How to Do Amazing B2B Keyword Research & Analysis


Written by Nick Yorchak. Posted in Blog

When it comes to keyword research and analysis, we’ve seen a variety of approaches throughout our years in the agency business.

Most search marketing practitioners seek the same goal, but employ widely different deliverables and processes to get there.

While the resulting analysis needs to be accurate and actionable, there are certainly elements that define what amazing B2B keyword research looks and feels like.

So that brings us to the topic of this blog… what separates the best from the rest when it comes to keyword analysis?



In order to fully understand the scope of research – and the digital marketing problems you’re solving as a consultant, it is imperative that you embark on your “own” Discovery process.  In this case the pun is intended. If you don’t OWN your Discovery process- in the sense of asking the right questions, developing systems for metrics and forecasts, and accessing the available web analytics data – then your keyword research will be missing it’s most important primary source material.

As a B2B search marketer, you need to adhere to your own process – and own the progress and resulting outcome. This critical step ensures you understand the intricacies of the client’s business, the competition, their unique value elements, the B2B “Buyer’s Journey,” and ultimately how your success will be measured.



Within our practice – and as a Google Certified Partner agency – we rely on Google’s Keyword data. But we can all agree that the best research always includes thorough exploration and usage of various source materials.

So we also supplement that data with other tools like Moz, SEMRush, Bing, and even social data from LinkedIn and Facebook (when available and relevant).

Before you can proceed in the most thoughtful direction, this step is a must because it allows you to get access to the right tools or reports, verify the source materials, check the data, and ask the right questions – so you can work in the most optimal manner toward identifying the mission-critical keywords in the Client’s space.


“Strategy” is a broad term which is hard to define. When it comes to a Keyword Research process, it is almost easier to look at the issue from the opposite direction. What makes a lazy or shallow deliverable? That is easier to define, and we’ve all certainly seen them in the course of our careers.

Perhaps it was a “deliverable” that was just an export of some data with no labels. Or perhaps the data points weren’t even defined – or worse yet the analysis includes many terms the Client mentioned not to use. It’s always disheartening to see situations like these, but this helps us understand what a “strategic” process really looks like. It is by definitions based around critical thinking. It is thorough, shows comprehension, accurate data, and includes clear data-driven recommendations and definitions.

The best work always shows an understanding of B2B principles and how they’re applied to the Client’s digital footprint.




This is not a new concept in B2B – but it’s application to the keyword research process can be all your own. Your goal here is to understand how your Client’s customers are searching online – and what stage of the Buyer’s Journey they’re in – so that you can connect with them at those different stages with different keywords. If you aren’t considering these principles in your B2B keyword research, you are probably missing many opportunities.

Big Footprint’s application of this extends beyond keyword research and into many other tactical aspects of paid search. Learn more about how we target different stages of the Buyer’s Journey here.


Another essential data set that you must leverage (if available) is that generated from paid search efforts. Many clients in B2B have paid search campaigns running, or have in the past, so the data is often there if you ask for it.

What will you learn from paid search data that can drive keyword analysis? Many things, including what terms have converted the best, which ads have the highest click through rate, and what keywords are negative-matched. This will help ensure accuracy and lend another source of credible, real-world click data to support – or perhaps refute – your targeting recommendations.




In any consulting engagement, there are always certain “intangibles” that separate the best from the rest. These can stem from the way the result is delivered, the result itself, and even the way the result is achieved.

How then can a search marketing agency be different in that respect?

To provide examples, we’ll put Big Footprint’s Clients under the lens to illustrate some of the ways we have evolved our practice in this way.

Our “Targeting Value” Metric: This is a unique way to show your agency is a cut above. We developed a metric we call “targeting value” which examines how competitive and “own-able” a given keyword is based on the SERP, linking metrics, and usage of the term across the web. After explaining how it works to Clients, and why it’s wonderful to condense that much information into a “score,” you can not only dig deeper, but impress Clients with your expertise.

Useful Documentation: We are obsessive about the Client’s experience with the actual deliverable. This extends from the presentation itself (in person or via phone) all the way to the format and organization of the document itself. We ensure that the information is provided to enable productive usage of the document, and that it’s accessible to all members.

Client Alignment Focus: Several of our B2B Clients have told us that by working through and engaging with our Keyword Analysis process, they have been able to establish better organizational alignment with respect to goals, success metrics, and marketing’s role in lead generation.

Brand & Product Positioning Insights:
Keyword Analysis exposes the truth about user search behavior, and Clients co-opt those truths into their own marketing narrative and messaging.


Hopefully this post can help to foster and continue the conversation about what amazing B2B keyword research looks like.

Are you trying to understand how to connect with your audience online? Contact Big Footprint.