Comparison of Keywords with the Stages of Customer Journey

Keyword analysis often causes difficulties for specialists, but this can be corrected. SiteActive translated the column CEO of the Marketing Mojo Agency Janet Driscoll Miller where she shares tips on finding keywords, comparing them with the desired content and analyzing their effectiveness.


When it comes to organic search, keywords form the basis of the whole complex of measures aimed at search optimization. They help us to understand what information we want to see on the search results page.

Needless to say, marketers are aware of the importance of effective keyword analysis. In a study conducted in November 2016 by Ascend2, it was determined that keyword analysis was the first line in the list of tactical SEO measures, but more than a third of respondents admitted that for them it was a difficult task.


Data from the Ascend2 study on SEO. November 2016

Nevertheless, keyword analysis does not necessarily have to be difficult. Keywords are just words and phrases that customers use when searching for products and services more often than other words and phrases. All we need is to try to think like our customers and potential customers, and it’s best to start with people.

Binding Keywords to People

Persons are profiles that often contain demographic and psychographic information. They allow you to find out all the necessary information from the geographic location of the potential client to the social events in which he participates. To create a purchasing person and improve the understanding of your potential customers, it is recommended to start with people who have already purchased your goods or services. So, what are your customers like today?

Refer to your customer list. Study the position, age, field of activity and geographical position of each of them. Some data can be directly obtained in the customer registration cards. For example, if you sell sneakers, you probably have shipping addresses and zip codes for your customers. Determine the geographical area in which your indicators are better than others.

Try not to be limited only to the data you collect and collect information from social networks. For example, if you provide business services, visit the profiles of your customers on social networks. They contain useful and detailed information that is publicly available. Do you see any patterns? Pay attention to their work experience, position and department, listed in their profile on LinkedIn.

You can also upload your client list to the Audience Insights tool from Facebook to find out what characteristics of your target audience are known to this social network.


As soon as you study your target audience, try to stand in the place of your potential customers. What keywords should your target audience use to find your products?

Comparison of keywords with the purchase cycle

Do not rely on keywords or phrases that are too general or too narrow a sphere of use. Instead, it’s best to go the entire way of the buyer, using different keywords. When a person is at the beginning of a journey, he can ask questions and enter search queries of a broader nature, but as the buyer moves on to his goal (purchase), questions and inquiries become more specific. Let’s look at an example with sneakers. At the very beginning of the purchase process, at the stage of comparing the goods, the woman could use such requests:

  • Sneakers for Women
  • The best running shoes for women
  • Dark blue sneakers

This is the stage of awareness, i.e. The client searches for information about the different variants corresponding to his main criteria.

As he moves farther and farther and gets more information about the options and brands available, the search is likely to become more specific, and the user will begin to pay attention to more specific characteristics, for example:

  • Women’s sneakers for long distances
  • Sneakers Asics versus New Balance
  • Sneakers Asics Kayano
  • Compare Sneakers Asics

Now we are at the stage of comparison, i.e. The user compares different brands and their features to understand what kind of shoes he needs.

And, finally, the circle of search may narrow to a specific model that appealed to him:

  • Sneakers Asics GT-1000 4 women’s dark

The next phase is the purchase. The user knows exactly what he wants, limiting the search to a specific model and color as much as possible.

Ideally, it is best to apply a combination of keywords used at all stages of the purchase cycle to attract and convert customers through organic search.

Keyword Search

But how do you know which keywords are appropriate for the different stages of the purchase cycle? Imagine that you are a client who is at the stage of awareness. What questions would you ask? Find the keywords that reflect the questions that potential customers might have and the answers to them.

An excellent way to start searching for keywords is Google Suggest. For example, using the Keyword Tool Dominator tool, you can see search queries that are similar to the query “women’s sneakers” according to Google Suggest:


We selected specific queries from the list on the left and added them to the list on the right to narrow the search. Depending on what people are looking for in the search engine, you can see questions based on keywords:

  • Where to buy sneakers?
  • What are the best running shoes?
  • Which sneakers are best for my knees?
  • Which sneakers have better support for the ankle?
  • Which sneakers have the best instep support?
  • Which sneakers are better for walking?

There are many tools for analyzing keywords, so choose the ones that you like most, and create your own list of keywords. You can also use keywords with the best conversion according to your content profile. If certain keywords have a good conversion within contextual advertising, it’s worth using them for organic search.

Comparison of keywords with content

Now that we’ve learned the questions people ask during the search, and the keywords that correspond to these questions, you need to match these keywords to the content of your site that answers them. To do this, you may need to refill your site.

As an example, consider the question of footwear for running and hiking. You can post a publication on the blog site dedicated to such shoes, and conduct field tests to check shoes in action and to see if it fits your purpose. You can insert in the text of the publication links that lead to pages devoted to the products so that readers can purchase the footwear described by you.

Measuring the effectiveness of keywords

After dedicating a lot of time to studying key words, you may have a question – how to measure the effectiveness of each keyword in organic search? However, you are disappointed here – in fact, it is impossible to reliably measure the effectiveness of keywords in the organic.

Over the past few years, Google and Bing have decided to encrypt search queries, i.e. Data is no longer passed to analytical platforms, such as Google Analytics.

Using data from a Google Analytics report as the basis for developing your own list of keywords will be a mistake, as a large percentage of organic keywords are not displayed. In our case, about 94% of the data for the selected organic keywords for the last month was hidden:


Google Search Console data can be useful in many ways, since this resource really shows the actual requests of people used to find your site, and also displays your rating, clickability rate and not only. Russ Jones wrote an excellent article on the reliability of Google Search Console data, in which I would like to highlight two points:

1. Organic search results that appear in Google Search Console are just an example of all the data, and we can not exactly tell what percentage of all the data is included in this example.

2. The data are averaged over a certain time interval. If you had high positions on a specific request a month ago, this does not mean that the situation has not changed today. Due to the averaging, the data can only indicate that your positions are somewhere in the middle between what was a month ago and today.

How to be in this situation? Alternatively, you can use one keyword or phrase per page to focus on a specific topic. If you follow pages with specific keywords, use analytics to track the dynamics of organic traffic on a particular page. Does organic traffic increase? Your goal is to increase traffic to increase conversion. Therefore, if you are able to attract more organic traffic to a particular page, you are on the right track, and most likely, a significant role in your success was played by keyword analysis and content change.


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