Keywords are the life blood of all things Digital Marketing. They are the words and phrases that people use in their search queries. And they are the words and phrases that you need to target in all your digital marketing efforts.
That is what I will discuss in this post. A brief idea of what kinds of keywords there are and how you can generate them. And there will be a sweet bonus waiting for you at the end. So, if you want to grab your bonus, keep reading till the end!
Keywords – the basic idea
You may be familiar with the basic idea of keywords; however I feel a quick brush-up is always a good idea. Say you’re searching for interior design services in your area on Google. How does Google know which webpages to return as results for your query?
Well, who better to explain than the Chief Executive Officer of Google LLC – Sundar Pichai?
To quote Mr Pichai (this is from a Congressional hearing)
‘We as Google we’ve crawled, we’ve gone out and crawled and stored copies of billions of webpages in our index. And we take the keyword and match it against webpages and rank them based on over 200 signals…things like relevance, freshness, popularity, how other people are using it and based on that at any given time we try to rank and find the best results for that query.’
In other words, Google’s algorithms compare the content of webpages with the search query and rank the search results based on that. So, you understand that if you can embed the exact terms people are using on Google – the keywords – within your webpage, Google will find it relevant to search queries.
What are the different kinds of keywords?
There are 3 types of keywords based on what aspect you’re trying to accomplish with the keyword.
Brand keywords – keywords in which your brand name appears.
Direct Money Keywords – keywords that can directly lead to a monetary transaction.
Indirect Money Keywords – keywords that may or may not lead to a monetary transaction/do not directly lead to a monetary transaction.
A brand keyword includes your brand name, whether completely or partially.
These are the keywords that will bring you the most value. Why? They directly boost your brand presence.
Think about it – if someone is searching for ‘Alpha Interiors’, it’s very likely they want to discuss a project with that firm or they want to interview the owner or something like that. All of which will get more people talking about and being exposed to your brand.
What kind of format would such keywords take?
[Your Brand Name], [Your Brand Name] + [Your City], [Your Brand Name] + [Your State], [Partial Brand Name*] + ‘Interior Design’
* For example, say you’ve named your firm ‘Nordic Curves’ (silly, I know, but just play along for this example), a brand keyword could be ‘Curves Interior Design’ or ‘Nordic Interior Design’.
A final word on brand keywords. Many experts say it doesn’t make a lot of sense to invest in paid ads for brand keyword searches. In a way that makes sense, since as I just pointed out, a brand keyword search indicates an interest in your brand so an ad targeting a brand keyword could be ‘preaching to the converted’.
However, I think that it still makes excellent sense to target brand keyword searches with ads.
- It’s cheap to target – since the only traffic to your brand would be yourself and perhaps some competitors trying to poach your search traffic.
- Speaking of, paid ads help you cover more real estate in the search results page which boosts your brand presence and shrinks the opportunity for your competitors to poach your search traffic.
- You can drive traffic right into your visitor funnel.
- It allows you to capture high quality leads right at the brink of conversion.
Let’s see one such ad in action.
As you can see, the ad allows the designer to capture valuable space in the result page and deny that space to her competitors. It also boosts her brand and makes it all the more prominent and credible to the person who’s doing the search.
Direct money keywords
Direct money keywords are those that are clearly aimed at booking a consultation (which is or will lead to a monetary transaction).
Please note the difference with brand keywords here. The keyword is a general search term and does not include your brand. However, it is clearly aimed at a financial action (booking a call).
Now, you may say that you don’t charge for an initial consultation call but the idea here is that once they talk with you they will convert into a paying client.
For example, an interior designer based in Vancouver who specializes in restaurant design may target the keyword ‘Restaurant interior design Vancouver’. The query does not refer to any specific brand but is specific enough for you to bet that the person making it has a commercial intent, that is a design project that needs to be awarded, in mind.
Once again, let’s look at such a search in action.
Here are the PPC ads that appeared in the results for the query ‘restaurant interior designer new york’.
