When your brand has reached a plateau with either traffic or revenue, it’s natural to look beyond these horizons. Whether your business growth has flatlined or simply have ambitions to jump into different or exciting markets, keywords will play a vital role to break into new territory.
Keywords are an important part of inbound marketing where various content, techniques and tools work together to encourage your leads and customers to find you -- not the other way around. This is the advantage of inbound marketing for new market growth because businesses that chose to undergo traditional marketing in new markets are often taking a gamble in whether these potential customers pay attention or not to your brand.
Target Audience Before Targeting Keywords
Businesses research current and projected revenue numbers for the products or services that they want to advertise for and often want to immediately start marketing. However, with inbound marketing, they should look at current and future customer profiles and see if they are in the target audience for these markets. These customer profiles, also called personas, can help you in brainstorming the different keywords you will choose for your inbound and content marketing.
How to Choose New Keywords to Break Into New Markets
Select Keywords Relevant to Your Brand
When thinking about your personas, you’ll want to choose keywords that are generally the combination of words or phrases they type into search engines when they want to research something before making a purchasing decision or these keywords are related to topics they are interested in. You also have to make sure these keywords are relevant to your business and describe your products and services.
Determine Search Volume and Popularity
There are paid and free tools specifically designed for search engine optimization (SEO) that will measure how many times people search for a certain keyword in a given month. The search volume for a keyword will give you a better idea of which keywords are worth pursuing, such as a keyword that has 150,000 searches in a month over one that only has 150 in the same period.
Consider Context of Keywords
Since your business is venturing into a new market, keyword context is especially important. Research how your potential customers phrase and spell the keyword. If you are breaking into international markets, the spellings of products or services may be different from country to country.
In addition, the meaning of the word may vary depending on the users’ locations or what they are searching for. For example, “windows repair” could point to a business that fixes physical windows or repairs devices that has Microsoft Windows installed. Knowing these differences based on context will put you at the forefront of your targeted audience and keywords.
Evaluate Level of Competition
Before choosing a keyword based on high search volume, compare keywords in terms of competition to see which are realistic to target. Some SEO tools measure the level of competition for a keyword by assigning High, Medium or Low ratings or by generating a number associated with low or high competition (such as 90 out of 100 meaning high competition).
Look Into Paid SEO
If you are determined to break into a new market quickly, look into paid SEO or pay per click (PPC) advertising. These are the sponsored ads you see above search engine results. The advantage of paid SEO is you are able to generate hits to your website quickly. If you are launching a new product or service, this is a great way to drum up interest faster than organic SEO, where you’ll have a longer time frame to create new content, promote it, build on the number of backlinks and wait to see results on page rankings.
However, the disadvantage of paid SEO -- other than cost -- is you may not be able to achieve the sustainability of organic SEO in keeping customers’ engagement or loyalty.
You’ve set your goals to jump into a new market, but how will you know whether your advertising efforts are a success without tracking your inbound marketing or paid SEO outcomes? In addition to being ideal for keyword research, many SEO analysis tools have features to monitor organic and paid traffic, PPC costs and rates of conversion.
Here are some metrics to track for new keywords, including:
Pageviews: Look at the number of pageviews of content with your new keywords and see whether they are meeting your goals for traffic. You can also use SEO tools to see which websites or search engines traffic is coming from, which suggests whether your plan to target particular personas or customers who visit these types of pages is working.
Conversion rates: Utilize tools that track metrics related to the conversion from a lead to a customer. For example, Google Analytics allows you to define a goal, such as signing up for a newsletter or downloading a whitepaper or guide, that suggests a lead has taken a meaningful step toward becoming a customer. After setting up this goal, use Google Analytics to measure how many leads you have and compare this to the number who are meeting these conversion goals.
Bounce rate: Are your new leads leaving the page as fast as they arrived? This is evident with a high bounce rate, or the percent of visitors who leave a site after viewing just one page. A high bounce rate suggests that while you have keywords that draw users into your site, the content they see once they land on a page is either not relevant or helpful to what they were initially looking for.
Avoid this by ensuring your content is related to and fits the context of search queries and add value to the visitor.
Cost per click: If you have chosen to go the route of paid SEO, you will also have to measure metrics like cost per click, or the price paid per click on an ad. Monitoring these metrics is crucial to see whether the number of clicks from PPC advertising benefits outweighs the cost of marketing and generates your desired revenue targets.
Improve Marketing and Sales Plan
Even if you are able to break into your intended new markets, there is always room for improvement to reduce costs and generate more profits to sustain your market growth.
Here are ways to build on your inbound marketing for new markets:
Continue to Optimize for Mobile
With mobile devices taking over inbound marketing, companies should regularly assess the traffic coming from mobile devices and enhance their sites for mobile viewing. HubSpot highlighted a surprising Google statistic that a little more than half of all smartphone users found a new product or business when searching on their device.
Remove Unpopular Pages and Content
In case your new content is not meeting your expectations -- whether through conversion or revenue goals -- you can decide to kill those pages or merge them with more popular content. Then promote the keywords that are bringing in the money you want and shift any leftover resources or budget to these revenue-driving keywords instead.
Don't hesitate to blaze a new path toward growth. Through effective inbound marketing, prevent costly blunders businesses often face when breaking into new markets.