The Keyword Discovery Process For Enterprise Sites

The keyword discovery process is critical for managing enterprise projects, as it forms the bedrock of brand messaging in search and social for large-scale websites or multiple brand sites under one corporate umbrella. This process is similar to keyword discovery for smaller sites; however, the difference in scale makes the process more complex. There are […]

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The keyword discovery process is critical for managing enterprise projects, as it forms the bedrock of brand messaging in search and social for large-scale websites or multiple brand sites under one corporate umbrella. This process is similar to keyword discovery for smaller sites; however, the difference in scale makes the process more complex.

keywordsThere are three main steps you need to take when preparing for Enterprise Keyword Discovery:

  1. Incorporate the social voice of the customer into your keyword and content research. This ensures that your page content is relevant and timely for users searching for solutions.
  2. Identify the specific webpages that are most relevant to those keywords.
  3. Determine what landing pages are likely to have the strongest impact on visiting consumers, or are in need of content changes and/or complete overhauls.

Mining For Keywords

As every experienced SEO knows, integrating with Google’s Keyword Tool is not enough as relying on Google presents a challenge. Not only is it a limited source of data, but if everyone is using Google’s Keyword Tool, then you have limited opportunity to differentiate yourself from the competition.

You need a tool that integrates with many other “sources” as well, such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Competitive Pages, Link Hubs and your Paid Search campaigns. Integrating with other data sources, including Social, is becoming more and more important as we continue to see social signals playing a larger role in the SERPs.

Though I cannot speak to the data sources for all keyword discovery products, it appears Rio SEO integrates APIs for various social sources. It also appears their product supports categorization and filtering capabilities to help manage large numbers of keywords, which is important, as organization is critical for the enterprise keyword discovery process.

Keyword Suggestions From Social Sources

Incorporating keyword suggestions from Social sources such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube helps to ensure that the keywords you target include the same “jargon” that your target audience uses to refer to your products or non-branded terms within the industry.

Example: I’m reminded of a conversation with a large PC Manufacturer where their SEO Manager was trying to help identify the best non-branded targeted keywords for one of their PC models. High query volume keywords such as “laptop” or “desktop” were too broad and offered no differentiation from any other PC model they offered. As part of his research, the SEO manager went to the Web to see how their customers (people who had bought this particular model) were referring to this product.

Surprisingly, he saw that many had converted this PC to run and store all of their home entertainment media. This was a new application for that model and one he was not even aware of until he looked at the “voice of the customer” to understand how his target audience was referring to this product. Immediately, he took this information to help craft the product page to incorporate keywords like [PC media center], which allowed him to target a new type of searcher for that product.

Keyword Suggestions For Video

Video can boost your listings, increase engagement and improve conversion rates. Enterprise organizations can tell consumers what they want to know about their products in real time and in the most engaging, informative manner through video. Not only that, video results are effective in the SERPs because they include thumbnails that grab search real estate and attract eyeballs.

  • Embed relevant product information in the video so search crawlers understand what the video is about.
  • Provide the video with a descriptive title in accordance with the H1 title of that webpage.
  • Add video metadata such as video length, video dimensions, video thumbnail and video transcript (text of the video).
  • Add keywords to the video that correspond to the keywords of the webpage.
  • Create videos on all your major products to increase the chances of being found online.
  • Target long-tail keywords that generate significantly more traffic and a very targeted audience.
  • Create a video sitemap describing all the videos embedded in the site to help Google discover and index each video.
  • Videos embedded on the site should have SEO-friendly, clean URLs including the video format file extension relevant to the video (i.e., .FLV, .WMV and .AVI).

If your goal is to create a video on a specific subject, you need to focus on YouTube suggestions for keyword discovery rather than Google’s Keyword Tool.

Example: YouTube offers keyword suggestions in a way that’s similar to the Google AdWords Tool. Creating a page with a video on it would benefit from understanding how to optimize that page for people specifically searching for videos.

Take T-Mobile’s iPhone 5 campaign. The term [iPhone 5] on the Google Keyword Tool suggested that users search Google for information around price, speed, specs and accessories, etc. Looking at the keyword suggestion for YouTube, however, returns results around reviews, parodies and unboxings (a popular video among gadget geeks that shows the unveiling of the product from its packaging along with accessories and instructions).

When creating a video of your product, you should understand the differences between how someone searches on Google vs. how they might search differently on other mediums like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, etc.

Consistency In Messaging

You also have the ability to focus on your company’s Twitter and Facebook feeds, which can be helpful to ensure a consistent marketing message for your company across both webpage (SEO) and social channels.


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Again, as SEO and social come together, having consistency in the content of your marketing message is crucial.

Page Mapping

page mapping A page-based SEO approach rather than a keyword-driven approach is frequently used to target the most appropriate keywords in your important pages.

