The white paper Where to begin – the discovery phase, published by Hydra, a provider of Software-as-a-Service marketing technology, says digital marketing teams simply do not have the resources to conduct keyword research thoroughly, which is vital to the success of digital marketing campaigns. Moreover, monitoring and keeping up to date with terms as they change is almost a mission impossible.

“Keyword research makes the difference between the vendor’s goods and services being immediately visible to the searcher or their being swallowed up and lost in the myriad of returned search results,” says Ruth Zohrer, solutions consultant at Hydra. “Ultimately, the lack of thorough keyword research can prove costly as it leads to vendors failing to maximise on the online opportunity both in terms of directing potential sales leads/traffic to their site and garnering revenues from the online channel.”

Although the Hydra survey engaged only 300 UK-based digital marketers, it can be used as a benchmark on how digital marketing teams currently operate, based on collaboration, use of technologies and competitor analysis.

Asked how current they feel their teams are at handling new keyword trends, less than half (42%) of the UK-based digital marketers indicated they feel they are ‘on trend’ when it comes to keyword trends. However, one of the greatest contrasts highlighted by the survey involved new words or expressions being used in the market. Asked whether they know which are worth spending time and money on, over half (55%) of the respondents said ‘No’.

With the uncertainty surrounding return on investment (ROI) from keywords reaching their target audience and handling new keyword trends, it is unsurprising that over 70% of Hydra's survey respondents specified that if they had more time to spend, they would review the keywords or phrases in their campaigns much more regularly.

According to Hydra’s white paper, any new Natural Search project is challenging as it has to identify the most relevant search terms potential customers will use when they go online to find the products or services the vendor is promoting on its site. Next is keyword-page mapping, a valuable exercise which allows the vendor to understand how its site and the target keywords relate and highlights any gaps that may need to be addressed for optimum performance in search engines for a specific term. Once the effort that each keyword will demand is known, they can be prioritized based on the size of the opportunity they offer. In essence, does the potential reward warrant the spent in that specific keyword?

“Completing the discovery phase thoroughly, however, is an onerous process for which most Natural Search specialists today employ multiple technology solutions to help speed up certain steps,” says Zohrer. “As such, even when the discovery phase is undertaken by the same person, the process and its outcome may vary significantly. At Hydra, we have considered this problem quite carefully and developed an intelligent solution to fill this gap through Hydra’s One platform WordBank.”

The One platform enables enterprise marketers to strategically and proactively monitor, report and participate in the conversation that existing and potential customers are having about their brand online, gathering the collective requests and feedback of marketing executives, digital specialists, and agency professionals, One from Hydra is focused on driving revenue and return on investment (ROI) through integrated, efficient and optimized management and implementation of Phrase Marketing campaigns across online disciplines - Natural Search, Paid Search and Social Media.

Through the One platform’s WordBank, Hydra simplifies:

  • Collating keyword lists from multiple sources;
  • Expanding and grouping your keyword targets with auto-suggestions and templates;
  • Mapping and ranking keyword-page pairs by automatically identifying and sorting the best matches;
  • Prioritizing keyword opportunities for you to make informed decisions on how to spend your online marketing budget;
  • Reporting on on-going performance for each keyword across different metrics

“The discovery phase is essential in ensuring campaign goals are met within budget and within a reasonable timeframe to prevent costly mistakes like targeting the wrong keywords or overlooking your own site’s limitations” Zohrer concludes.

(Source: Hydra)

By Daniela La Marca

Download the full copy of Hydra’s White Paper “Where to begin – the discovery phase