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[Marketing Guru] How to research keywords effectively for SEM and SEO

Selecting the right keywords is a very important step in implementing your SEO or search engine optimization and SEM or paid search advertising efforts. In this context, keywords refer to the words or phrases that users type in the search box of search engines like Google.


Eu Gene Ang, Lead Trainer at ClickAcademy Asia, shares how to research keywords effectively for SEM and SEO.

If you look at how users search on Google, the keywords they use are not simply just a bunch of random words.

These keywords reflect their intention, needs, or problems.


So, how do we start to select the right keywords for SEO and SEM? There are a few keyword research models that we can use here.

The first model is called the keyword lifecycle model.


Essentially, it assumes that a user will search a few times in Google before finding the right answer in the product research, and the keywords used in each of these searches will differ.

Imagine that you are trying to research and buy a new pair of sports shoes.

At the start of your research, you will use generic keywords like “latest sports shoes” or “new sport shoes models” during your search. These keywords are called browsing keywords.

They are generic, non-specific, and indicate that you are still browsing and unsure of any brands to consider. At this point, you are not ready to buy and any search ads that are promoting a sale will be simply ignored by you.

After you have browsed the initial search results, you will then progress to research further.

The keywords you use will change and you will likely start to use keywords with the words “compare”, “review” or “ratings”.

These keywords are called researching keywords and one example is “latest sports shoes reviews”.

You will then read the reviews, analyse user feedback, or watch a video before proceeding further. By then, you will be zooming in on a particular sports shoe brand and will then search on Google how to buy this brand of sports shoes or find the latest promotions for this brand.

In this last step, the keywords you use are called completing keywords.


In short, the keyword lifecycle model indicates to us that users typically use 3 different types of keywords in their search journey.

And these are browsing keywords, researching keywords, and completing keywords.

Advertisers who understand this concept can craft the optimal ad message at each stage of the user journey.

Next time when you are selecting keywords for search engine marketing, it really helps if you take the perspective of your customers who go through this keyword lifecycle process.


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