What’s one of the most important, valuable and high-return activities in the world of search marketing? Keyword research! The keywords you choose dictate everything you do with your content strategy–from what you write and focus on, to what you tweet about, to your photos and videos, and more! The right keywords drive traffic to your site—but what you really need is QUALIFIED traffic. After all, it’s not always about getting visitors to your site, but about getting the right kind of visitors.
Case in Point
Recently, a client came to us at Aquarius Designs with a problem. They had thousands of visits to their site but they weren’t seeing many conversions. When we took a deep dive into their analytics, we saw that over 70 percent of their traffic was coming from outside the United States. As a New Jersey business, they needed to target and appeal to users searching for their keywords specifically in NJ. And analytics was the key to making that happen. But how could we know which words they were typing in the search field?
Research, Research, Research
By researching your market’s keyword demand, you can discover which words and phrases to target, and also learn more about your customers as a whole. You can predict demand shifts, respond to changing market conditions, and deliver the products, services and content that users are looking for. But how do you judge the value of your keywords?
The key to successful SEO is concentrating on long-tail and specific keywords. Although they get less traffic than more generic terms, they invite more qualified traffic and users that are farther along in the buying process.
The Importance of Relevance and Location
Relevance is the key to choosing the right keywords for SEO. The more specific you are, the better. For instance, if you own a pool company, there’s a good chance you’ll attract more qualified prospects with “fiberglass in-ground pool installation” rather than just “swimming pools.”
That’s because “fiberglass in-ground pool installation,” shows the user is in research mode. They know exactly the type of pool they are looking for, and not interested in results that do not give that to them. While optimizing for “swimming pools” has its place, going with the more relevant keyword is your best bet.
When people are looking for contractors and services in their local area, they’ll typically include their location in the search. So, “fiberglass in-ground pool installation” becomes “fiberglass in-ground pool installation in Middletown NJ.” Keep these in mind when working on your keyword research.
Now It’s Time to Optimize
As we’ve discussed, when it comes to SEO, the success of your organic search efforts relies on how well you discover, research, analyze and select the right keywords for your website. All other aspects of SEO rest on successful optimization.
- Title Tag. Include your keywords in your title tags for each page—the most crucial piece of content on your website, both on and off-page.
- Content strategy. Hoping to rank well and connect with searchers? Pepper your keywords throughout your content keeping within the Google search algorithm.
- Images. The photos on your website should include keywords in the file names.
- Links. Integrate your keywords into your link-building strategy. That includes internal links, inbound links and navigational links.
- Meta Description. Not as important as in the past, but including your optimized keywords in your text snippets can help to get more clicks in searches.
- URL. Include your keywords in your page’s URL. For instance: www.yourpage.com/keyword
Content Marketing Strategy
Why Having One is Key to Your Ongoing Success
In the grand scheme of things, content marketing is a relatively new concept. The general idea is rather easy to understand—you create compelling content that draws attention, generates buzz, and builds trust. But like anything new, there’s a learning curve—especially for small businesses that may not have the resources. Whether you’re creating the content in-house or outsourcing it to an agency, there may come a time when interesting new content is hard to find. No fear! Check out these tips for helping to creating exciting content.
- Build a Content Marketing Calendar
Just like your work commitments and appointments, putting your content creation on a calendar will help ensure you make it happen in a timely fashion. As a first step, put together a calendar of content scheduled for the month allowing for the time it takes to strategize, brainstorm, create, and publish. And remember, it’s not just one and done when it comes to writing. The search engines love to see continued use of your site and that will help bring you up higher in the search results. Shoot for new content at least once a week. And once you’ve developed the content for your site, you can turn it into posts and tweets and disseminate it across social media.
- Show That You’re an Expert in Your Field
Nobody knows your business better than you do. Show them why you have been in the business for so many years. As an expert in your field, users will have more reason to keep visiting your site. You can answer any question a potential customer throws at you, provide tips tricks, share how tos, whys and why nots. Take your knowledge and educate your audience. They’ll love it!
- See What’s Working Out There
Research other sites to get inspired. Understand why certain content works and doesn’t work. Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools can show you your top-trafficked pages and search queries to see what content has performed the best. Understanding these trends will show you what’s worked in the past and where you should head moving forward.
- Get Social
Social media sites provide great ideas for real-time content. Trending topics provide a valuable opportunity to provide useful content the moment people are looking for it. Check out the trends on Twitter and Facebook, and then enhance the story by discussing a new aspect or taking a controversial stance. You can even add infographics or videos to really make a statement.
- Record It
Speaking of video, utilize it as much as possible! While SEO tends to center around text, visual content is much more appealing for viewers. As humans, we are naturally engaged by visual content because 90 percent of the information that comes into our brains is visual. For your next content creation, consider developing an infographic with research that you’ve already conducted. This will keep visitors more engaged than with written content alone.
- Repurpose Content
Business gets busy. If brainstorming and research is too time-consuming, revisit an older piece of writing, rewrite and update it. New trends and information offer an easy opportunity to build on earlier posts. Take that content and create a video from it, reuse it but make it unique.
- Track and Measure Results
According to the 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends report, 49 percent of B2B business owners have trouble measuring the effectiveness of their content. So, even though we’re investing more time and money into content creation and distribution, many of us don’t know whether that content is working. It’s important to watch your analytics and see which pages users are visiting and spending time on. Which posts and tweets are people liking, engaging with and sharing? Use this data, and learn and grow from it.
No matter what type of business you own, content marketing and keyword research is now a required necessity for all Search Engine Marketing campaigns. Focus your efforts on it and you’ll engage new and existing audiences, and even encouraging sharing. Your task, if you choose to accept it? Understand the content strategies that have worked in the past and diversify the media by which they’re created, and you’ll see an immediate boost in business!