So it’s time to build your content marketing strategy. You know where your buyers are conducting research, what platforms they spend their time on, and how to distribute content so that your buyers will see it. Every part of your content distribution strategy is planned out…until you have to figure out what to write.
Whether you are forming blog post topics, creating online advertisements, or writing website copy, proper keyword research will tell you how to edge out your competition and put your content in front of users as they navigate the Internet and search for answers and products.
Learn the basics of keyword research and how it can be used to improve your overall content marketing strategy.
Why is Keyword Research Important?
Keyword research is an essential piece of market research in the digital age. Even if your business has physical locations, your customers will be using keywords to conduct research online. A majority of consumers (81%) conduct online research before they make a purchase, and 60% of consumers start their research with a search engine. If you know what keywords potential customers are using to research products and services, you can put your content in front of users. Ranking high on Google search result isn’t enough; you have to rank high on keywords that consumers are actually using to search.
Where You Can Use Keyword Research
If you are creating an AdWords campaign, keywords are extremely important. Not only do you craft AdWords content based on relevant keywords, but you also will bid on keywords and see how keywords play into who is seeing (and clicking) on your ads.
Landing Page Copy
Whether you are investing in AdWords or just sticking to content marketing, proper keyword research can help you drive traffic straight to your landing pages. Not all searchers want to read through long-form content or conduct a lot of research to learn about products…they’re ready to buy, or at least learn a bit more about your products in particular. Keyword research is central to proper search engine optimisation, so make sure to conduct research for each landing page that you create.
Plus, if your landing pages are optimised and relevant to keywords that your users are searching for, your AdWords ads will rank higher.
Blog Posts, eBooks, and Other Content
Keywords can help you create blog post topics and create content that is actually relevant to users. Blog posts and other content can help you generate leads, drive website traffic, and introduce your company to users who are still in the beginning stages of the buyer’s journey. Not all users are searching for specific products, or even know they want to buy. Many keywords ask questions or look for answers. Provide those answers with informational content that shows up on the first page of Google search results.
What to Consider When Conducting Keyword Research
Think like your customers. What are they likely to search for when they are looking for products like yours? What is on their mind when they are looking to buy?
Let’s think about an example.
This research can goes both ways; you can also find similar keywords that are not relevant to your business. Let’s use an example. You are a business that sells kits to make homemade craft pizzas. A craft pizza kit is relevant to customers who want to spend time and effort creating a handmade pizza, but that is just one of many ways to create or consume pizza. Craft pizza and pizza delivery, for example, both include the word “pizza,” but are used by customers who want a different pizza experience. If you craft your content and bid on ads that avoid irrelevant keywords, you will spend less time trying to sell to people who are not likely to convert.
Tip: Think like your customers by listening to your customers. The way that you describe your products and services might be different from the way customers and leads may describe your products are services. Use the language and terms that your customers use; that’s what they’ll be thinking and putting into the search bar.
The Buyer’s Journey
Relevant keywords will change as customers move through the buyer’s journey. In the beginning stages of the buyer’s journey, Internet users are just looking to solve a problem. Let’s go back to the craft pizza example. Before your customers even think of buying a full craft pizza kit, they may be looking to see if they can make a pizza at home, or just looking for ideas for a fun night in with the family. You can create blog posts and other copy based on who you want to target and who you want to see your content.
Now we’ll start to get into keyword metrics. We’ll start with the most simple one; search volume. If no one is searching for a certain keyword in your targeted region (or at all,) it may not be a useful one to use in your marketing strategy.
Not all keywords are created equal. Even if you write a highly optimised blog post with a high keyword density, there are some keywords that are impossible to rank for. SEMRush, AdWords, and Moz all have tools that rank how competitive keywords are; if you are just starting out and your website’s domain score and optimisation are not up to snuff yet, it’s important to try and rank for less competitive keywords.
Cost Per Click (CPC)
If you are planning on putting money into an AdWords campaign, keyword research can help you plan and adjust your budget. Most keyword research tools show you the potential cost per click if you were to bid on these keywords in AdWords. The more competitive and relevant the keyword is, the higher the CPC will be.
Want to know the trick to creating long-tail, non-competitive keywords? Think about where your business (and your customers) are located. Even if someone is searching for products online, they may want fast delivery and low shipping costs by ordering from a company in their country or area. Adding your location into your overall copy and keyword research can also help to narrow down leads and reach more people who are more likely to convert by visiting your business or making a purchase.
Keyword research isn’t done once a year or just once. Relevant keyword metrics will all change over time. As your competitors catch onto the benefits of content marketing and conduct research of their own, you may lose your rank for specific keywords. Make research an ongoing process, especially at the beginning of a new campaign or after you have received reports from marketers and related services that may create content for you.
How to Conduct Keyword Research
Start With Your Current Content
Customers have been using keywords to find your website and convert. Before you do an overhaul of your content marketing strategy, look at what has already been working for your company. Sometimes, keyword research simply reveals what keywords you should continue to invest in, or how you can enhance your current content.
Before you start to evaluate the data behind specific keywords, you will have to get creative and create a list of keywords to compare. This can be really fun or really stressful depending on how much experience you have thinking of keywords for your content.
Once you have found a group of keywords that is already working for your business, create a list of similar keywords that you can add to your repertoire. Keyword suggestions can be as easy as getting creative, but there are many online tools available to help you think of additional or different keywords to research. UberSuggest, for example, is a free tool takes suggestions from Google Keyword Planner and Google Suggest to compile a list of keyword suggestions. Answer the Public shows what questions people are asking about a certain subject. Do some research to find a keyword planner or creator that will give you the analytics you need to compile a good list of keywords.
Once you’ve compiled a list of keywords that you and your competitors are using, condense this list and record it on a spreadsheet for your marketing team. If you make a note of the CPC, search volume, and other data, you can see the progress of these keywords over time and how they have affected your organic traffic or conversion rates.
Hand Over Keyword Research and Content Marketing to Digital Squad
Overwhelmed yet? These are just the basics of keyword research.
Keyword research and search algorithms can take years to understand, and they are always changing based on developments in technology and digital marketing. Give your keyword research and content marketing tasks to a team that has already spent thousands of hours researching the Google algorithm. The experts at Digital Squad have the tools and knowledge to conduct thorough keyword research based on your buyer personas, and the content marketing and AdWords expertise to apply these keywords to your marketing campaigns.
Leave the research and analytics to the professionals so you can have more time doing what you do best; providing high-quality products and services to your customers.
Learn more about how you can reach more people with keyword research and generate more leads by reaching out to Digital Squad, Auckland’s top SEO and content marketing agency.
Megan Okonsky is a copywriter and content marketing specialist with Digital Squad. She is originally from Philadelphia but has landed in Melbourne after traveling for eight months in Southeast Asia and New Zealand. She also teaches vinyasa yoga online.