The Business Marketing Agency | Digital Online Marketing
Call NowSydney: +61 2 8006 7688
Los Angeles: +1 323 844 0042


[Podcast] Keyword Research: Interview with Market Samurai founder Brent Hodgson

Play

subscribe-with-itunes-button

Welcome to the Business Marketing Agency podcast with Barbara Griffin, regular tips and tricks for business owners who want to market their business online.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Hi.  It’s Barbara here from the Business Marketing Agency – and I’m here with Brent Hodgson (Market Samurai founder) who’s an absolute keyword research legend!  And I’ve managed to grab him from his busy schedule to talk with us about keywords and the importance of keywords research.  So – hi Brent – thanks for having this chat!

BRENT HODGSON

Thanks for having me here, Barb!

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yeah! So I wanted to start off with telling people about your amazing background.  Because we met in – I think it was around 2000, when you were working for property investor, and author and speaker, Steve McKnight.  And you were actually doing all his online marketing…

Brent HodgsonBRENT HODGSON

That’s going back a fair while!  Yeah, we have known each other for a little while, haven’t we?

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yeah, totes! So basically, you were instrumental in making Steve – making him famous, basically, weren’t you?

BRENT HODGSON

Haha! I don’t want to claim too much credit there – cause Steve’s a good marketer, and in fact an excellent marketer in his own right! But certainly while I was there, I had the opportunity to have a bit of fun with a lot of marketing strategies.

Everything from forum marketing to SEO, to – even book publishing.  And we were able to achieve a lot of great results through a lot of different mediums while I was there. I got a lot of great experience.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yeah – so, you were doing all the ‘doing’.  And so, you really really ‘know your stuff’ – that’s basically where I was going with that!

BRENT HODGSON

Haha – yeah !

BARBARA GRIFFIN

But then – ‘No wait, there’s more!’ You also founded this amazing software called Market Samurai.  Do you want to talk about that?

BRENT HODGSON

Yeah! I’m no longer involved in the software anymore – I’ve since sold my stake in it, and it’s being run by some of the people that I founded it with.  But the software is now, I guess, the ‘de facto official’ keyword research tool for anyone who wants to rank well in the search engines.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

I’ve been using it since 2009, and I couldn’t rave about it more highly!

BRENT HODGSON

You’ve been following me around, haven’t you?

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yeah, pretty much! But you know, we’re friends! So, yeah – tell us what it does, people that might not know what it does.

BRENT HODGSON

Basically what it does is it looks for high quality keywords; and when we’re talking about high quality keywords, we’re talking about finding keywords that have the greatest potential to earn you money through Search Engine Optimization.

Because there’s a whole bunch of keywords or topics that you could target that you’ll never achieve rankings for; or that if you did achieve rankings for them, they wouldn’t bring in much traffic; or if they did bring in traffic, I guess the value of the traffic wouldn’t be particularly high.

So – all of these factors – and there are literally dozens of factors that you want to look at for each one of these keywords – it influences your ability to make money from any Search Engine Optimization that you do.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yep. So let’s give some actual examples of, like – let’s say a business might want to rank for their brand name, what would be the downside of that?

BRENT HODGSON

Typically, if someone’s searching for your brand name, you know, it’s a good thing to rank for. But if someone’s already searching for your brand name, then they already know about you.  They’re already looking for you.

So, you’re not actually attracting a new customer there.  So it’s a really good example that you raised there, of a keyword that you don’t need to optimize around – you don’t need to target – because you’re going to get that traffic anyway.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yeah. Also, people are disappointed at how few searches there are a month for their brand name!

BRENT HODGSON

Yeah, yeah! But frankly if people already know you it’s unlikely but they’re going to keep visiting your website – because they got everything that they want out of it!

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Totes! So, basically the keywords that we try and find for people are the keywords will bring volume; but are also very relevant, but also possible to rank for.

