How Do You Know What Keywords Your Customers Are Using To Find You?

Many of my clients ask me how to better understand the keywords that customers are using to find their business online.  More importantly, how can NEW keywords that will bring more website visitors be found.  It is common knowledge that Privacy Settings in most browsers are making the keywords that are being entered into search engines more difficult to track in most website analytics.  Privacy settings that are currently being implemented in IOS 14 and Google Chrome will continue to make customer keyword usage and other browsing habits more difficult to track.

Here are some practical tips on how to determine keyword streams to use in your online marketing campaign.

  1. Closely track product inventory and types of services that you provide for your customers.  This will tell you what is most popular.  Be careful of bias in this, as you probably are not getting requests for services that you are not marketing for.  If your company is selling less of a service than competitors in your industry, look to marketing first before reducing prices or taking other actions to improve sales in that category.
  2. Talk to your team members who answer your phones, work directly with new clients or website requests for information/appointments.  Find out what goods or services are being requested by first time customers.  Consider emphasizing these goods and services in your online marketing campaigns.
  3. Use Google Trends to understand trends for search volumes for the terms relating to your business for as long as 5 years.  You can compare up to 6 search terms to find what searches are trending for your customers over time.
  4. Consult Keyword Research to better understand Search Volume, Competition, and suggestions for additional Keywords.  Keyword trends change over time, so please consider updating your research at least every 6 months.  Tools include Google Ads,, and 

Once the keywords have been found, what are some things that can be done to effectively deploy them into your online marketing plan.

  1. Use Paid and Organic Search Together to increase conversion.  When the search engine results page shows your company name in more than one place, it shows that you are a market leader.  
  2. Fully track website conversions on paid ads to get a sense of what Keywords are bringing you new customers.  It is not enough just to generate website traffic, but also to make sure that the traffic you generate results in new customers.  Track phone calls using call tracking phone numbers or services like Call Rail.  Contact forms and requests for quotes can be tracked through website analytics.  Google Ads Tracking Codes are effective in tracking conversions through Google Ads.
  3. Long Tailed Keywords for Voice Search on mobile devices (eg.”Pizza Parlor with Online Ordering and Delivery”).  Most of our clients see mobile searches be 40-60% of their total search traffic.  Long Tailed Keywords are very important, especially for local businesses and those who have significant percentages of customers 35 Years Old and younger. 

Eric Van Cleave is the Digital Director of Zenergy Works, A Santa Rosa California based SEO and Digital Marketing firm. 

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