The page-based approach requires analysis of all the SEO factors affecting the rank of a page for targeted keywords, and then optimizing those factors.

Focusing on page-based keyword optimization can help your most important pages be quickly and easily found. Identifying the right keywords is the first step; and then, matching those keywords to the URL of your most important pages is the next step in this process.

  • You must be able to run audits of the pages on your site to help suggest which URL’s (pages) are candidates to be optimized for each newly discovered keyword.
  • You also must be able to call out the need when content is light, and new content creation is necessary.

Content Inspiration

The SEO process today is still focused on keywords and pages, but also entails more, especially as we begin to focus more on Content Marketing. SEO managers should be thinking pre-production, and they need to be a part of the content creation process to inject SEO techniques into the marketing and website strategy before and during the creation of the content.

This process will help to call out new content creation ideas and identify where content gaps exist. In his recent article Co-Citation and Co-Occurrence – The Next Big Thing In SEO, Haris Bacic stated, and I concur…

“…co-occurrence does not associate two sites altogether. Instead, co-occurrence refers to the association of some particular phrases – or more specifically, important keywords – that come in close proximity to each other. This close proximity of important keywords develops an association and relation that are understandable by Google as an important search engine factor.”

Creating quality content worth mentioning on the Web — content with socially redeeming value — is an important asset moving forward.

Marketing Department Input

Allowing Paid Search marketers, social marketers, product owners, offline marketers and merchandisers to see your keyword data and provide input will strengthen your marketing message consistency and helps provide quantifiable metrics suggesting what terms or concepts should be focused on the most, given consumer/end user demand. Your most important quantifiable metric is going to be query volume, which comes from the Google Keyword Tool.

Most keyword tracking software tools offer this metric, and it acts as an indicator of content demand and needs. Software running content audit checks and scoring them to show how “relevant” that page is in terms of SEO against a targeted keyword is another valuable, quantifiable metric.

Keyword Governance

One unique challenge to Enterprise programs is the sheer volume of keywords and managing the “ownership” of these keywords. That’s where Keyword Governance comes into play. Think about a company like Intel. It could be argued that a great number of the pages on their site need to target the keyword [processor]. Pretty much all of them, right?

However, if every page targets the term, Google Yahoo! and Bing may only allow one or two pages to show up in the SERPs. That means thousands of webpages have missed their mark, never showing up for critical, non-branded terms.

Establishing a level of “keyword governance” or keyword “arbitration” is the first step. This is a process for different stakeholders in the company to determine who owns each critical term. That allows different groups to focus on other keywords to create a larger “blanket of coverage” with the total number of keywords their program actively targets.

Keyword Discovery Tools For Enterprise SEO

Due to the large number of such tools available, I apologize in advance if your tool is not included in this short list of examples. That said, it seems logical to share my knowledge about a few keyword tools, allowing you to take this research further if you like. Note: I do not receive revenue from the sale of any SEO tools mentioned in this article. Considering a few of the above key points, e.g., Keyword Mining, Page Mapping and Content Inspiration, there are several tools that come to mind; but again, this list is not exhaustive.

  • Keyword Discovery offers a large database of search queries from many different search engines around the world to find what people are searching for and which search terms generate the most traffic. The tool claims to help you expand your keyword lists to identify possible search terms that may not always be obvious.
  • Rio SEO offers keyword discovery automation starting with a list of keywords; the system will examine the competitive landscape, social media and traditional search data sources for voice-of-the-customer keyword discovery. The tool claims to gather the metrics to help make decisions around the highest opportunity keywords. It uses workflow to help guide a user through the discovery process and also help map company landing pages to each targeted term.
  • SEMRush offers analysis of your competitor(s) keywords or target audience for use in your organic and AdWords campaigns. You can gather lists of related keywords to see the common keywords used by both your domain and your competitors’. In theory, use your collected lists of the best keywords for site optimization. SEMRush also offers an API for implementation into Adword Accelerator and your own projects and graphs. It reports by domain, URL, Keyword, Trends, Rank and allows export.
  • Wordstream offers a keyword tool with suggestions and claims to provide a constantly updated database. In theory, you can discover your most profitable pockets of keyword opportunities by dropping in a list of keywords or analytics data, getting back an organized keyword structure ready for relevant PPC and SEO campaigns.

As keyword discovery is the bedrock to brand messaging in enterprise-level sites, be sure to create a keyword discovery process that facilitates the inclusion of social content and customer jargon into your website messaging, making it easier for customers to find you in the SERPs.

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About the author

Paul Bruemmer
Paul Bruemmer is Managing Partner at PB Communications LLC. Specializing in SaaS solutions for Enterprise Store Locator/Finders, Semantic/Organic/Local/Mobile and SEO Diagnostic Audits for increasing online and in-store foot traffic.

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