And this tool that you helped launch – found – basically helps people.  Well, I wouldn’t say ‘it helps people’ because we think – would you agree with me here? – we think that it’s a bit too tricky for clients to get the software and do it themselves.  But we’re just saying, that this is the tool that we use to do it.

BRENT HODGSON

Yeah, yeah. In fact, this is one of the things that you and I have been chatting about recently – it’s been, how difficult it is for clients to pick up the tool and actually use it.

Because it can literally take days or weeks to find some of these really high value keywords, analyze them, and, you know, select which ones that are the right ones to target.

So – what we’ve been chatting about – and we’ll probably cover it a little bit later in this chat that we’re having here – is I’ve been helping you out with developing a way to do this sort of research for clients very effectively and very quickly, so that all people need to do is tell you a bit about their business, and then you send it off to your team – and within a couple of days they’ll come back with a fully researched keyword research report that tells you all the keywords that you should be targeting for your business.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Can we disclose that you are my team? (laughs)

BRENT HODGSON

Absolutely! In fact, the team has been put together by me over a couple of months, and I’ve trained them in all of the strategies in how to actually find these high quality keywords – myself.

So, it’s a team that you’ve got access to; but it’s a team that I’m providing the ongoing training for, and I’m working side by side with – to make sure that they actually know exactly what they’re doing.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yeah, because basically – as we discussed before – keyword research is quite time consuming.  And… I mean; I’ve been doing it myself in the past for clients, as have you.  But it’s – cause it’s so time consuming, it’s basically – you have been training people to do what you do.

BRENT HODGSON

Absolutely, absolutely.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Which is a very specialized ‘art form’, really…

BRENT HODGSON

Yeah. And it can drive you insane after spending so many hours in front of a keyword research screen just looking through the data.

But what I’ve been able to do is distill the principles down into a couple of key things to look for, and we’re getting some really great results for some clients at the moment.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yeah! So what are the kinds of secret…like, you know, the low-hanging fruit that you’re looking for?  What makes a good keyword?

BRENT HODGSON

Well, there are four factors that you want to look for when you’re looking at good quality keywords. And those four factors – just to run over them quickly, and we can go deeper if you want a little bit later – those four factors are:

  • You want a keyword that is highly relevant to your business.
  • You want a keyword that has high levels of traffic.
  • You want a keyword that has a high customer value.
  • You want a keyword that has low levels of competition.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Okay, I’d like to just get an example of each of those.  So the first one was ‘relevance’.  So let’s give an example of an ‘un-relevant’ one, and a more relevant one.

BRENT HODGSON

Let’s use ‘music production’, for example.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Okay! Yep!

BRENT HODGSON

If you’re a music production company, then there’s going to be some keywords that are going to be highly relevant to you – like ‘music production’ or ‘music producer’.  And then there are going to be other keywords that won’t be as relevant to you; keywords that are less likely to bring in paying customers.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yeah, like ‘music software’.

BRENT HODGSON

Yeah, or ‘how to become a music producer’ or ‘music producer jobs’.

You know, these are all keywords that are in the same niche or in the same market, but they’re not going to bring in the same quality of the customer or the quality of lead to your business.

So when you’re looking at keywords, you ideally want to focus on the keywords that are likely to bring in paying leads, paying customers – and the right sorts of paying customers – people that are very highly targeted to your business.

Because the closer you can get to those ideal customers, the more money you’re going to make from each individual visitor who comes to your website from the search engines.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Okay, so that’s actually quite a good example and quite easy to understand.  So, let’s go to the next point which was – was it ‘traffic’?

BRENT HODGSON

Yeah, the high traffic is really the one that everyone seems to grasp immediately.  It’s the one that a lot of people focus on, but you really need the other three as well!

BARBARA GRIFFIN

So, let’s say you’ve found that ‘dance producer’ or ‘RnB producer’ or ‘hip-hop producer’ – got either…let’s say they got a lot of searches, but that ‘classical music producer’ didn’t – you could also evaluate your keywords based on the volume of desire in the market?

