Keyword Research Strategies: Raising the Bar on Content Marketing
Areas covered in our June Client Success Webinar on Keyword Research included:
- Why Keyword Research Matters
- Tools for Conducting Keyword Research
- gShift Keyword Klusters
- Social, Local and Mobile (SoLoMo) Keyword Research
Think back to the early days of your company’s website. Remember the optimism, excitement and pride you felt when you first completed Version 1.0 of the site? The wide-eyed, proud and relieved moment when your website appeared in your browser when it was first published? Perhaps it was the day you joined a new company and took ownership of the website or were hired by a customer to manage their web presence. Like a parent with a newborn child, or a coach with a rookie athlete, you were ready to steward your website into the hallowed halls of content marketing greatness. Your social media activity would make Owly, the Hootsuite mascot, salute you with pride.
Yet when you were expanding your site from phase one, you may have found your site lost some of its lustre. Writing fresh content can be challenging when your company has a limited number of products or services to promote. Keyword research can help you put a new spin on your business when your content isn’t getting the readership you were aiming for. It can also help you discover new directions you should take your brand messaging if it isn’t converting the way you need it to. Keyword research should really never stop as your company, industry and customers will no doubt evolve and your messaging must evolve with them.
gShift keyword research tools help marketers in the following ways:
- Understand the volume of people searching on a particular keyword/topic
- Related keywords for you to monitor and consider to keep your content fresh and avoid repetition
- Provide insight into how your customers see your industry, your products and services on the search engines or even on Twitter
- Provide a subtle approach for you to “spy” on the marketing strategies of your competitors, without having to blatantly collect their content and materials
- Deliver feedback on keyword rankings from your content marketing campaigns, e-commerce product descriptions and social media efforts beyond financial return on investment.
Advertising firms and marketing divisions of companies in the “Mad Men” era would need to hold focus groups, hold meetings late into the night to come up with compelling tag lines, understand the messages customer want to hear and write compelling promotional copy for marketing materials. You don’t have to be Don Draper or Peggy Olson to leverage gShift Keyword research tools, check out the keywords and #hashtags people are using on Twitter in the Social Metrics module or mine the anchor text of a competitor who’s outranking you.
To get the most out of your keywords once you’ve discovered them, you’ll want to place them strategically and not overwork them. Just as in a newspaper story, headlines grab readers’ attention, but only if the headline features your keywords. Your headline is the best chance you have to get a reader to read your post, so why wouldn’t you put your keywords in the headline? It matters a great deal to search engines too. As they index your content, they may see “We Are the Champions” as a page about the 70’s rock band Queen, instead of how your company won a best product design award from JD Power or some other accolade.
Keywords to look for in your research are:
- Those for which you already have momentum with your existing content…trying to run from the blocks is harder than sprinting from a jog
- Those with relatively high search volume and suggest the searcher is going to make a purchase, such as “Chicago pizza delivery” or “CRM Software licensing”
- Long tail phrases giving you an edge where you specialize, such as “labrador retriever grooming” or “Toronto Maple Leaf Memorabilia”
- Topics which you could get up on a soap box about, would be comfortable talking about at a party, would be passionate about enough to write multiple blogs on or develop an infographic about with supporting research.
Keyword research might not rank highly on your “fun things to do on a summer day” list, however the process merits careful consideration, effective tools and good data. Choose your keywords correctly, place them in your headlines, include them in your content and link from them from time-to-time from both within and outside of your site.