Good and thorough keyword research is the hidden driver behind high-ranking website pages, articles and more. Conducting keyword research should be a regular part of your content marketing and SEO strategies and you should always make sure to do it before you write any form of content that will represent your brand.
Why Do I Need to Do Keyword Research?
Newcomers in the digital marketing world might be asking, “why do I need to do keyword research?,” but professional marketers will know that it is just an everyday part of life. Researching for keywords to include in your content will help you rank higher within the search engines, consequently leading to more relevant traffic to your website.
If you’re writing content with no structure or aims to rank, then it is pretty pointless for a search engine crawler and your SEO strategy. Keyword research will show you which search terms are easier to rank for, what competitors are challenging you on and what your ideal audience is looking for. Content is all about what brings value to your target market, so you need to make sure you are putting yourself in their shoes when planning.
So, in a nutshell, you should do keyword research in order to reach your ideal audience and add value to their search, giving them what they want and getting what you want in return.
How To Conduct Keyword Research
When you first begin to research keywords you should create a mind map with the topic you are writing about in the middle. Subsequently, we recommend then branching off beginning with short-tail keywords that are brief and industry related, but not specific. Around 3 or 4 of these should suffice. Then, look at more specific mid-tail words that are three-to-four-word phrases that are slightly more specific, perhaps location based, or a sub genre of what you offer. Do this for each of the short-tail branches. Finally, look further into the keywords and create long-tail keywords that are precise questions and searches that are specific to what you do and sell.
If you need a run-down of what the types of keywords are alongside some great examples, check out this blog post on choosing the right keywords.
After you have mind mapped, you should have a variety of keywords to choose from that you can research using tools. Our digital marketing agency suggests highlighting the most important ones that you would prioritise to research first. Remember to include a mix of each form!
Utilising Online Tools
Online digital marketing tools such as SEMRush, Ubersuggest, Ahrefs and more have built-in keyword research tools. These tools allow you to find keyword difficulties, volumes, trends, CPC and more. When using these tools, you should make sure to have your mind map to hand and start by inputting your most valued search terms. Make sure you are taking note of factors such as keyword difficulty and volumes.
As a rule of thumb, you should look to target and prioritise keywords that have a volume of above 90. The difficulty of these words shouldn’t be too high either, as if you are a smaller or mid-sized business you will find it nearly impossible to rank highly on popular words with higher difficulty scores.
If you find that the keywords you highlighted on your mind map aren’t proving effective, there is always time to go back to the drawing board to create more or try alternative ones that weren’t prioritised before. These tools also allow you to look at what keywords your competitors are ranking for, so utilising this great digital marketing software could help you rise above your competition.
Building Keyword-Rich Content
After you have used the digital marketing keyword research tools, you should have selected a range of keywords to use in your content, all of which should be achievable based on your capabilities and resources.
When you begin to write your content, you can’t forget that what you write needs to be crafted for a human audience and their intentions. If you would like some help with writing for user search intent, read our guide.
As you write, be sure to include your keywords where they make sense. Don’t just put them in there for the sake of it, what you are saying around these needs to be of importance. If you find that your words don’t fit into the content you are writing then maybe it is time to visit the mind map and digital marketing tools we mentioned above.
Don’t Over Do It!
Ever heard of keyword stuffing in digital marketing? Well, if you’re new to content marketing and SEO, you may find that this phrase keeps on cropping up. Keyword stuffing is where search terms are purposely stuffed throughout a piece of content to try to rank higher without considering the human reader. This can negatively impact SEO in the long run and is a sneaky technique to try to play the search engines. There are plenty of online tools which will show you if your keyword percentage is too high on a particular webpage. If this is the case, try to swap words or remove them.
Conducting great keyword research isn’t hard, it just takes time and patience to find the right keywords you can rank for. After you have published your piece of content then you can regularly monitor its rankings. From this, you then can update your text to try to rank higher if you see it declining.
If you are struggling to get traffic to your site but are on a budget, hiring a digital marketing agency to create keyword-rich and strategically researched content could be a game-changer for you. Get in contact with our expert marketers today for more information.