MN Search – Understanding and Leveraging the Language of Your Customers

Fantastic event!  The format of three presentations addressing a topic from the perspective of three different disciplines is absolutely excellent!  My biggest discovery was the application of keyword research to the buyer’s journey – it makes sense.


As we are familiar with defining personas, clarifying the stages of the buyer’s journey for a company, finding the questions that are asked during each stage for each persona, and trying to understand what kind of content will be more appropriate, adding keyword research into the same schema makes so much sense!

Chrissi Reimer pointed out to a MOZ article that explains the switch to this approach from a standard keyword research concentrating at the top of the funnel.


In place of simply “traffic plus conversion”, the value of search becomes “awareness + branding + list building + traffic + conversion + competitive wins + reducing support costs + upsell, cross-sell, and customer success,” justifying both more investment and a much larger organizational impact…

Interesting, at the awareness, or “recognize the problem” in my example, the objective is to bring the audience to the site and entice them to opt into a some form of “permission marketing” that give the company future marketing opportunity.  The email is considered the best, social media is less effective, and re-targeting even less effective.  (Maybe I was not the only one who did not see enough conversion from re-targeting…  but it does not require the prospect to do anything beyond visiting the web site… 🙂 )

Keyword research for a content strategy will be topical, less specific.  However, content calendar will be more specific.  Editorial calendar should have personas, keywords, and URLs.  In some cases, it would make sense to create dedicated landing pages for certain steps of buyer’s journey – based on the keyword research (topics that have high enough volume and low enough competition).

contentAnd now… content.

Keyword is an idea.   Keywords is not something to “sprinkle” on already existing content; keywords are ideas that can be a base for content creation.

Document you idea for the content and determine your content KPI.  You might find too much traffic and not enough conversion at the awareness phase.

Time required to research what content needs to be created can exceed time dedicated to content creation. 

An interesting PPC tip: there could be regional variation in keywords used – even within the US.  For example, Eastern states and Midwestern states can use different terminology for specific consumer items (fresh water terminology for fishing in Midwest, and marine terminology in the East).  This difference can apply to the products or solutions company offers and should be considered in PPC campaigns.


MN Search – Local SEO and PPC


Focus on highest pay-off activities!

reviewsGoogle+ click-through rate is a significant ranking factor.  Google Reviews are very important – they are not only contribute to the ranking in the search results, but also make the search result more attractive for the consumer, particularly when competing companies do not have reviews.

Make a page for each service.  For example, a dentist can have a specific page for each service rather than one services page.  It will also help with PPC, as each page can be used as a landing page for a specific service offering.

Use “lazy links” – BBB lets you pick a page for a link – good for linking to a page deep in the site, what can help this particular page to have better exposure in search engines.

Another lazy link is sponsorship of a meetup group.



Creating a page for a specific location will help with ranking for this specific location, and will also helps to get business for the specific location.  Examples of work in the location, such as landscaping, etc., or any other types of “portfolio,” can be beneficial for search and help with conversion.

Create an epic FAQ page (people would need to click on the link to see the answer) – and study what questions are the most popular.

Keyword research with Google Suggest for SEO or PPC


For PPC, bidding on “review” terms will save money and will assure that the people who search for the term are further down the sales cycle.

No matter what you do…  you still may not rank.  😦   Use PPC.


Use Bing (much cheaper PPC bids) as a laboratory and when a successful and profitable term is found, use it in Google.

Mark testimonials on your site with schema.  Promote an opportunity to provide a testimonial as much as possible; provide anonymous options (possible on some sites) for private topics (divorce, bankruptcy, etc.).

Experiment fearlessly!