Blogging, Keyword Research, SEO
How to Conduct Keyword Research for Your Blog
It is no secret that the SEO landscape has changed over the past couple of years. Search engines are relying less on keywords as they try to delve into the deeper search intent of users. But that doesn’t mean keywords have lost their place in your marketing strategy. While it is now important to employ a more comprehensive approach, it is still important to choose your keywords wisely.
The first step is having a firm grasp on just what it is you’re looking for. Much of the time, keywords aren’t simply individual words. They are actually full sentences or groups of words that combine to accurately describe your product or services. They do not need to exactly match your product but should be related to the product and to each other. LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords are considered the future of SEO. These are words that are highly correlated with the topic within quality content. When used organically, keywords are great for driving traffic to your site and generating business. Over-use, however, will make your content come off forced and potentially even lead to Google penalties.
This is the idea of targeting longer, more specific searches. For example, a company that offers guided camping trips out of Eugene, Oregon might use the keyword “camping”. Sure, that would match a lot of searches, but competition for that keyword would be extremely high. Also, they would likely match users looking for places to camp themselves, or even those looking to buy camping supplies. If they were to extend to “guided camping trips Oregon” they would face less keyword competition. The people using that search are also very likely to be interested in their services.
Once you have outlined the types of searches you want to target it is time to get into specifics. Use an analytics tool like Google Analytics to see what’s been working on your site so far. Use this information to create a picture of your ideal user. Then add related words and phrases and build around this concept.
Before you make final decisions on which keywords to focus on you need to research how those terms fare online. Some words match well but are far too competitive, leaving you well down the search queue. Until you have established a strong following it is best to avoid keywords with the greatest difficulty rating. Google Keyword Planner can help you compare the different options and make wise choices.
Outline Your Strategy
Don’t just jam your keywords into content where it doesn’t belong. Instead, build your content around the keywords so they fit in a natural, organic way. Be sure to use the most important words early and as part of titles and headings. Include related words as a way to increase exposure and make the content less repetitive. Depending on the content, it can also make sense to sprinkle them throughout the metadata, alt-text and image file names.
Successful business in today’s competitive digital marketplace requires more tact and strategy than ever before. In order to fully maximize your marketing potential, it is crucial to perform effective keyword research. Faithfully following these steps will make sure your plan generates both volume and quality.
Steps to Improve Your Keyword Research
Try to boil your product or service down to a manageable group of concepts and descriptions. This is where you will want to focus your research.
Break these concepts down into a selection of simple keyword terms and longer, more specific versions. Both have their place and you will want both choices available when doing your research.
Use an analytics tool to see what has been driving traffic to your site to this point. Keep this information in mind throughout the decision-making process.
Before making any final decisions, you need to analyze all the top contenders to see how they compare for volume and difficulty. Do not overextend yourself by choosing only the most competitive words.
Having great keywords isn’t enough, you need to make sure they fit nicely within the framework of your overall marketing plan. Build content around them and maximize their effectiveness by using all the SEO tools at your disposal, including metadata and image file names.
By following these steps and ensuring your entire marketing strategy meshes well, you can ensure healthy traffic growth and maximum sales conversions.
These are all crucial steps that should be the focus of any business with more effective traffic in mind. However, it is important to remember quality content. Great information is just as—if not more—important than keywords when it comes to generating sustainable user volume. Seamless integration of the two, on the other hand, can result in an unbeatable marketing strategy.
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The ultimate goal of content marketing is offering your target audience information and materials that will engage them and motivate them to choose your business.
Seems easy, right?
Often, companies will simply share general content to please everyone. But let’s be honest: you can’t win them all. And that’s okay!
Rather than throwing a line and hoping the fish will bite, create Thought Leadership content strategically catered to your target market. Consider the people who would genuinely need or care about what your business offers, rather than wasting time, effort, and resources on creating general, unfocused content. Successful content marketing involves promoting your products and services to the people interested in the subject matter, who will read the content, click on your company website, and take action.
As an executive of an organization, you are a valuable piece of the brand. Consumers want to know about the human presence leading companies, in order to understand more about the company’s values and goals.
Take advantage of your position as an industry expert and share extra content to attract more attention to yourself as an industry leader and your company. Your quality content will build your reputation as a reliable voice to earn your consumer’s trust. However, if it’s not focused on your target audience, you won’t earn many conversions from your content.
Consider these techniques to guide your Thought Leadership content so it can expand and strengthen your loyal consumer following:
- Identify your target audience by reviewing your current consumer data and identifying who is investing in your business or reacting to your thought leadership materials so far. Look for trends to find why these people are interested and if others like them haven’t been reached yet.
- Conduct customer research to learn how they will respond to your thought leadership content. Request participation in surveys, polls, social media comments, and more to learn about your existing impression on your audience and how you can improve your platform.
- Create target audience character profiles. Identify their interests, demographics, pain points, needs, and desires, and write to them.
- Find where your current and potential audience is active online. Catch their attention by being active and sharing your content marketing materials on these platforms.
- Pull inspiration from other Thought Leader examples. Research other executives within your field who implement successful content marketing through their personal platforms. Learn what qualities make their content attractive and why readers respond to it positively. These examples can offer a base for you to visualize what you want to achieve.
- Recognize your strengths as a Thought Leader. Often, leaders aren’t necessarily aware of the unique talents that give them an advantage in their industry until asked. Reflect on what topics you know best and how to input your insights to humanize your materials, make them original and more engaging for your audience.
Case Study: How Strategic Content Marketing Can Broaden Your Audience
In our client strategy calls, our team will interview our expert clients to learn about their industry expertise and find out what’s meaningful to them, their business, and then identify who we believe to be their target audience. We use these insights to inspire our content subject matter and tone to create impactful content for their current and potential consumers.
For example, our client, Dr. Nitin Desai, approached our strategy team to create content to promote his COVID Pre-Check app. His innovative software is intended to help employers ensure their employees who enter the office are COVID-free, providing a safe environment by eliminating the chance of spread.
Our team of strategists recognized that with Dr. Desai’s thorough professional knowledge around the COVID-19 virus, he had the potential to become a reliable voice in a culture of people seeking answers. We created content for Dr. Desai that focused on sharing COVID-related insights to reach a wider audience, which has been a successful mission. Our thoroughly planned content reflected his industry expertise, which brought him attention from various media outlets and publications, including Forbes.
By reaching out to our professional content marketing team, Dr. Desai achieved his goal of promoting his groundbreaking app, while also positioning himself as an authoritative voice in his field. Our team learned about his voice, discovered what was meaningful to him and his target audience, and optimized this to create focused, engaging content that broadened his consumer scope.
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