Everyone knows by now that Search Engine Optimisation relies on strategic use of keywords, but not everyone seems to grasp what this actually entails.
At greatcontent, matching keywords and content forms the backbone of our daily work. And it’s not as simple as it might seem. In this blog, we’ll share a few insights from the field about keyword basics. With our help, you’ll be able to hone your keyword research, and be much better placed to rise up those Google rankings.
Why are Keywords So Important?
Keywords matter because they attract the attention of search engine algorithms. Search engines are programmed to detect which pages to show to customers, based on how relevant they are to specific searches. And the best way to work this out is by analysing keywords, assigning every page a score, and delivering the results as a set of results.
That’s the simple part. One complicating factor is that every other site in your field will be competing for “high value” keywords – the ones which rank most highly.
Another complication is that Google no longer simply checks keywords when ranking sites. More complex techniques look at content in greater depth, in order to decide how relevant content is to search queries.
This means that the quality of your content is all-important. But keywords aren’t dead. Far from it. High ranking sites still use terms that are related to their target demographic. Even better, successful sites research keywords to find out how people are reaching their pages. And that’s marketing gold dust.
What is Keyword Research?
Today, researching keywords is all about discovering audience intentions – not about finding popular words and cramming them into content. But how can you actually make these essential discoveries?
Several techniques exist to come up with the best keywords to use. All of them broadly have the same ends in mind: to understand who is searching for products in your niche, how they search, and the kind of language they use when they do so.
Creating high-scoring landing pages for SEO is about learning these key facts – the who, what, and how of content marketing. With that information, you can build keyword strategies that achieve high conversion rates, no matter what field you work in.
How to Do Keyword Research for Content Marketing
The place to start is on paper. Brainstorm the kind of people who might reach your site, create buyer personas, and then come up with a list of words that you think could connect them to your site.
Next, plug these lists of potential search terms into a keyword research tool. SEOLyze is a great example, as are Moz, SEMRush, and Ahrefs Keyword Explorer. This will bring up a list of associated search terms, along with traffic statistics showing how often they are used.
It’s a good idea to build content around high ranking keywords, but not completely. Low ranking terms can be very effective as well. Because the competition is less fierce, your site will be more likely to stand out. This can be superior to moderate rankings for much more popular terms, so balancing keywords is a good idea.
Another thing to think about is the use of long tail keywords (phrases including key terms that are commonly used in search queries). These terms have lower traffic scores, but can be associated with very specific customer needs (such as “how can I find a bonsai tree nursery in Birmingham”). Use them wisely, and in the context of high-quality content, and long tail keywords can be very effective traffic generators.
Turn Keywords into Revenues with a Full Content Audit
Most online businesses have inefficient keyword strategies. Sometimes, that’s due to a slow response to Google algorithm changes. In other cases, it’s due to a poor understanding of how audiences reach their landing pages. In any case, investing in a full SEO audit is a sound idea.
Companies like greatcontent can supply SEO auditing services, and much more. In fact, we can assess marketing strategies, and rebuild content from the bottom up, including keywords with genuine SEO impact. If you aren’t ranking as highly as you should be, get in touch. With the right keywords, that can probably be remedied in no time.
Text: Sam Urquhart