BRENT HODGSON

Absolutely. And I guess that’s coming back to your comment about branding before, how people aren’t searching a lot for businesses’ brand names.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yeah, because they haven’t heard of them!  They don’t know who to…okay, Coca Cola or whatever brand name that’s a household name they know, but the average small business they may not know the name of.

BRENT HODGSON

Mmm. So I guess what we’re doing here is we’re looking for those big pockets of customers; cause if we can tap into a rich vein of gold, if we can tap into a rich vein of customers online, then we’ve got the greatest potential to make money out of those customers – out of any work that we do in terms of marketing.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yes, because basically what we’re going to do after we’ve got these keywords is we’re going to rank your site for those keywords; so if somebody did type in ‘music producer Sydney’, your site will come up at the top of the search results, and therefore somebody’s got a chance of actually finding your site, clicking on it, seeing what you do and maybe get in touch to give you some work!

BRENT HODGSON

Yeah, yeah.  The third factor that we have here is ‘customer value’.  This follows nicely on from the previous point that we had about getting as many people as you can from the search engines.

It’s not always just about the volume of people, the number of people that you get from the search engines – it’s also about the value of each individual visitor.

So, some people who visit your website will be very profitable clients; and some people who visit your website will be very unprofitable clients.  So –  let’s use an example of classical music versus indie rock.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yep.

BRENT HODGSON

So, an indie rock producer, I don’t want to tar everyone with the same brush! – but ‘indie rock’ probably doesn’t have a lot of money.  If someone’s looking for a producer there, they’re probably looking to do some production on a shoestring, versus classical – where, you know, you’re talking about a 50-piece orchestra with a lot of equipment, and so forth.  They’ve probably got a little bit of a budget that they can use.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

What about ‘advertising music producer’ or ‘commercial music producer’?

BRENT HODGSON

Yeah, really good point.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Keyword research might identify some potentially higher paying types of leads.  So – so let’s say, if ‘dance producer’ may get 4,000 searches a month and ‘commercial music production’ might get 100 searches a month, but you might decide that ‘commercial music production’ is such a high value keyword that it’s still worth chasing – even though it has less traffic.

BRENT HODGSON

Absolutely. In fact, there’s even a little formula that you can use to compare apples with apples, I guess, when it comes to these keywords.

What we’re doing when we’re looking at the customer value is we’re looking at what your competitors are willing to pay per click – or per individual visitor – if we multiply what your competitors are willing to pay for a visitor when they’re advertising, by the number of visitors.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

And you’re talking about Google AdWords.

BRENT HODGSON

Yeah, that’s correct. And we can actually get that data through Market Samurai.  Market Samurai’s got a sneaky little way to capture that.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Brent, do you still use Market Samurai? Is that your tool of choice, seeing that you invented it?

BRENT HODGSON

Absolutely!

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yeah, me, too! I mean; there’s other ones out there, and I cross-reference my research with all of them, but I find that one is just so, so useful.

BRENT HODGSON

I wish that there was an easier way.  I wish someone came up and took what we did a couple of years ago and made it better, and faster and easier.  But unfortunately, it’s still – you know, the cutting-edge tool; and it’s what the team is using to find keywords for all of the clients at the moment.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yeah, so basically, before you go into point number four, the reason why it takes a while to do research is two-fold; one is it takes actually hours sometimes to pull the data for hundreds of keywords.

And secondly, you need a brain to actually go through and evaluate. And there’s no software, or any Indian outsourcer that can do that. It has to be actually a trained native speaker that understands the business that can go through and evaluate these keywords.

BRENT HODGSON

That’s really important, what you say about a trained native speaker.  It’s not just enough to understand how to do keyword research.

It’s not just enough to follow a simple process. You really, really do need someone who’s doing it – who understands the intricacies of language – because there’s a difference, often, between finding something that’s highly relevant to your business – and something that’s not really relevant to your business.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yep. So if people do order a keyword research report through us, that you’re going to do for them, they’ll get a beautiful PDF with keywords.