Note how each ad mentions the positive points about the company, discounts available, stuff like that. This shows that these ads are aimed at getting the viewer to book a call with the respective firms.
Indirect money keywords
Indirect money keywords are those that directly do not have commercial intent. However, an indirect money keyword search may lead to commercial action being taken.
For example if I were to search for ‘how to design my living room’, I could be just looking for DIY advice, or even just whiling away my time.
On the other hand, it is possible that I’ll be so impressed by how a particular interior designer has described the design process, say, on Quora that I will hire him or her to actually design my living room.
As I said it may lead to a commercial action being taken but not directly.
All of this may sound very random, like I’m just making stuff up.
And it is…if you don’t know what you’re doing.
To make things easy for you, I’ve created a tool that will help you with it. But before I introduce the tool, let’s go over the basic aspects of keyword research.
Are there any tools that Interior Designers can use to find out what keywords they need to target?
You bet there are!
If you’re just starting out, allow me to suggest Ubersuggest.
Ubersuggest presents keyword data in 3 sections.
This is a overview section which gives you an idea of the search volume, how difficult it will be to rank for the keyword you’re looking for and a CPC estimate.
The next section gives you an idea of how the search volume for your keyword has been varying over the last year.
And the last section is devoted to listing out alternative or related keywords, with their performance indicators like search volume, CPC and an estimate of competition in paid and organic searches.
Of course, every service will have their own way of presenting data. I have attached these screenshots just as an example to give you an idea of how keyword research tools work and what kind of data they can give you.
What are good keywords for PPC and SEO for Interior Designers?
When doing keyword research, you should consider all the various kind of keywords, which we discussed above.
We’re inching close to the promised tool – KRAFT – and I will reveal it to you…right after I show you a few typical keyword formats.
- [Your Brand]
- [Your Brand] + [Your Street/Locality]
- [Your Brand] + [Your City]
- [Your Brand] Interior Design
- [Your Brand] Residential Design
- [Your Brand] Commercial Design
- [Your Brand] other service (like architecture, furniture design etc if you offer any such services)
- [Your Brand] specific kind of commercial design (like office design, restaurant design, depending on what particular commercial design services you would like to emphasize, if any)
- [Your Brand] Exterior Design
- Interior Design Consultant
- Interior Design Company Near Me
- Interior Decoration Company Near Me
- Full Service Design Company Near Me (if you are a full service firm)
- Home Design
- Living Room Design
- Kitchen Design
- Bathroom Design
- Exterior Design
- Landscaping (if you offer this service)
- Hotel Design
- Motel Design
- Office Design
My intention here is not to scare you away from keyword research but to make you aware of how keywords are formed.
As you can see, there are some patterns you can follow.
For example you need to definitely target your brand name with keywords. Your own brand is where you’re king, so target this from every possible aspect, going from your particular street to city to state.
If you offer online consultation – which means you can potentially work with clients from all over the world – make sure to target that.
Of course you don’t work with clients all over the world (since chances are you are not familiar with aesthetics and lifestyles of everybody in the world) but there could be particular regions within which you consult. For example, say you offer consulting services throughout the Midwest. Then target that. Of if there’s a particular design style you’re good at, target that.
So you target your brand name, you target your location, you target the online consultation space and you target specific design styles.
Next come the more generic keywords like ‘Interior Designer Near Me’, which is a very common search. Competition will be intense in this space (since so many designers are competing for the same keyword) but you still need to make your presence felt here.
And then come the specific services that you offer, like Exterior Design, Living Room Design, Office Space Design, followed by other kinds of services you may offer, like Architecture, Landscaping and so on.
We have arrived.
The Keyword Research And Framing Tool.
What exactly does KRAFT do?
KRAFT takes the guesswork out of keyword formation by asking you for some basic information about your Interior Design business and then releasing a list of keywords which are personalized for your business, based on the information you provide.
How much does it cost?
