Effective content marketing and website traffic generation through SEO must be complimented with keyword research and a core understanding of your consumers’ purchasing behavior.
Whether or not Search Engine Optimization sits in your comfort zone, you can stand to go even further - using advanced keyword research strategies (that your competitors aren’t using) that’ll drive organic leads, improve your Google SERP results, and drive your content engagement to the next level.
The Importance of Keyword Research
Between 70-90% of all website traffic for building product companies comes from search engines like Google, and 93% of all online sales starts with a search query. Optimizing SEO throughout your content and webpages will help you:
- Increase overall visitors to your website
- Improve conversion rates in local, niche areas
- Increase brand awareness and brand trust through visibility
Through data-backed keyword research, you can gain key business competitiveness in a dynamic market through targeting high-intent customers who are led from the “Information Gathering” stage of the buyer journey, to the end point: purchasing from your website (or partnered dealers).
Sitting down to research popular keywords will help you stop “simply guessing”, and start seeing results.
Advanced Keyword Research Strategies
There are a few different ways to research keywords, and none of them have to be complicated. With the help of online marketing tools, a lot of the work is done for you.
Strategy 1 - Uncover Your Competitors’ Top Keywords
If you want to stay ahead of the game and keep up with the competition, exploring where your competitors are succeeding and you are falling behind is a great way to go. Not only are you likely to find content that inspires you to write an article of your own, but by simply using Ahrefs.com or Semrush.com, you can:
- Research which keywords your competitors rank for.
- Discover existing content pieces that are ranking for valuable keywords and generating the most organic traffic.
- Uncover relevant keyword gaps that your competitors rank for but you don’t.
This targeted approach to keyword research enables you to make use of competitors’ success and score some of the traffic for yourself.
Strategy 2 - Focus on “Solution Based” Keywords
When it’s time to sit down and write content, solution based keywords are a winning strategy for expanding your SEO keyword targets. Building product companies often make the common mistake of only going for the obvious commercial intent products based keywords.
Commercial Intent Keyword Examples: “insulated concrete form blocks” “ICF basements” “insulated concrete form swimming pools”
If you’ve been considering writing an article featuring certain groups of products, first: pause. Start by making a list of benefits or solutions you can talk about (including competitor comparisons) - and look for relevant queries in the Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, SEM Rush, and even Answer The Public.
Solution Based Keyword Examples: “soundproofing exterior walls” “wild fire resistant homes” “wood frame construction alternatives” “net zero energy efficient homes” “speed up home construction”
You’ll find winning articles titled “The Best Alternative to Wood Frame Construction'' and “Building a Wild Fire Resistant Home” Why? They offer a solution to your audience, and are exactly the type of articles you should be writing. These articles promise high value to prospective customers in the information gathering stage of their purchasing decision, increasing click-through rates through solution based keywords. Plus, these content types are likely to be more engaging than product focused blog content, and subsequently reduce bounce rates - which Google’s algorithm pays attention to.
Using powerful language alongside your keywords will help offer a solution to your audience - whether that’s architects, homeowners, designers, or contractors - and also widen the scope of your ranking search results. Solution based keywords that address queries such as “energy efficient shingles” or “energy star certified shingles” will be much less competitive than simply targeting “asphalt shingles” as your keyword. Google’s algorithm is smart enough to connect a searcher looking for “best shingles” or “which shingles should I use?” to your problem-solving article, increasing your traffic and overall results.
Strategy 3 - Utilize Forums & QA Websites
One lesser known secret for keyword research strategies is this: you can often uncover hidden “keyword gems” within industry forums and Q/A websites. You can often do this manually by exploring relevant topics in forums, social media and QA websites like Reddit and Quora.
Active conversations from direct stakeholders will help you understand what topics are important to your customers, employees, and competitors. You can also find out thoughts and feelings around the product you sell, and in particular: where you might make improvements. It’s no secret that people love to complain, and forums are common places for people to gather and look for solutions.
Here’s an example:
Step 1: Type a popular discussion forum into Ahrefs.com. For this example, we’ve used Houzz’s home design, renovation, and decorating forum.
Step 2: Click on “Organic Keywords” - already you have a data mine of key information, showing that there are 2.4 million organic keywords to explore.
Step 3: Choose a relevant (to you) product name or keyword in the “Include” field. We’ve chosen “fiber cement siding”.
Step 4: Ahrefs will calculate a variety of conversations that include your keyword within the forum URL as well as pages that rank for similar keywords.
Step 5: Browse away!
As you can see from Houzz, there are thousands of mentions on a hugely niche topic - so there’ll be conversations out there for products that are relevant to your building product company. You can pick long-tail keywords from the list on the left (such as “best paint for fiber cement siding), and be inspired by content topics on the right (such as “fiber cement siding - paint or replace?).
Using forums and QA sites to your advantage is a brilliant way to:
- Gain key insight into your target audience and stakeholders interests, and what their problems are.
- Discover brand new keywords that you may not have been able to come up with your own.
- Read through the forums to find secondary keywords that are relevant to you and your content.
For example, in this article titled “Stucco VS Hardie Plank”, we can see a homeowner is trying to understand whether or not they should choose stucco vs hardie plank. If you have direct insight on which product might be better suited to their needs, you can write a full article answering this question - for any further internet browsers who need help with the same decision. You may also notice that the homeowner is concerned about which siding options are particularly good for “Zone 3” homes. There’s a perfect topic idea, just for you.
There’s another benefit to using these 3 advanced keyword research strategies: your competitors are unlikely to be looking in the same places you are. These SEO methods upgrade your research capabilities, and allow you to push your targeted content to the next level - bringing in a niche audience for your building product materials. Uncovering new ways to generate search traffic will allow you to make innovative business decisions that blow away your competition and leave them in the dust - generating high levels of traffic, improving your click-through rates through thoughtful content, and also scoring growing ROI as a result of your direct problem-solving marketing.
About the Contributor: Matt Lee is the founder of Lead Generation Experts, an agency who creates hand-crafted content marketing campaigns for building product manufacturers.
Editor's Note: This article comes to us courtesy of the Contributor above. The opinions expressed therein are not necessarily our own at ManoByte's, nor have we been paid by the Contributor to publish this article. We find the contributor's perspective in the Building Materials Manufacturing space interesting and are happy to share their perspective with you all too.