But will we give them hundreds, will we give them 100, will we give them the top 10, the top 20, the top 50?

BRENT HODGSON

We typically focus on between 10 to 20 main keywords, and this is enough for any medium to large website; or even a small website – to build content around, and start attracting traffic from.

In addition to that, we go in and we look deeper; and we grab all of the additional relevant keywords, all of the longtail keywords that are relevant to all of those main keywords.

And what we end up with – is even though we’ve got 10 to 20 main keywords, we might end up with 100 or 200 keywords in total – which have low levels of competition, high levels of value, are highly relevant, and have good levels of traffic.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yeah, and to get those top 20, how many are you looking at to cull that from?  I mean typically, its hundreds isn’t it?

BRENT HODGSON

We could look through 10,000 keywords to find 10 good quality keywords!

I guess it’s an indication of what keyword research is really like.  It’s like panning for gold! You know, you’re putting all of this silt and dirt and so forth in your pan, and you’re swirling it around, getting rid of all the rocks and then getting rid of all the dirt, and then what you’re left with is a few little gold nuggets down the very bottom.

And those gold nuggets are your most valuable keywords that you can target.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Totally.  For example, you’re talking about gold nuggets there, and it’s not obvious – even by commonsense – what are the good keywords.

So, for example, I researched ‘hypnotherapy’ a while back. And the difference between ‘hypnotherapy’ and ‘hypnotherapist’ was quite large in terms of a difference in volume, and also a difference in ‘buyer intent’; because if somebody’s looking for information about ‘hypnotherapy’, they may not be wanting to buy.

But if someone’s looking for hypnotherapist, would you agree that they’re more likely to be wanting want to have a practitioner?

BRENT HODGSON

Yeah, and that’s a really good example there, because if someone’s searching for ‘hypnotherapist’, that’s a specialized professional in a specific field; versus ‘hypnotherapy’ – that’s really an information search.

I guess it’s like… I came across one a little while ago, we were in the insurance industry and we came across all of these quote-related keywords; and some of them were highly relevant – there were ‘insurance quotes’, various types of insurance quotes.

And then we ended up with ‘free quote’, or ‘funny quote’.  And we started to notice that some of these keywords were verging outside of our market and into slightly different markets where people were looking for ‘inspirational quotes’ – for example!

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yeah – or something to put on -like a cartoon, or some content to put on their website, they weren’t buyers!

BRENT HODGSON

Yeah, exactly! And, as a result, if you target some of those keywords, you might be able to rank well and you might be able to get a lot of people to your website.

But those people might not end up buying.  So, you’re absolutely right on with the ‘hypnotherapy’ and ‘hypnotherapist’ example.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

I’ve think we’ve missed out point number four. Shall we do, shall we cover that?

BRENT HODGSON

Yeah, let’s delve straight in! So point number four, or the fourth keyword factor that you want to look at, is low levels of competition. And this is essentially; ‘how difficult will it be for me to rank for this keyword?’.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

And this is almost impossible for a business owner to figure out by themselves – you basically need a tool, and you need us to figure that out for you.

BRENT HODGSON

Before Market Samurai existed, we used to do it all manually.  And – let me have a think here – there were about 24 little pieces of information that we were gathering, just to analyze one webpage.

And we would repeat this process, and we would gather this data; not just for the first webpage that ranks for Google, but the top 10 webpages that were ranking in Google.

So that’s 240 pieces of information that we were gathering. So this is one of the reasons why Market Samurai was so valuable.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

So the types of information that you were gathering was – ‘how many backlinks that site has got’, how many…

BRENT HODGSON

Yes, ‘what’s the page rank?’…

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yeah, ‘how old is it?’…

BRENT HODGSON

‘How many pages are there in Google?’ – whether or not it’s keyword optimised; and where it’s keyword optimised…

We had four or five places where we were checking it. We used to also check how often Google indexes the page…

We’s also then go into the quality of the backlinks that the website had – because a website could have a lot of low quality back links, or it could have a small number of high quality back links, to get to where it is.

