Think Like Your Customers Search: A Keyword Strategy

Think like your customer. This is an age-old marketing adage that has led to success for businesses and brands who have followed it. The strategy is simple – by thinking like your customer, you can adjust your strategy to meet their needs. When you truly understand your customers and you are meeting their needs, you will find success.

So much of how your customers find you today is related to search. Meeting your customers needs only takes you so far if your customers can’t find you. That’s why we’d like to introduce an addendum to our original statement…

Think like your customers search.

Or in strategic terms…

A Customer First Search Strategy

Focus on truly understanding your customers. What are their motivations? What is their end goal? Why are they looking for a solution? Whether you are targeting businesses or consumers, these questions are all the same. They roll up into one key question regardless of whether you are targeting businesses or consumers – how can you make your customers lives easier?

Your customer-centric SEO strategy starts with the answer to this question. With it you can better target your website to the customers you can best serve. This will ultimately lead to more engagement and more conversions.  

Advanced Keyword Research Strategies

Keyword research can help you to truly understand and act on your customers’ main motivations.

Woman hand using smartphone and press screen to search Browsing on the Internet online.

First up in your keyword strategy, convert their needs into high level keywords that describe your overall business and offerings. Then, dig into the motivations behind these needs. Here you are starting with the high-volume, highly competitive keywords and you end with the lower-volume, highly targeted long trail keywords. Integrating both creates a comprehensive keyword strategy truly targeted at how your customers search.

How to Analyze Keywords: Finding Customer Intent

I use Conductor Searchlight or SEMRush for keyword research, depending on the client. Here we will explore SEMRush, given its relative affordability and accessibility.

I start with the highest level keyword(s) focusing on what the company does. I call this the seed keyword, as it kicks off our keyword exploration. Enter this into the Keyword Magic Tool.

SEMRush outputs Broad Match keywords first. This is a great list to start finding iterations of your services that customers are searching.

The Related keyword list in SEMRush is the most important when it comes to finding customer intent. This shows us a list of keywords similar to our first keyword (or seed keyword). This builds our understanding of the different ways our customers’ search. On the left side of the output you can choose different related words based on what the company offers.

On the right side of the list you’ll see some key metrics. Search volume and competition are each important. You want to ideally find keywords with a lower competition, making it easier to break into the SERP (or search engine results page). Lower competition keywords often have a lower search volume, but targeting several of these can help you craft your ideal target market.

Within SEMRush, I can quickly add any new keywords to my project and tag them. This allows me to quickly build a list for optimizing existing content and building out new content specifically around what customers are searching for.

SEO Topic Research Example

Let’s use this article as the example. My focus is on “customer-first search strategy” and more broadly “keyword strategy”.

I started with “customer SEO strategy” in SEMRush. There were no significant Broad Match or Related keywords. I was very quickly able to determine that this is a term I use. Potential clients looking to learn about keyword strategy are not using it.

I went more broad next with “keyword strategy”. This was the sweet spot! I found relevant target keywords both in Broad Match and Related that help me to better position this article.

  • Keyword strategy & SEO keyword strategy – Broad Match – Medium Competition
  • Advanced keyword research strategies – Broad Match – Medium-Low Competition
  • How to analyze keywords – Related – Medium Competition
  • SEO topic research – Related – Medium-Low Competition
  • Keyword research SEO expert – Related – LOW Competition

Becoming Your Keyword Research SEO Expert

See what I did there? By capitalizing on a low competition keyword, we can break into a relatively open SERP.

Getting to Know YOUR Customers’ Search Patterns

Now is as good a time as any to break off those training wheels and hit the road. Whether you are using Conductor, SEMRush, or other SEO keyword research tool, start implementing these strategies today and Think Like Your Customers Search. Soon you will be a keyword research SEO expert.