Keyword research is one of the three fundamental search engine optimization (SEO) factors along with link-building and content marketing. Of course, link-building is more difficult to do if you don’t have valuable content in which others will be interested, so you could prioritize these factors as: 1. Keywords 2. Content 3. Link-building.
If you’ve been doing any kind of digital marketing at all – or are at least investigating it – then you’re aware of the rapidly-growing strategy of content marketing. To recap, content marketing is the creation and distribution of valuable content to a targeted audience with the goal of securing conversions that result in sales. Its benefits are myriad: it can increase visibility, build and reinforce brand identity, create trust, generate website traffic, and much more. But to have it work efficiently, it requires SEO and that, in turn, requires effective keywording. And that means doing some keyword research.
Using effective keyword research tools can help you determine a profitable niche, find related markets, rank well in search engines for specific topics and drive traffic to your website. Having the right research tools will simplify your process and give you answers you couldn’t find on your own to improve your ranking, traffic, and conversion.
When I create content strategies for clients, one of the significant research challenges I face is coming up with titles for articles. Our strategies focus on the major issues or problems that my clients’ ideal customers face and involves developing relevant keyword phrases of two or three words.
While the task of creating interesting titles to pique curiosity is relatively straightforward, determining just the right keyword phrases to accomplish several related things is much more difficult. Fortunately, there’s a tool called Answer the Public that can help. You simply type in a relevant keyword or phrase and it comes up with all of the variations identified with it by using Google’s “related searches” and “people also ask” results.
The following image is an example report that shows all of the questions that are popular in google search around the term "logistics." The darker the color green circle, the larger the number of monthly searches for that topic. The tool also provides preposition variations of the term, for example, for, with, can, near, and more.
The longer and more specific your keywords, the fewer the people searching for them. You’re likely to rank well because there is much less competition for specific combinations of keywords, hence fewer pages to compete with. Remember, it’s not necessarily quantity you’re looking for, it’s QUALITY. Ideally, the right keyword combination will result in only the most qualified individuals coming to your website and engaging with you, making it easier for you to convert prospects into customers.
Here are a couple of examples of how certain words will reveal what individuals are looking for an enable you to tailor your keywords to your content:
“How or why” typed in a search box clearly indicates people are looking for information. Including “seed” words such as those in your keyword phrase will help bring people to an informative article explaining a process or product use.
“With or without” will help you tailor results to people looking for a specific product or service that does or does not include a particular function or feature.
“What, when, which” are trigger words that can be used to reach people looking for advice or recommendations – great for promoting content that provides answers to specific questions.
Understanding the dynamics associated with this kind of search strategy is the foundation for another keyword development technique called “search listening.” This is a hybrid version of the insight development practice called “social listening” in which marketing analysts monitor digital conversations on social platforms to understand what customers are saying about a brand or industry online.
Search listening is similar, only it involves monitoring the questions typed into Google’s Answer Box. The consumer data this can yield is invaluable -- something people wouldn’t shout about openly on social media might be something they’ll type into Google’s anonymous white box, or ask their phone or smart speaker. Something such as “what are the most effective products for treating this disease?” The data available through search listening can be a treasure trove of information about consumer concerns, desires, and preferences.
The process of generating a huge keyword list of relatively generic phrases based on traditional keyword analytics data and basic search behavior is being replaced by more sophisticated and nuanced keyword research methodologies such as search listening. Tools such as Answer the Public is enabling digital marketers to mine consumer data like never before and develop the focused, valuable keyword phrases needed to compete in today’s highly competitive digital marketing world.
When it comes to SEO, keyword research is important for content and blogging, but it is also critical for each and every website page about your business. Want to learn about the elements of a website that can drive traffic, leads and sales? Then download the eBook titled "25 Website Must-Haves for Driving Traffic Leads and Sales."
Bristol Strategy is a full funnel inbound marketing agency and inbound sales agency offering a complete complement of Inbound Marketing services that enable our clients to surpass their business objectives by transforming the way they engage with their buyer on-line. Reach out to us to learn more about how our experience and capabilities can help your business grow.