How to identify good keywords using social media monitoring

Fri 14 May 2010 18:12, J-P De Clerck

How to identify good keywords using social media monitoring

I guess I don’t have to explain the importance of finding good keywords in search engine marketing. If you want a website, blog or specific page to be found via search engines, content and keywords are, well, key. In most cases identifying keywords is a balancing act between what’s relevant for the Internet user, his search behaviour and obviously the activities and goals of the business that wants to be found online. However, why don’t you use social media monitoring to identify keywords?

Am I losing you a bit? Let me explain. What you want are keywords that pertain to your business and industry and attract relevant (because they use a specific keyword) visitors to pages that contain content that corresponds with these keywords and invites the visitor to perform a specific action.

In the end, you want visitors to become leads and hopefully customers. Ultimately, your metric is not cost per click but cost per lead, right? 

SEO practitioners know how to identify relevant keywords and have the tools that allow them to find out the most commonly used and most interesting keywords when people search for products, information, etc. that lead to conversion.

They can also check what keywords work well in a specific industry or for the competitors of the company they work for.

So, how can social media monitoring add anything at all to these processes? In a recent white paper from Alterian, it is clearly explained. 

As you know, social media monitoring allows you to “see” what people are looking for in the “here and now”. Real-time, remember. On top of that, social media monitoring tools, enable you to see what words people are using on social media when they talk about your business, your industry, your competitors, specific events that interest you, whatever you choose.

So if you use these words to enrichen your SEO keyword strategy, you get your site ranked with additional keywords that are based upon an analysis of what your target group is looking for on social media.

Word clouds and tag clouds

It’s a perfect example of the way social media and SEO can connect. In case you have never used a social media monitoring tool, know that there are a lot of them and that from an SEO viewpoint it makes a lot of sense to use them.

Besides using social media monitoring to search for terms that are related to your business, industry, competitors, etc. like you do in SEO (only, here you search on social media), Alterian advises to create theme word clouds for each search (a word cloud is, I quote, “the result of analyzing all the conversations”) where the most frequently used words are displayed like in a blog category cloud for instance (you know, most used words are largest).

Finally, the paper advises to author tag clouds that provide an overview of the words people have chosen to use to tag their content. 

Interesting stuff that you can download here if you want.

Any remarks or thoughts? Please comment below.

By the way, you can also DM me on Twitter if you have any remarks regarding this post or this blog and its evolution (more coming soon).

  • Comments (7)
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Comments (3)


  • Its a good read, another example of where social media and SEO comes together. However, I would expect a keyword research tool to show those commonly used keywords. OR do you think the behaviour or intent changes when someone talks about a brand on a social media network.

    Wo 2 jun 2010, 22:17

  • Very interesting post, i have never realy thought of using a tag cloud in this way before, but thinking about it, it seems common sense now.

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention, i will explore this tactic.

    Thanks - Andy

    Zo 20 feb 2011, 22:06

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