We’d also look at the number of competitors, the number of optimised competitors… there were literally dozens of things that we would be looking at.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yeah – and basically, just to kind of let people know why we’re looking at these factors – internet marketing have basically ‘reversed-engineered’ Google’s algorithm, which is secret, and Google doesn’t tell us how they pick their top websites.

We have to figure it out. And we’ve figured it to a certain extent – that they’re looking for an old domain; that has a lot of pages; that has a lot of high quality backlinks, and few other factors.

But we’re actually being a little bit ninja about this, aren’t we?

BRENT HODGSON

Absolutely! I don’t think they really like us knowing this stuff, and that’s why they keep it so hidden away under lock and key – because we actually use this to make a lot of money!

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yeah! And we use this to ‘game’ the system, and Google doesn’t really want us to do that!

BRENT HODGSON

No, no! They want to keep all their favorite scholarly-style articles up the very top – because they’re very engineering-minded.  They don’t want us making money out of their hard work!

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Totes! So, I mean – let’s talk about why Google is so important for search engine results. Is it because it’s got the market share in the world?

BRENT HODGSON

Yeah. In fact – when we’re talking about Google, we’re talking about the world’s largest website.  We’re talking about the place where so many people will actually go to start any buying decision.

In fact, if you want some stats – every month there’s about 120 billion searches per month, worldwide. And, when it comes to buying stuff online, 89% of the consumers use search engines to make purchasing decisions.

And, 71%t of enterprises – when they’re making a business purchasing decision – the first place they being that purchasing decision is online.

And even local businesses – if you want the local fish and chip shop, 76% of us will actually use Google to find out what the phone number is for the local fish and chip shop.

So – increasingly, more and more of our thinking, more and more of our purchasing decisions – are moving online.  And when they’re moving online, they’re moving to Google.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yeah – because Google is the Yellow Pages – basically, now.

BRENT HODGSON

Yeah, it really is, it really is.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

And what about the other search engines?  I mean, if you say that Google’s got 76% of the market share, that leaves, you know –  Yahoo, Bing and Ask sharing the other 15%. Do you think that those search engines mirror Google in their results, or do they have different algorithms?

BRENT HODGSON

They’re fairly similar. They seem to chase Google wherever Google’s going.

Depending on where you are, Google is actually even bigger than that. So – I think it’s 76% in the US – it’s 83% of the global search market that they hold, and in Australia, it’s 92% of the search market.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yeah, cause Australia is much more Google-centric.

BRENT HODGSON

Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, there’s not really a huge amount of value if you’re going to rank well in Yahoo or Bing – you’ll only tap into 8% of the potential traffic that’s out there.

But as you say, if you’re ranking well for Google, you should be ranking well for Yahoo and Bing as well.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yep. So, look  – I want to talk about now – once clients have got their… I mean, I know this kind of is where it kind of passes over to us to help –  but – clients order their keyword research report; they get their top 20 keywords; they may pick from those, or pick some other ones; they give them to us; and then what we do is – we have to make sure that their site actually mentions those words – because it’s absolutely impossible to rank for a keyword that you don’t even mention on your site!

BRENT HODGSON

That’s like ‘Search Engine Optimization 101’!  If you want to rank for it, you at least need to mention it!

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yeah! But not only mention it, you have to have lots of words of content about it;  you have to have on-page optimization such as the keyword in the URL, in the title, in the header, in the description, in the content – and it can’t be junk, spammy, useless content –  it has to be original content, and you can’t copy it from elsewhere on the web…

BRENT HODGSON

That’s…absolutely, absolutely! You’ve covered almost every base there!  It also matters where your keyword appears.  So, it needs to appear, ideally, inside the title tag of the page; ideally in the URL of the page; ideally in the little header that you put onto the page; and ideally, it would appear inside the code – inside something called the meta tags, inside the meta description, or the meta keywords tags.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yeah. So, if you were getting a sort of a bird’s eye overview/bigger picture of how what Brent does fits into the great solar system of SEO –  a new client will come to us and say, “We want to know what are good keywords”.

