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How to Find Out Which Keywords Your Audience is Typing Into Search Queries

Knowing which keywords your targeted audience is typing into search queries to arrive at your website is critical to a successful search strategy.These keywords give you insight into your prospective customers’ minds about pressing questions they have, pain points they are dealing with, and interests they have. When you identify these keywords and make them the foundation of your content, you’ll not only help your audience to better understand and digest your content, but you’ll also help search engines to determine the purpose of your content as well.

Keywords come in 4 basic forms:

  • Broad keywords: short keywords that can be applied to your business and others in your industry
  • Fat head keywords: made up of 2 to 3 broad keywords
  • Chunky middle keywords: more specific keywords that your audience is typing into search engines
  • Longtail keywords: longer phrases of keywords that are specific to your business and industry

So how do you find out which keywords your targeted audience is typing into search queries?

Keyword research is definitely something that you should take seriously if you want results from your search strategy. Here are several tried-and-true tactics from SEO experts to help shed some light on what keywords people are using to arrive at your website:

1. Ask Your People
That’s right, folks. Sometimes it’s as simple as taking the old school approach and flat out asking your audience about issues and hot points relevant to your industry that they are dealing with.

For this keyword research, your audience pool could consist of your customers, potential customers, team members, and more. Basically, anyone that is familiar with your business and is interested in your products and services.

When you’re asking these questions, take note of the most common keywords that they use. How do they phrase questions? All of this will be a powerful indication of what your audience is typing into search queries.

2. Turn to Social Media
Social media is a great way to find out what your targeted audience is talking about, asking about, and even complaining about.

Here are some best practices for conducting keyword research on each of the major social media platforms:

  • Facebook
    Familiarize yourself with the Facebook Graph Search tool. This makes it extremely easy to find out what your connections are talking about. Also, check out the Trending toolbar (upper righthand side of newsfeed) to show popular topics that people in the masses are talking about on Facebook.
  • Twitter
    Check out trending topics (left sidebar of Twitter’s homepage). You can narrow this down by location and interests. And, of course, you can use Twitter search to discover trending topics and popular hashtags.
  • Google+
    Similar to Facebook and Twitter, Google+ offers a trending page to see what people are talking about on the social media platform.
  • YouTube
    You can use YouTube’s Trends Dashboard to narrow down trends by city, state, country, age group, and gender.

3. Take Advantage of Google Tools
There are a few Google tools out there that you really need to be using for keyword research:

You’ve heard of Google Trends, which gives you an inside look at Google’s databases of searches. Pretty incredible. You can check out these searches by geographic location, categories, languages, and much more.

Also, have you ever started to type something into Google’s search engine, and Google starts to complete your question? That’s called autocomplete, and it’s an indication of what other people are searching for.

So take advantage of these free and savvy resources for keyword research. While it does require a little elbow grease, it will greatly benefit your search strategy

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