Marketers know that keywords are essential components of a content marketing strategy in this digital age.
Search engines have changed tremendously in recent years. This has had a significant impact on Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
It is gone a time when content creators were able to hack search algorithms with cleverly placed keywords or backlinks. Digital marketers must now prove their expertise and relevance to rank high on Search Engine Results Page (SERPs). However, keywords don’t have to be irrelevant.
Digital marketing still requires strategic keyword placement. Your SEO strategy should include the selection of the best search terms to optimize for.
When we refer to keywords in this article, we really mean keyphrases. Keyphrases are terms that people search for. They are what will drive traffic to your site. However, generating a large number of visitors is only half of the battle. You should also research the keywords and phrases that will bring the right typeof visitors to your site.
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Keyphrases for long-tail keywords
Long-tail keyphrases contain more precise and longer keyword phrases. Content marketers need them for two reasons. 1. Ranking high in SERPs for single keywords can be extremely difficult. This puts you in competition against some of the most popular websites on the internet, which have thousands of visitors per day and many backlinks. 2) When they are closer to making a purchase, searchers will use more specific phrases.
Let’s look at the second point. A person searching for screen sharing might just be looking to find out what it is or how it works. If someone searches for “screen sharing” with the longer term, it’s highly probable that they are looking for the best screen sharing app with recording capability. You will generate a steady stream traffic if you rank well for this search term.
You can connect with customers who are actively searching for products or services by choosing the most relevant long-tail key phrases.
The general rule of thumb is that the more precise and long-tail keyphrase searches you use, the better quality leads you’ll get. A simple search for “table” will not result in a buyer. However, someone searching for “antique mahogany coffee tables in New York” will likely be willing to part with their cash.
Before you can optimize your content for long-tail key phrases that will help customers find your business online you must first identify these. These seven steps will help you find high-quality keywords and phrases to drive traffic to your content.
1. Define your topic
Start keyword research by brainstorming basic topics for your content. Do not self-censor at the beginning, as you will be focusing more on your research in the next steps.
If you have a website that offers recipes for bread and cakes, then your topic would be baking. This topic could be expanded to include bread, cakes, and other topics relevant to your keyword research.
2. List common-sense keywords
Once you have identified at least one topic that is relevant, you can begin to list the key words associated with it. This stage of research is best done with a group of people to help you get more perspectives and to avoid overlooking important keywords.
Remember that you are only creating a preliminary list at this stage so don’t be too specific. You will eventually need to create longer keyphrases, so you can focus on the individual words and shorter phrases for now.
3. To expand your search results, you can use a keyword explorer
Once you have created a preliminary list, you can use a keyword explorer to help you expand it.
Keyword explorer allows you to input a word, and it will produce a list of related and extended search terms. Google’s suggested search feature is the most basic way to explore keywords. You simply need to type your common sense keywords in the search bar. The search engine will then suggest terms based on what people are searching for most often.
Answer the Public, Moz Keyword Explorer and Semrush are some of the most well-known paid-for keyword research tools. There are many explorers available, each offering different benefits and features. You can try several and find the one that suits your needs best.
4. Find variations of your keyword phrases
You should now have a list of search terms that are most commonly associated with your topic after you’ve used a keyword explorer tool. Many tools can also identify the variations of every keyword or phrase.
Because you are likely to use each keyword multiple times in your content, it is important to have different keywords. You should change the format of keywords to avoid repeating yourself.
Variations make your content easier to read, which will help you create website copy that converts visitors to leads. They also increase the visibility of your content in search engine results pages (SERPs). Different people will use different phrases, even if they are searching for the exact same thing. It is important to optimize your content for every variation of a term.
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5. Add niche and localized variations to your list
Your list should now be quite extensive by the time you’ve researched all possible variations of your initial keywords. You will also need to include niche or local variations in your search terms list.
Niche variations refers to different versions of the service or product you offer. If you sell a product or service in multiple colors on your website, this is the stage where you add them all to your keyword list.
6. Collect monthly search volume
Once you have a list of keywords, you can begin to plan for which keywords you want to target in your SEO strategy. You can do this by looking at the monthly search volume for each term. This will help you identify the keywords and phrases that people are searching for. This information will allow you to customize your content to be optimized for search terms that are most popular.
This function is built into many keyword exploration tools like Semrush or Moz Keyword Explorer, making it simple to rank keywords according to search volume.
You can also use Google’s Keyword Planner to generate a report showing you the search volume as well as the competitive metrics for each keyword you enter.
Google is the leader in web search, with 92% of global searches using its search engine. However, this number drops to 5% for searches from China. Google’s Keyword Planner is useful if you are targeting English-language searches. However, international SEO should be done with more platform-inclusive keywords tools.
7. Identify real target keywords and phrases
Finally, you have a list with relevant keywords, ranked by search volume. It might seem like you have completed your research. Now all that is left to do is use the keywords at the top.
Although this is not necessarily a bad strategy it will make your list very long if you have followed the steps properly. The terms that rank highest in search volume might be generic, single words, not related to your business or too broad to make optimization worthwhile.
First, eliminate any terms that are not directly related to the product or service you’re selling. Once you have done this, find the long-tail phrases your potential customers are searching for.
Next, do a search on the internet for any terms that you feel are worth targeting. Notify the top ranked websites in the SERPs. Do your direct competitors rank highly? Or will your competition be authoritative news sites and other organizations with more marketing resources than you?
Domain authority is a useful metric to compare the authority of different websites. Moz created domain authority, a score that predicts a website’s likelihood of ranking high in SERPs. Domain Authority scores can range from 1 to 100, with higher scores representing a higher ranking. Page Authority is an equally calculated score that individual pages receive.
When choosing keywords to optimize for, it is a good idea to search for terms that have a high domain authority or page authority.
Now that you have learned how to conduct keyword research, it is time to implement your findings. There is no easy way to determine how many keywords you should optimize for. You should set realistic goals and not sacrifice quality content to squeeze in as many keywords as possible.
Remember that keywords aren’t the only thing that will make you a successful SEO expert. Good backlink strategies will help drive traffic to your content. Customer reviews are an important part of improving your site’s authority and increasing your chances of reaching the top SERP spots.
Scoop.it Blog: How to Do Keyword Research Strategically for Content Marketing Successfully