Brent would go and do the research, give it to us.  We would pick the keywords; then we would optimize the client’s websites for those keywords by writing and creating and placing content that was very well optimised; and then step three is that we would build the site backlinks using SEO.

BRENT HODGSON

Perfect! Yeah, and through that, with enough… assuming we’ve got the keyword optimization on the page right, it’s valuable content – all that we need to do from there is build enough quality backlinks and give it enough time.

With enough time and backlinks, we should be able to reach the top spots in Google.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yeah! Look, let’s… I want to hear your opinions about managing client expectations on how long it will take them to rank for keywords.

BRENT HODGSON

Yeah, oh – wow. This can be a minefield for anyone that’s doing SEO consulting.

A lot of people want to be able to rank number one for ‘insurance’ overnight.  Realistically, it’s just not going to be able to happen.

Even if were able to build all the backlinks that you needed on day one – and it does take a lot of time and effort and investment and money to be able to build all those backlinks – even if we did, Google wouldn’t immediately put you up there on day one.

It’s going to take a long time to build that trust with Google, until you’re actually able to rank in that top spot.

But – what I can say, is there are couples of factors that influence how long it takes.  The number of backlinks that your competitors have will influence how long it takes to rank well.

If they have a lot of backlinks – or links pointing to their websites – then they are going to be able to hold that top spot for longer.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

For example, Wikipedia and government sites often turn up at the top of Google – because they’re old, they’re very trusted, and they have masses of backlinks.

BRENT HODGSON

Yeah, and that’s another one – the age of a website – the longer it’s been around, the more cemented it will be into that top spot in Google, or one of those higher spots.

The third factor that you want to look at when you’re assessing how long it will take is how many competitors there are for your keyword – how many competitors are actually mentioning the keyword.

Because I guess it’s like a sheepdog jumping over the backs of all of the sheep.  If they aren’t too many sheep, then it’s going to be easier for it to jump to the front of the herd.

But if there’s a lot sheep, it’s going to take a lot more time and a lot more effort to get to the front.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

So, let’s talk about long tail keywords and how that’s a great opportunity for a new business.

BRENT HODGSON

Yeah, long tail keywords. What we’re talking about when we’re talking about the ‘longtail’ are those longer phrases – or those more specific phrases – that people are typing into the search engines, so if they’re typing in…

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Let’s go back to our insurance niche, because that’s a good one.

BRENT HODGSON

Okay. Well, it might be ‘insurance for a triumph motorbike’…

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yeah, or ‘insurance for a small business’…

BRENT HODGSON

Yeah, versus ‘business insurance’ or ‘motorcycle insurance’ – which would be a shorter tail keywords; or just ‘insurance’ – which would be a very generic very short tail keyword!

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yes, but imagine how many businesses with big pockets are trying to rank for ‘insurance’…  so, basically you’ll never do it!

So what we would advise a new business – that wants to promote themselves on the web – is to go for the longer tail keywords – because they’re the low-hanging fruit!

BRENT HODGSON

Absolutely – it’s typically easier to rank for them.  You typically get a much more relevant visitor.

It’s going to take a little bit more effort if you want to rank and get, you know, the same thousand visitors from a hundred keywords, versus one keyword.

But the value for ranking for longtail keywords is certainly there, because you get much faster rankings.  So, I guess if we’re looking at the return on investment for any SEO work, you get a much faster return.  It’s not as big; but your investment is much lower.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yep.  So, you know, do we need to convince people that they should be doing SEO, doing keyword research, marketing themselves online – rather than putting their money into the other old-school forms of advertising such as radio ads, TV ads, print media?

