Keyword Research vs. Market Research: Where is the Difference?

Having online business is a relatively new trend and one cannot expect their clients to be experts. There are some concepts that are hard to grasp for the business people that might do huge business offline, but are new to the online world. One of these concepts is research. Many clients argue that since they have already done market research, they need no keyword research. However, if we go in depth, there are hardly any similarities between the two. Below are some of the differences between market research and keyword research.

The difference by definition:

The name clearly indicates that market research is related to the market in which the product or service will be launched. During this research different type of data is collected about the competitors and is analyzed systematically. The management then uses these reports to take strategic decisions. Thought there are other methods too, if it is an online business, most market research is also done on the Internet. Keyword research is restricted to the terms used by people to search information related to the business. Here we also keep an eye on the keywords that the competitor is working on and analyze the competition on every keyword. Then a list of keywords is computed on which the business needs to work. Keyword research can be a part of market research, but market research is definitely a wider term.

The difference in tools:

Since both keyword research and market research have different goals, the tools used to conduct these are also different. For market research many techniques are used to collect data like online surveys, questionnaires, emails and interviews etc. After the data is collected there are tools used to analyze that data and create reports. There is a full course in management studies dedicated to market research so it is definitely a complex exercise.

Keyword research is relatively newer practice because it did not exist before the Internet and the search engines. There are many tools used for keyword research and the most popular ones are Google keyword tool, Adsense and WordTracker. Excel sheets are used later on to organize the data and select the best keywords to work on. No complex software is used for the analysis. It is majorly a mind game and a combination of experience and intuition.

The difference in data sources:

Though both types of researches gather data from the Internet, there is a difference in the sources. Market research can gather its data from all possible sources available. For market research, a sample size is set before the research begins. Larger sample set can be used if greater efficiency is required. However, the data source for keyword research is collected from search engines only. Google is the most popular search engine followed by Bing. So there is dependency on the search engines and there is not much opportunity to cross check or improve the efficiency of the data collected.

There are some similarities between the two types of research. They are not mutually exclusive, but they cannot be replaced with each other either. If you have done keyword research, it does not mean market research is not required and vice-versa.

Please let me know your thoughts and the topics you would like me to cover. I would love to share my knowledge and experiences with my readers.


About Akanksha

Akanksha has been working in Marketing since 2008 and is always open to learning new things. She is now self-employed - blogger, health coach and also partners a distribution business.


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