more to it than keyword research and amazing copy written by the amazing team I put together. The client has high domain authority, and they’ve been laying additional groundwork for a while. But we were pumped the client liked the copy we wrote. And we were Hans & Franz pumped to hear about the ROI.

So. Make sure you’re paying attention to the keyword research, consumer insights, and cultural trends when developing your SEO strategy. If you need help, please reach out to a professional. And stop buying phonebook ads.

*This is a joke and is not intended in any way as advice. If you’re dumb enough to light something on fire and live stream it, please be smart enough to do it responsibly. And don’t blame me.