Choosing the right keywords in our content marketing campaigns and social is essential if we want to achieve a good natural positioning and attract those hundreds of thousands of visits per month to our website.
In theory, the approach of keyword research is very simple, as it is about using the most searched for words by our target audience in our articles and webpages. Surely this way we will ensure that when a user Google searches using one of our words, we will appear in their top search results. Right?
Well in practice it’s not so simple. There are many websites just like yours competing for those very same keywords. The challenge here is to get positioned well within a specific niche or long tail keyword. This consists in using very specific keywords, which although these will not have the same large search volumes as the more generic words will, we will be competing with fewer websites, the users will find us more easily, they will identify with our content and they will be more likely to enter our website. All of this will result in a much higher conversion rate.
So, what types of keywords exist and how do we classify these?
1. User’s intention:
Why is this important? The user’s intention are keywords that must be taken into consideration when starting off. They boil down to the searched terms a user types into Google when intending to do a search. These can be divided into 3 types:
Informative: when the intention is to look for information, e.g. “ how to… create a post.”
Transactional: when the intention is to carry out a transaction, e.g. “ buy sportswear.”
Specific: the user is looking for a specific website, e.g. Under Armour, Adidas, Amazon.
2. Search Volume:
Keywords can also be classified by their search volume on search engines like Google.
These fall into 3 types:
General: these are very broad words with high search
volumes e.g: “ Blogs”
Medium definition: these words are more defined but not specific and therefore remain quite broad, e.g. “ Popular blogs”
Long-tail: these are very specific strings of words that represent around 70% of most searches. Thus, these provide great opportunity to find ways to get yourself positioned, e.g. “ What are the most popular marketing blogs?”
In this case it is important for us to put ourselves in our customer’s shoes, understand our ideal customer profile (ICP) and the phases that their search will be going through (buyer journey). Here it is important to analyse each of the phases through which our Buyer Persona passes and decide which keywords would be the most appropriate for each of the phases.
Which keywords have the most potential for my business?
The time has come to start researching keywords for our business. We will look at the tools that will help you determine the keywords that are most likely to attract visits to your website and define the long-tail keywords of your niche.
I’m sure, that without even realising, you have used this feature more than once. Have you not noticed that when you start typing into the search space in Google, suggestions of how to complete your query will appear below? These suggestions come in the format of sentence completion and are based on the most popular search terms linked to your search.
To make the most of this, start off by using a broad keyword. For example, if we start typing “ content marketing “ in the search bar, we will obtain the following:
This is a great place to get an overview of what’s popular and what’s not when. Google Trends helps you gain an understanding of how searches have evolved over a period of any chosen time which allows you to make marketing decisions on when the best time to launch a given campaign may be.
It also has a helpful section on ‘related queries’ which may serve to provide you with ideas on how to expand your blog or key words you may wish to be adding to your content.
Below is an example what you would get if you typed “ content marketing” into the Google Trends:
Open, free and simple. Just type a generic term connected to your search and the tool generates an overwhelming number of useful suggestions of pages to create, keywords to use and content to curate, in order for your content to rank in those search queries. You can also analyse your web SEO, see how you are ranking and get offered useful tips for improvement.
This fun site finds questions, prepositions, comparisons, alphabeticals, and searches related to your keyword search. Exhausting, right?
But just look at how simple they make it!
Once you have typed in the term you are investigating an array of graphs, images, and lists will appear, all available for download.
Now it wouldn’t be fair to miss this great tool out. It’s not free and only has a 7-day free trial but if you have someone to cover the cost, it is definitely worth looking into. This platform helps you discover and analyse keywords and content as well as get a feel for the key word and content traffic potential.
How do I apply my keywords to my content strategy?
By now you should have a pretty good a list of the terms that you should use and content ideas for your editorial calendar. Sort and group them according to your search volume, similarities and differences and highest activity date. You may want to download the list of keywords in CSV and do this from here.
Finally, you will have a list of the most relevant long tail keywords in your sector, sorted by search volume, degree of competence as well as the best time to launch campaigns around each. These will be specific to targeting your ICP at a given time during a specific stage of their buyer journey.
It is important to have a good range of keywords, from highest to lowest listing, the most searched for as well as the least used keywords will be just as important to ensure variety when creating content and visibility in searches.
How to use keywords in our blog post?
Once we have investigated and organised the list of keywords with which we are going to attract web visits, we then need to know how to use them and place them correctly in the articles we are creating for our blog.
It is important that you remember to have the key words present in:
- Title and meta description (what appear in the Google search results of a website)
- Title of the article (H1 tag)
- Subtitles of the article (tags H2, H3 …)
- Body of the article (several times throughout the article and with different combinations)
- Image: in the name of the file ( .jpg, .png …) and in the ALT attribute.
- URL: in the web address of your site that contains the article.
So, with a bit of luck, it’s easy to hit the ground running. If we want our content to succeed, among other things, it is important that we analyze and choose both the most and least used long tail keywords by other websites.
Magic doesn’t happen over-night, it will take perseverance and hard work but the possibility is there for you begin to see results and receive thousands of visits per month. Take advantage of the tools that you have at your disposal and discussed herein and start to climb higher in search engine results.