Why Search Data Shouldn’t Stop with Your Marketing Team
Data-driven decision making is a hot topic these days with company after company boasting about their "data-driven strategy" value differentiator. A quick Google search inundates you with analytics and big data companies preaching their methodology and approach to creating data-first systems and processes. But what these guides often don't mention is the importance of wading through the dozens, and sometimes hundreds, of data sources available to companies to put together meaningful action items.
Existing customer data will always be a great source of insights for informing your business decisions. However, there's a resource that your marketing team regularly uses that can, and should, be added into the mix when making those decisions: keyword data.
Keyword data comes in a few forms. In its most common form, it shows the average monthly volume for a particular term or query being searched for in Google. This information comes from a tool called Google Keyword Planner, a part of the Google Ads platform. This article will mostly refer to the capabilities available in Keyword Planner. However, there are a few other platforms that offer some great information, including:
- Google Trends
- ahrefs (requires subscription)
- SEMrush (requires subscription)
What Makes Keyword Data Valuable?
- It's FREE! Access to Keyword Planner only requires a Google account. Google will, of course, try to get you to run some campaigns, but you can skip spending and still use the Keyword Planner.
- When we, as users, search on Google, we don't lie. Even if you use the Incognito mode, the search is still logged.
- Keyword data provides rock-solid evidence on how prospects label/word their needs or wanted solutions. This information enables companies to stay up-to-date on how consumers and industries are evolving, specifically regarding syntax and terminology.
- In Keyword Planner, you can segment data by location for more meaningful data across your business' different operational regions.
- Get some of that gold data by being able to look at the search terms related to your top competitors, including their branded terms.
Applying Keyword Data Outside of Marketing
Customer Service and Sales
The shortest leap from marketing inevitably lands at Customer Service and Sales departments. While these teams often work toward similar goals and (should) support each other, often there's little communication about the insights each department has gained during their day-to-day operations. To get the conversation started, here's an easy idea of how to effectively share keyword data:
- Conduct keyword research about your brand and product names. What are some of the top questions or complaints that are appearing in search data? These topics make prime candidates for any documentation for current customers or training sessions with the sales team.
- Do the same with competitors to give your team an edge.
The same data that's gathered to empower the customer service and sales teams can also be shared with the product management team and utilized for creating user stories and feature roadmaps.
Product teams can also use keyword data to forecast future interest by looking at what terms have recently gained attention. This is particularly true for industries with longer sales processes. Using this data (and often coupled with social listening data) enables manufacturers to predict trends with time to properly arm their distributors.
One of the most effective ways to use marketing data that is entirely out of the scope of marketing is for employee onboarding. Introducing insights from marketing data can educate new employees on your industry's specific jargon, as well as shorten the time it takes them to understand your company value differentiators and how those stack up against the competition. This type of environment helps to encourage a spirit of innovation and growth as well.
The above are just a few examples of how search data can be leveraged to make better, smarter decisions throughout your business. Search data is also only one source. Social listening, web analytics and paid advertising data are more sources that companies already have access to that can educate the company on how to navigate their industry intelligently.
What other applications do you see for search data? I'd love to hear from you! Tweet us @neboagency to let us know.