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Are keywords market-shares?

The Internet offers so many opportunities to mathematically create world-views that can help us make marketing decisions on expected sales and where they’d be coming from. I’ve often told clients using my SEO services that the number of keywords they’d use in their websites would influence sales volume. And of course, this was never doubted by anyone. But many still want only very few keywords taken from the very many that are actively searched for…

Are Keywords Market-Shares?

The Internet offers so many opportunities to mathematically create world-views that can help us make marketing decisions on expected sales and where they’d be coming from.

English: Junior-Enterprises in France - Market...
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I’ve often told clients using my SEO services that the number of keywords they’d use in their websites would influence sales volume. And of course, this was never doubted by anyone. But many still want only very few keywords taken from the very many that are actively searched for –i.e. long-trail keywords, and such. They chose to continue to ignore the still-valid sales obtained from these long-tail keywords, as if they didn’t believe that customers were in fact searching for their product or service through so many different keywords.

For example, the keyword “Laptops sales” is shown to have more than 750 variations with those two terms alone, but yet, some Laptop sellers might want to fight amongst themselves – at a very high cost, to only sell to potential customers using maybe only 10, 50, or even 100 keywords amongst the toughest ones to get good positions for. Google brings back 249,000,000 webpages for “Laptops sales.” So, what must one have to do, and at what cost, to be amongst the first three websites brought back by Big Brother G?

Fighting to the Death for 2% of a Market

I feel that so many SEOers and Business Owners haven’t looked at keywords under that light yet and, like their customers, keep running after the bigger ones, ignoring low lying fruits, which when translated into traditional Business lingo, means catering to more market shares instead of being satisfied of, or fighting to death for, let’s say, 2% of a market.

In this context, Market Shares are not Market Segments. The latter covers Population Segmentation according to age, sex, schooling, revenue, marital status, geolocalization, etc… Traditional Market Identities, segmented according to grouping factors.

I see KEYWORD Market Shares as something else. They are directly related to SEO work and sales. They concern all potential Web customers searching for the SAME specific product and/or service… usually in a set time frame.

Leaving Paying Customers on the Sidewalk

So let’s say that 1M searches per month occur in a country, by adding all individual searches relating to a specific market/product like “laptops sales”.

We can then say that:

  • 1 M people a month are searching for “laptops sales” opportunities;
  • There are might be more or less 1,000 different keywords that have something to do with “laptops sales”, such as laptop sales, buy laptops, cheap laptops, purchase laptops, selling laptops, etc.*

* Says Google KeywordFinder (Adjusted by + 30-35% not covered by G Searches.)

On another hand, a reasonable assumption would be to consider the, let’s say, 15,000 monthly searches for “buy laptops” to NOT come from the same people as those hypothetical 12,000 searching for “laptop sales”. These only two keywords would then represent a total of 27,000 searches to (possibly) purchase that product.

A website exploiting only 100 “Laptops sales” related keywords out of the, let’s say 1,000 that could be used by all 1M potential customers, may only be factually using 10% of all “Laptops sales” KEYWORD Market Shares (100 out of 1,000), while still be capable of reaching (or exposing itself to) lets say 30% of all 1M people in that market using those 100 (most-important) keywords related to “Laptops sales” in that month’s time-frame.

Then, the last 900 “Laptops sales” related keywords would then represent 70% of all searches for “laptops” sales NOT exploited by that website –thus not being able to sell Laptops to these roughly 750,000 potential customers actively looking for “Laptops sales”.

So, in this example…:

  • 10% of overall “Laptops” KEYWORD Market Shares = 100 keywords out of 1,000 = 30% of 1M people (= X revenue if ROI is considered)
  • 90% of overall “Laptops” KEYWORD Market Shares = 900 keywords out of 1,000 = 70% of 1M people (= X revenue if potential ROI is to be considered)

That’s what I’M calling them KEYWORD Market Shares.

With these numbers, SEO work makes its case pretty nicely, and makes more sense to Business people –their customers, looking for valid sales numbers on which to apply their R.O.I criteria.

Yes of course, there are gray areas where SALES LEVELS are NOT necessarily the same behind each or all keywords or may represent different conversion rates. This should also be looked at when determining an SEO-ROI strategy.

Sales volumes are one thing, like Conversion Rates from X numbers of visitors (CPM-CPA). But overall Future Sales Potential can also be looked at through ratios, I feel, as well as volumes, especially when high ROI is preferable to much lower ROI gotten through high acquisition-costs for high-volume sales … and many clients agree if they take the time to go through the math.

Sometimes, Being “The Real Thing” isn’t Enough

In a quite a different setting, Pepsi® did just that last year, in my local market. They stopped selling their huge pop bottle at ridiculously low prices competing with Coke®, brought their prices way up and seriously raised year-to-year earnings while seriously lowering sales volumes. This sales strategy capitalized on their Branding Cycle and these big guys were killing themselves for years through straight competition while not seeing great profit from doing just that. Coke® appeared to do the same thing.

Now, are pop and petrol the same? That’s another question…

Purchasing Intention : The First Sales Criteria Going in the Right Direction

Business people do understand the overall concept behind it -that each keyword may or does possess a certain SALES POTENTIAL, which in SEO work is also looked at when trying to decipher if certain keywords DO or DON’T relate to purchasing intentions. (Laptops Purchase vs. Laptops configuration, Laptops batteries, cases, etc.)

Of course, few companies would cover 100% of all Keyword Market Shares… BUT many business owner wants to sell, sell, sell to anyone ready to buy, no matter how close or remote the sale actually is or seems to be (i.e. Sales Temperature)

Knowing that, allowing for new optimized Keywords per sales-cycle (Month, year, season, ROI / Revenue reached, etc.) is a great upselling strategy that businesses and SEO’s have a lot of success with when really looking at how wildly diversified the actual demand is on the Web. And that’s another issue… altogether.

When More Keywords = More sales

And yes, (of course) sales do go up every time such (properly optimized) keywords are added to previous (properly) optimized keywords, based on competition… One would expect it and one does see it happen, somewhat confirming the notion of Keywords Market Shares itself, at least in my properly SEO’d mind!

So, according to you, Are Keywords market-shares?

What are your thoughts on this?

 

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