BRENT HODGSON

Yep.  I think that for most people it’s a much higher return on investment way to market their businesses online.

You know, you put your money into Search Engine Optimization once, and so long as your competitors aren’t battling you for those top spots later on, then you should be able to hold a fairly good ranking over the long term, get a lot of these visitors for free – versus radio advertising, where every month you need to put out another ad if you want to keep attracting visitors.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yeah. Look, I have clients that are spending say $80,000 a year on radio advertising – and about $1500 a month on SEO – and I can see by looking into their Google Analytics that they’re getting more targeted traffic and conversions from their SEO efforts in their generic keywords such as ‘insurance provider Sydney’ or whatever – than they are for their brand name ‘Acme Insurance’!

BRENT HODGSON

So – Barb, why do they keep their radio advertising around?  What’s the value to them actually doing it?

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Look, I think – look, not being mean here, but… it can be ego.  Because, you know, the client likes to have their ads on the radio! And they’re under the mistaken impression that radio advertising still works and will give them traffic.

And.. you know, you can see by the brand name searches – let’s say you heard a radio ad for ‘Rescue Me Insurance’. So basically you could tell – if that radio ad played, you would get more searches (in Analytics) for ‘Rescue Me Insurance’.

But the results from that radio ad are disappointing, compared to the amount of money that the businesses spent on their radio ads.

BRENT HODGSON

That’s a shame, it’s a shame. And I guess it’s two different philosophies on marketing. You’ve got the direct response marketing, versus the branding marketers…

BARBARA GRIFFIN

So, can you just explain what that is?  Because  – we know what that is, but I think people don’t really know the difference.

BRENT HODGSON

It’s a big philosophical battle among marketers.  You’ve got both sides –  Direct Response versus Branding marketers.  Branding Marketers are the old style – Coca Cola, Mad Men style, you know, advertisement that are out there building big brands.

And the direct response marketers are the ones that are – if they’re on TV, they’ll be doing infomercials. If they’re on radio, they’ll be doing a direct response offer. If they’re on the outside of a can of Coca Cola, then it will be an ‘SMS to win’ competition.  If they’re online, they’ll be doing Search Engine Optimization or pay-per-click advertising.

And when it comes to direct response marketing, it’s all about the response.  You’re always after the sale.  You’re not trying to stay in someone’s mind or create mindshare.

All you’re doing is creating your return on investment from your advertising.  And if you can’t create a return on investment from however you’re advertising, then you don’t use that advertising method.

So, it’s a much more profitable way of advertising.  It’s certainly not… it doesn’t have the prestige of other sorts of advertising. But for people that are out there – small businesses, medium businesses – who literally need to make sure that their profit comes from advertising – that every dollar they spend on advertising makes them at least one back – then, those sorts of people are ideal for direct response marketing.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yeah.  So, just explaining what direct response marketing is – it’s an ad that says ‘You have this problem? We can help it. To get your solution taken care of, do this.’

BRENT HODGSON

Yep. So I guess it’s a ‘call-to-action‘ –  is the word tht we use.  It’s something that we’re asking people to do, right then and there.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

And what’s the difference between branding?  Branding is more like… ‘you’ll feel amazing if you have this product’.

BRENT HODGSON

Yeah… I think that’s a good example.  Yeah. And, people aren’t expecting the sale right then and there; they’re just expecting to stay in your head.  They’re expecting to be brands that you’ll think of next time.

And sure, branding has some benefits – people are more likely to purchase the item that they’re familiar with. But the issue is that most people aren’t ready to purchase at that time.

By the time they come around to purchasing, they might have forgotten about the brand; or some clever direct marketer could have offered a discount or coupon offer, or a two-for-one deal to actually buy the competitor’s – and would swipe the client or the customer underneath the nose of the person that’s doing the brand advertising!

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yeah! So basically – like, let’s say Nike as an example, Nike sells sneakers. And, you know, how much are sneakers?  If you buy them at K-Mart, they’re $10 or $20.  If you buy any other non-Nike brand, it’s, I dunno, $80, $100.

