Content marketing is one of the most important SEO efforts any business can have. Content is pretty much the foundation of search engine optimisation, highly regarded by both search engines and potential audiences.
A good content marketing strategy helps you build trust with your audience, improve conversions, drive search traffic to your site, and that’s just to name a few benefits it brings. And any good content marketing strategy needs to begin with keyword research.
Why Keywords Matter for Content
The concepts of keyword research and content marketing sometimes get treated as two separate SEO strategies, but that’s not exactly true. There is no content without keywords unless you’re planning on building a website with no words at all.
Keywords are the basis of any blog post, product description, or headline you will end up placing on your site, and researching keywords is an essential step in your strategy.
Here are a few compelling reasons why keywords matter when it comes to content:
1. Improves SEO Efforts
Your content’s keywords are the common search terms a person may use to look for a particular subject. Search engines take these words and phrases from a user query and try to match them with content from a website. Then, after taking into consideration other criteria such as page speed or navigation, it returns a list of indexed pages in the search results for the user to analyse and click on the result they deem most relevant to them.
While it may not be that difficult to identify the main keywords of your industry, keyword research allows you to match user intent. Simply put, users may have different reasons for why they search for something in Google:
- To find information
- To find a specific brand or website
- To buy something
- To call a business, etc.
Say you have a piece of content about how amazing the new iPhone is, and you want to use the right keywords to hopefully get some more visibility to quit from search engines. In this example, we have two completely different reasons for a user to search for the new iPhone:
- To buy it
- To find out more about it, like read a review
Since you have a blog post about it, you’re interested in the latter category. Using the broad keyword “new iPhone” may get you in front of both queries, but those who want to buy will likely not click on your link.
Google tries to match user intents when creating the result pages, so it will look for additional clues the query has, such as the word “reviews” or the phrase “what is the new iPhone like.” If you come up with a list of keywords that match the user’s intent to find information, and leverage them in your content, then you have a lot more chances of that article being delivered in the SERP.
This is why SEO and content marketing are so connected. You can’t improve your website rank without having a list of keywords that tell search engines your website may have the answer to the user query. And the better you can match the search intent, the better the odds of showing in the SERP.
2. Give Readers What They Want
Researching keywords can help you identify certain topics your target audience wants to know more about. When you’re trying to come up with a content calendar to base your blog posts on, it can be quite beneficial to look at what the users are searching.
Popular search terms showcase a specific need and interest your audience has of a given topic. The key here isn’t to take the keyword and create another generic piece of content on the subject, but try to bring a personal touch to the subject, an added value your readers won’t be able to get anywhere else.
3. Help You Identify a Niche or Trend
Google Trends is a great tool for researching keywords. It can tell you the search volume for some of the most common search terms, though you shouldn’t rely just on what’s trending at a specific time.
Look for what’s on the rise as well. Even if a keyword doesn’t have a massive search volume presently, it may be slowly starting to grow. If you leverage that keyword in your content, before anyone else figures out it’s valuable, you can effectively get ahead of your competitors, and bring a lot of interested people to your website. Then, thanks to the rest of your strategy, you can turn these new visitors into loyal readers by continuing to offer them essential information.
4. Help You Save Time
Keyword research is also great to uncover those words or phrases that may not be worth your time. If there is almost no search volume to speak of, then there is really not much point to target keywords that your audiences don’t use, is there?
It could help you save a lot of time because instead of creating high-quality content (which takes a while) on a topic that isn’t of interest, you can focus all your efforts on using keywords people are searching for. This will help you attract more new readers to your site.
How to Choose the Right Keywords
So we decided that keywords are the foundation of content marketing, but how do you know if you’re using the right ones?
Here are some tips that could help you perfect your keyword strategy:
1. Use a Keyword Tool
You have a lot of keyword tools at your disposal online, and the easiest one to rely on is the Keyword Planner. With it, you can check the search volume of the keywords you want to use, and get suggestions for additional keywords.
Combine the Keyword Planner with the Google Trends tool, and you can come up with a great list of keywords to add to your content marketing strategy.
2. Check with Your Ideal Audience
You look directly at your ideal audience for keyword ideas! Using a keyword tool is great to find keywords that are common in search queries, but looking at how your target audience already talks about a particular subject can bring to light even more ideas.
Look at social media groups, forums, or question and answer websites like Quora for inspiration. During this process, remember not to focus just on gathering keywords, but also identifying any burning questions audience members may have, especially if they haven’t been answered in the thread or comment section.
Use these questions as the basis for your content to really get ahead of what your ideal audience wants to read.
3. Target Multiple Types of Keywords
Your content should target all different kinds of keywords for maximum results. Core, broad keywords are usually the ones with the highest search volume, but they are also highly competitive, so it’s harder to rank with them alone.
Instead, add long-tail keywords, which are those longer keyword phrases users are likely to type in their search query. These will help you match user intent.
Back to You
Having a keyword strategy isn’t just a way to get in front of people searching for a particular subject on Google. In a way, it’s the very foundation of your content marketing efforts and works directly toward improving SEO.
If you want to take a deeper dive into the subject of keyword research, we can help. Book a free strategy session with a Search Engine Optimisation Expert at Australian Internet Advertising now to get in touch with our SEO team!