Content optimization and keyword research often come off as marketing industry buzzwords. They can seem hard to understand. That can lead to people underestimating their importance or dismissing the concepts entirely. In truth, both are very important to successful online marketing efforts.
There’s a keyword sweet spot that can only be reached by finding the proper balance between search frequency and uniqueness. When that balance is found, marketers can create content that is bound to rank higher. Below are the insights you need to master these important concepts.
Popular Doesn’t Mean Powerful
The most popular keyword searches in your niche, may not be the most powerful (or profitable) for you. Imagine that you own a cosmetics company, ‘EF Natural Cosmetics’. You conduct some entry-level keyword research, and the following phrases emerge as the most popular:
- Eye Make-Up
- Powder Foundation
- Lip Stain
- Lip Gloss
- Makeup Bags
The first conclusion to be drawn here is that people with some interest in cosmetics are using these search terms more often than others. That’s objectively true. What isn’t guaranteed is that these keywords are relevant to your business or your goals. It’s certainly valuable to identify popular keywords in your niche. Once you do that, you have to ask some important questions about each keyword you consider:
- Is it relevant to what my business has to offer?
- Will it drive relevant traffic to my website?
- Can my business compete for rankings for these keywords?
If your answers are no, you’ll need to dig deeper in terms of keyword research.
Getting Started with Keyword Research: Topic Selection
“Good search engine rankings are a product of relevance,” explains Hawa Kinney, the SEO specialist at Canada-Writers and TheEssayTyper.com. “This is why keyword stuffing is no longer effective. So, don’t start with keywords. Start with topics,” he adds.
What is relevant to your audience as it relates to your products and expertise? What are the subjects that you can produce content on that will resonate with your audience at every stage of the sales funnel?
- Makeup Tutorials
- Environmentally Friendly Cosmetics
- Self-Care and Healthy Living
- Looking Good on a Budget
Try to think from the perspective of your different customer personas, and their needs at each stage of the customer journey.
Keywords Round 1: Identifying Topic Relevant Keywords
Now, take each topic that you’ve identified and list keyword sets that are relevant to each one. At this point, don’t worry about what is popular or trending. Think about what your target audience will care about, and what you can write about.
Take the topic header of Environmentally Friendly Cosmetics. What are some questions that your base might have on this topic? What can you say about this topic that is relevant?
- Does environmentally friendly makeup look nice?
- How do I know if my makeup is good for the environment?
- What makeup ingredients are bad for the environment?
- How does EF Cosmetics make ‘green’ cosmetics?
- How do I use green cosmetics?
- Can I look good wearing environmentally friendly makeup?
- Where can I buy environmentally friendly makeup?
Keyword Research and Refining
This is the stage where you’ll actually begin refining your keyword list. Here, you’ll research other companies in your niche, and the keywords that they are using and trending for. You can also begin researching the topics you’ve identified, and your keyword lists to create a list of master keywords, and long tail keywords to focus on.
Codie Mercer, the content editor for BestUKWriters shares: “There are benefits to targeting both popular keywords in your niche, and focusing on less popular, niche keywords. The first will get you noticed by search engines when people conduct more common searches. The second allows you to attract visitors who are more interested in what you have to offer specifically. This includes geo-targeted keywords.”
Optimizing Your Content for Keyword Search
Once you have your list of keywords, it’s time to optimize your content to get the best rankings. This is a process that involves tweaking your existing content, and planning to write new content that is optimized for your target keywords. There are two primary areas of focus in this they are:
- Writing Relevant Content That is Keyword Optimized
Ultimately good content is what will drive people to your website, and improve your search rankings. It’s not enough to simply have the keywords in your content. You have to provide your audience with well-written blog posts and other content, on relevant topics, that use keyword phrases naturally. This is what will help you earn backlinks, shares, and traffic.
To create the best possible content, consider investing in some great content creation tools and resources such as Fly Writing, Get Good Grade, and Canva. You might also consider working with a qualified copywriting service like Best Writers Canada, or using the Hemingway app to help your in house writing staff improve their skills.
Don’t forget to revisit your old content as well. Even if going through old blog posts is overkill, it can help to revamp your home page and landing pages to reflect your new keyword focus. This will also cause Google and other search engines to reindex those pages.
- Optimizing Your Website for Keyword Search
There’s a technical side to keyword optimization that shouldn’t be ignored. There’s certain information on your website that is visible to search engines, even if it isn’t visible to your website visitors. Update this information correctly to improve your likelihood of ranking for the right keyword combinations. For example:
- Using Keywords in Your Image Names and Attributes
- Including Keywords in Your Website URLs
- Adding Target Keywords to Title Tags
- Using Keywords in Internal Links, Navigational Links, and Inbound Links
Final Thoughts: Measuring The Results
This isn’t a one and done task. It’s an ongoing effort that you’re going to have to change over time. Your audience’s changing interests and trends in your industry will impact your choice in keyword phrases. You’ll also need to use analytics to get objective feedback on the success of your keyword strategy. Serpstream can help with this as it is the only, keyword rank tracking tool that’s free from up to 10K keywords.