Keywords are essential to every aspect of a SEO campaign, from on-site placement and usage to link prospecting and acquisition. Knowing which terms to target and how to target them can either produce great results or end in a huge flop.
There’s no denying that content marketing has become a top priority for many businesses SEO strategy these days. Yet despite the value quality content can bring to areas like demand and lead generation, a recent study by Content Marketing Institute reports that web traffic is still the most common criteria used to measure content marketing success. While the world of SEO has certainly evolved over the years, keyword research remains the cornerstone of any successful SEO strategy. It’s true, Google algorithm updates are designed to place more emphasis on content quality, but at the end of the day, people still have to type something into the search field to get results.
Defining and categorizing keywords will help in your link outreach and community building online, both of which are essential in order to drive relevant traffic to web sites. While there are a number of schools of thought when it comes to the types of keywords we should use, Let’s walk through types and will how to use them in all areas of our SEO strategy.
1. Market-defining keywords:
Market-defining keywords are terms and phrases of the target audience, use them when talking about your business or industry. These phrases are usually very broad and generic, so they are often much harder to rank for than others; nonetheless, they are still extremely important. These terms are critical in the on-page optimization process. Following SEO best practices, add these terms throughout your site pages. Market-defining keywords are also helpful in jump-starting your content creation. Framing these keywords inside broader questions can help in development of some great content for the web site or blog. When it comes to link acquisition, use these terms to prospect for link- or community-building opportunities. Manual link building is not the most glamorous thing these days, but it works better than any other method. These terms may uncover some other great sites within your field that you can partner with.
2. Know your audience:
This may be the most overlooked (and more important) part of keyword research. Before marketers can choose the best keywords for their websites, they first need to understand who they are optimizing for. Market research should be applied to help marketers get into the heads of their target audiences. Understanding the topics that are important to customers is the first step to narrowing down the keywords that are most likely to draw them to your site.
3. Target longtail phrases:
It’s very important that marketers choose the right keywords that are specific to their particular markets, also known as “longtail” keyword phrases. For instance, the term “training” alone could refer to anything from sports training to dog training — not exactly a niche audience. To optimize content for the right people, it’s important to be specific. “Sales training” is good, but “B2B sales training” is better, and “books on B2B sales training” beats them all. Longtail phrases also tend to have lower competition, increasing the odds of higher page ranks in Google.
4. Customer-defining keywords:
Customer-defining keywords are the terms and phrases are customers use to define themselves. What do customers call themselves? How do they refer to others in their group? These two questions will guide in uncovering these powerful keywords. This type of keyword is important because it will help you discover others who relate to your target audience. Some may be directly related to your customer base, and others may be in a similar niche. Either way, by using these terms, can uncover some great insight into how the audience speaks and how can frame the site in a way that entices them to interact. SEO is much more than just search; it’s about creating a connection. Customer-defining keywords will help connect with those who want or need the products or services. By understanding how your audience defines themselves, we can create better content, build more contextually appropriate links and build better, more authentic connections online.
5. Product keywords:
Product keywords describe what we sell. When listing out and researching these terms, lets be specific about it. For example, if we are selling computers, we need to use the brand names as well: Dell laptop, MacBook Pro, Surface Pro and so on. This will help us in uncovering some great opportunities and prospects which helps in meeting very specific niches within our target customer segments. In most spaces, we find smaller segments that are very devoted to a particular brand, style or type of product. Within these segments, we will find the product enthusiasts who are normally more likely to take action when approached for linking and brand building. Product keywords are great for use on your site and a great starting point for creating targeted content for our blog.
6. Related vertical keywords:
Related vertical keywords are the terms within our target segment of ecosystem. These terms can range from suppliers to customer industries, but they need to have a clear connection to our primary audience. These terms are helpful in uncovering new prospecting opportunities, as well as helping us in building a strong community of like-minded individuals. Related vertical keywords can help us “cross-pollinate” our link outreach and community-building efforts. By tapping into closely related niches, we can expand message to others who may be interested but just don’t know much about you. With this new information, can create helpful content and space to bring the two communities together.
7. Use different keywords to say the same thing:
Renowned content marketing guru Marcus Sheridan advises marketers that when it comes to an SEO strategy, there’s more than one way to get a singular point across. For example, while working on his swimming pool company’s blog, Sheridan decided to create a post about how much certain types of pools cost. After that, he created a post covering the price of those same types of pools. While these two topics may appear to be the same, Sheridan realized that search engines would recognize “how much does it cost” and “what is the price” as different keyword phrases. By creating posts optimized for both, he was able to increase the odds that customers would find his content, no matter how they searched for it.
8. Leverage traffic analytics:
Reporting tools like Google Analytics helps with the keyword selection process. By analyzing traffic trends, marketers can identify which types of keywords are driving visitors to their site, and build on those trends with future content. While search engine optimization has changed quite a bit over the years, keyword selection is still a critical part of any successful SEO strategy. By targeting the right keywords at the very beginning, online marketers can put their content — and brands — in the best position to increase search engine visibility and get a leg up on the competition.
9. Geotargeted keywords
Geotargeted keywords are key for the local rankings. According to Google, “50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day, and 34% who searched on a computer/tablet did the same.” Defining geotargeted keywords will help in target the local prospects, groups and events of a company, can engage with and/or sponsor. Local SEO is a powerful way to grow our reach and influence in our own backyard. If we have a brick-and-mortar business, local SEO will drive targeted traffic not just to the site, but to the store as well. When doing research on geotargeted terms, lets just don’t stick up to our town or city. Expand the territory to include neighboring areas. If its in a larger city, break down the geo terms into neighborhoods to capture an even more targeted segment.
When it comes to finding, organizing and using keywords, the biggest piece of advice is to be patient and keep digging. The more we search and investigate, the more we will be able to uncover. After we have the list, organize keywords by action, and develop the plan. Optimize the site, and then focus on outreach. Using these keywords, we will be able to build a community that helps in driving site in the right direction.