But if you buy Nike, they’ve got the ticks on them and they’re $200.  So, basically you’re paying an extra $100 for the branding – and for the fact that you’ve got Nike.

BRENT HODGSON

Or even Coca Cola versus Pepsi.  It’s… they’re both branding and they’ve both been in the Cola Wars since – what, the 1960’s? Whatever it was.  So, they’ve both established themselves.  But you can go out and you can get a – what’s a good example of a generic cola? – Royal Crown Cola or something like that – for half the cost! Or a K-Mart Cola for 20 cents, instead of $1 per can…

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yup! And, you know, you could say that it tastes a little bit different, but it doesn’t taste that different! Have you actually noticed that if you try to buy Coca Cola and you’ve got a Pepsi store, you actually can’t buy it – and vice versa?

BRENT HODGSON

At a Pepsi store?

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yeah!

BRENT HODGSON

Restaurants, yes, other stores not so much.  I notice that they don’t like it when their fridges are next to each other, though!

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yeah! Yeah, so basically, we have explained why keyword research is complicated but so, so important – before you attempt online marketing.  It’s basically the cornerstone that everything else hangs off.

BRENT HODGSON

Yes. Haha. Yeah! I guess if you don’t pick good keywords – if you fail to actually work out what types of customers you’re targeting online, then what happens is you don’t end up getting visitors to your website; you don’t end up making sales as a result of any website that you have; and as a result, your website – or your online marketing – becomes an expense, rather than an investment.

So, the value of the keywords? Basically, that they make everything more profitable; or – they help you to actually attract people from the search engines.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Yep – because basically, people that want what you’re selling – your product or service – are Googling something, and you want to be ranking for that something.

BRENT HODGSON

Mmm. And if you’re not, then your competitors are – and you’re losing those customers to them.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Okay! So basically, to get started with keyword research, just send me an e-mail, info @ thebusinessmarketingagency.com – and we will sort you out with some keyword research that Brent will do for you – with consultation with me – and we will give you the top 20 list, but also many more keywords (in case  you don’t like the top 20!) that will be perfect for you to rank for – that have relevance, that have traffic, that are low in competition (so you’ve actually got a chance of ranking for them) – and what’s the fourth one?

BRENT HODGSON

High customer value.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

There you go! With a buying intent – really, that’s what we mean meant by high customer value, isn’t it?

BRENT HODGSON

Yeah, absolutely.  So that it’s a valuable type of customer as well.  So – sometimes you can find two very similar products, and one is much more valuable than the other or has a much greater ‘perceived value’.

Goji Berry versus Mangosteen, for example. Goji Berry, people might be willing to pay more for on a per-unit basis.

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Hey Brent – it was really amazing talking to you tonight, and thank you so much.  I think that that was just so useful for people that are really quite confused about keyword research; because I know that it’s… it’s so technical, it’s so off-putting for many businesses – but you’ve really helped – basically – show people the value of doing keyword research first.

BRENT HODGSON

It’s been a lot of fun. Thank you very much for having me along!

BARBARA GRIFFIN

And it’s been a pleasure knowing you and working with you!

BRENT HODGSON

Haha, thank you!

BARBARA GRIFFIN

Okay, see you everybody! I’m Barb Griffin from the Business Marketing Agency and you’ve been talking to Brent Hodgson about SEO and Keyword Research.

You’ve been listening to the Business Marketing Agency Podcast with Barbara Griffin.  For any questions, feedback or just to keep in touch, email me! info @ thebusinessmarketingagency.com

 

Brent's Celebrity Double

Brent’s Celebrity Double

, , , , , ,


Fatal error: Uncaught Exception: 12: REST API is deprecated for versions v2.1 and higher (12) thrown in /home/thebusin/public_html/wp-content/plugins/seo-facebook-comments/facebook/base_facebook.php on line 1273