If you want your content to be found in search results, there is one thing you need to do before writing any long-form content for the web, be it a blog post or a product page, it’s finding the right keywords for marketing content. In this article, I’ll show you step-by-step, how to undertake keyword research for marketing content, and using these insights to make your marketing assets more discoverable.
What is a keyword?
Whether you like it or not, we live in a world dominated by Google. When people are actively looking for solutions to their challenges, they ‘Google it’. Consumers use search engines to find which TV is best for them; businesses use search engines to find the answer to a pressing business challenge. We ‘Google it’ so much it has become a verb.
If you want your marketing content to be visible within search results, then you need to be thinking about the keywords people are using to find answers to their challenges. By keywords I’m referring to the search terms people are using when trying to solve their problems. Once these keywords/search queries are identified, we need to build them into our content and use it in our search and optimisation activity.
Does finding the right keywords for marketing content matter?
Almost every buying journey begins with a search so as businesses we need to be thinking about what our customers are looking for when creating our content. Search is one of many content distribution channels that we should be considering when trying to amplify the reach of our content. As important as it is, it’s also difficult to appear in the search results. Understanding what your audience is looking for and including these keywords in marketing content is just one part of the SEO process, but it forms its foundation.
Finding the right keywords to target in your marketing content has many benefits.
- The process of keyword research for marketing content will help you understand the terminology your audience uses. An understanding of the terminology will help you speak in your customer’s language.
- Your research will help clarify the topics you should cover in your content and identify topic areas for future content.
- By using the right keywords in your content, you will increase the chances of your content being found in the search results by your target audience.
Crafting good content can take many hours and lots of research. Not investing time up front to evaluate the keywords you should be including your content will be doing yourself a disservice and ultimately damaging any ROI, you will see from your efforts. With the right tools, high-quality keyword research can be completed quickly, as you’ll see demonstrated in my practical keyword research example.
Quick tips for keyword research
- Be realistic about the keywords you select for your content. Look at the other sites that appear for the term to see if it’s possible to rank for it.
- Be prepared to invest in content. To rank for a term you need to have a better answer to the challenge than the sites already ranking for that search.
- Picking a keyword and using it in your content is not going to get you ranking. It’s just one of many SEO steps.
- Unless you’re a local business, you may well want to attract traffic from a global audience. The search results in different geographies and across devices differ. You’ll need a solution like the one I use below to see competition across these geographies.
Practical step by step guide to keyword research for marketing content
I’ll be using a powerful tool called KWFinder. The first step will be signing up for an account, so let’s go ahead and do that. As you’ll see in the video below, signing up for KWFinder is simple, and you can get started on their free plan. Paid plans start from $29.99 (about £24). Click here to sign up with just an email address.
The next step is to create a seed list of terms. These are the terms around your topic that you believe to be relevant. Talking to product managers, sales teams and customer support within your organisation can be a great source of ideas. You can also have a look at community forums to see what type of terms people are using in their posts. In this article on rapid market research techniques, you’ll find some ideas on how to do market research quickly.
In this practical example of keyword research for marketing content, I want to see what phrases people are looking for around the term “lead generation”. I’ll enter that in the search box. After entering my seed term in the search box, I’m shown all the related terms people are using in their searches. The term “lead generation” is indeed the most searched.
Before picking a term, it’s vital to see if it’s realistic to rank for it. KWfinder helps you to see what sites are currently appearing for that term and provides some essential metrics. One of the great features of KWfinder is the ability to view search results in different geographies and even on various devices. Explore competition across the different geographies you might be targetting.
The search results dashboard (known as SERPchecker and included in the KWfinder subscription) gives you a wealth of insights, including keyword difficulty. Keyword difficulty is a rough metric which helps evaluate and compare to how difficult it is to rank for a term. For my phrase, keyword difficulty is 45/100. However, the top three results attract over half of the organic clicks however appearing in the top three will require me to displace powerful sites such as Hubspot. How do I know how much traffic the top three sites receive? SERPchecker tells me.
One of the great features of KWfinder is the ability to filter by difficulty. Using this functionality, we can identify the low hanging fruit. Returning to the keyword list, we can filter on keyword difficulty revealing several keywords that have good search volume and are relevant.
When doing keyword research we want to identify multiple terms that we can include in our content. In SEO we want to show our content is topically relevant rather than overly optimised for one term. Using different terms around a topic and synonyms of your main keyword are both important when optimising your content for discoverability. Below you’ll see I’ve picked several terms which I’ll include across my content.
Where can you use the results of your keyword research?
- Keywords in content matter enormously, and not just in long form copy (text). Here are a few places where you could use your newly found keyword insights.
- Use keywords in your videos – Optimise YouTube videos by using keywords in your titles and descriptions. Also, use your keywords within the video. Google transcribes videos and the words you say matter.
- Use keywords in links to your content (backlinks) – One way Google evaluates what your content is about is through the links pointing at it. Use the range of keywords you have selected as the link text (anchor text).
- Use keywords in social media – Social sites use the content of posts to gauge relevance to different audiences.
KWfinder and other tools like it tell us the phrases our audiences are using, it gives us insights that as marketers we’ve never had access to in the past. When can you use keywords research? Anywhere you need to craft a marketing message that resonates with your audience from email subject lines to website copy.
Take action and start keywords research for marketing content
Start by entering your target term in the search box below to see how popular it is and how much competition there is.
If you enjoyed this article you may also find these useful:
Market research techniques for quickly gaining market insight
B2B SEO Services: Be found in the search engines
What is SEO? A guide from Search Engine Land
Would you like a done for you keyword research solution?
Keyword research is a very important part of putting together content that will actually be seen by your audience. If you need help, free advice on keyword research, or a done for you solution just connect with me on LinkedIn or complete the form below.
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