0 dollars and 0 cents. So make sure you pay us the correct amount for using KRAFT.
How is KRAFT used?
Visit this LINK and make a copy of the KRAFT spreadsheet in your own Google Drive. Without your own copy you may not be able to use the tool.
In the #1 – Start Here tab, you will be asked for your brand name, your city and your country.
Enter this information and hit the ‘See Generated Keywords Here’ button.
Please ensure that you only type in the blank fields, as is shown in the following clip. If you type elsewhere the tool won’t work.
Once you hit the ‘See Generated Keywords Here’ button, you will be taken to the ‘#2 – Keyword Generator’ tab where you can see all the keywords relevant for your Interior Design business, neatly sub-divided into various categories.
Now you have your very own list of keywords that you can target with you SEO and PPC efforts. Good luck!
I see three columns in the #2 tab. Why 3 columns?
Well, we have divided the keywords into various categories, as I just told you. The ‘Keyword Group’ column denotes which category each keyword belongs to. Why this matters I’ll reveal momentarily.
‘Generated Keywords’ is the list of keywords that you should target with your SEO efforts.
‘AdWords Keywords’ is the list of keywords that you should target with your PPC efforts.
The basic keywords in ‘Generated Keywords’ and ‘AdWords Keywords’ is the same but the ‘AdWords Keywords’ have been formatted to represent the ‘match type’ or ‘keyword type’ that AdWords requires.
I don’t know what ‘keyword type’ is.
AdWords matches user searches to your ads and places ads accordingly. Now, user searches vary vastly.
‘Interior Design in NY’ and ‘NY Interior Designer’ and ‘Interior Designer in New York’ have the same search intent but are totally different keywords.
And there is no way you can guess all such variances. You may not even want to target all the various permutations and combinations.
To help you deal with that, AdWords came up with the concept of ‘keyword type’ or ‘match type’. These are differentiated by placing various symbols in front of each word within the keyword – and that is why we have a separate column for the AdWords Keywords.
Exact Match – Your ads will be shown to people making exactly the same search as your chosen keyword.
Represented as [NY Interior Design].
Someone searching for ‘New York Interior Design’ will not see your ad. Only someone searching for ‘NY Interior Design’ will see your ad.
Phrase Match – Your ads will be shown to people making searches that are either exact matches to your keywords or are slight variations of it.
Represented as “NY Interior Design”.
Someone searching for ‘Affordable NY Interior Design’ would be able to see your ad. But someone searching for ‘Interior Designer based in New York’ would not be able to see your ad.
Broad Match – Your ad will be shown to anyone making a search that bears any similarity to your keywords.
Represented as the plain/SEO version of the keyword without any symbols, that is, just NY Interior Design.
So someone searching for ‘Restaurant Designer based in Nw York’ (includes a lot of other words, does not have the word ‘Interior’ and includes a spelling error but you can guess it’s a similar search intent) would be shown your ad.
Broad Match Modifier – Your ads will be shown to anyone making a search that includes all the words in your keyword but with some variations like spelling errors, abbreviations and so on.
Represented by placing a ‘+’ in front of each word in your keyword, that is ‘+NY +Interior +Designer’.
So someone searching for ‘New York Interior Designer’ would see your ad but someone searching for ‘NY Home Designer’ would not.
‘Broad Match Modifier’ is the keyword type I recommend and that’s the preset type. You can change it if you want to.
But whatever type you choose, the AdWords Keywords column will modify accordingly and you can just copy the keywords and paste them into your AdWords campaign.
Why are the various keyword groups like ‘Brand, ‘Near Me’ important?
It’s a logical categorization of keywords and you can create ads based on each group.
Is it necessary to use all the keywords generated by KRAFT?
Your SEO and PPC campaigns should be designed by you and you only. What keywords you need are best decided by you.
KRAFT only generates an exhaustive list of keywords for you to choose from.
I hope you enjoy KRAFTing your keywords and using them in your marketing campaigns.