Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Effective Keyword Strategy and Use for Great SEO Results

As any solid SEO strategist knows, an effective content marketing strategy involves a lot of keyword research.  In fact, content marketing really commences with keyword research as it serves as the foundation and backbone for all your campaigns.  Of course your brand and your products would serve as the nucleus beneath this research. So what’s the next step in doing your research and how does one go about choosing what to do with these keywords? How should we disperse these keywords we discover across our site, social media, blog and other channels? These are common questions I receive when I am working with a lot of my clients or anyone that is trying to increase their presence online with content marketing. 

As discussed earlier in this post, every business should start with their own core brand and from there do some research on their target audience.  This is where a lot of marketing teams will develop personas which are essentially caricatures of their targets which provide some insight into their demographic and pyschographic behavior.  Once you have these basics down which will help you with your target’s buyer behavior, you can then start to develop your content marketing campaign.  This is where the keyword research process starts.  

  1. Target Audience Keywords - As you develop each campaign for your particular target audience you want to of course utilize the keywords that you discover from your research.  Using Google’s Keyword Tool is a great way to get this insight and it provides wonderful search traffic estimates.  Remember, for the most part you want to search for less competitive keywords and ones that have lower search results (low competition and search results of sub 3,000 searches/month aka Longtail).  You will also want to develop another list of keywords that are considered medium competitive and that have slightly higher search results than the first set.  Finally, and you guessed it, you will want to develop a 3rd set of keywords that you find from your research that are considered highly competitive and that have much higher search results (3,000+/month).  A good start is to have 10-20 keywords for each (low, medium, high competition).  You can do this for each product you have, as well as, each page on your website.
  2. Incorporating Keywords in Content - The next step now that you have these lists of keyword results is implementation.  Depending on how targeted you want your campaign to be you can select keywords from one of your lists.  For example, if your service or product is in a narrow and less competitive market and you are looking to increase your mindshare as well as presence in this market, then its wise to use higher search volume keywords.  You will want to do the opposite for a more competitive or mature market if that’s the arena where you are marketing (find long tail keywords).   Still though, you may choose to incorporate medium to high search volume keywords for your website if your service or product has wider appeal, but then you might want to utilize your list of less competitive keywords in your blog posts or on your social media channels to try to create interest or grab your audience’s attention and get them in the back door.  Please note that it is wise to stick with one keyword phrase per post as this will help you keep your post focused, but it will also have a greater chance of being found in search engine results.  (As a simple keyword optimization strategy reminder to those who may be just launching their business site, you will definitely want to make sure that you focus your website pages on one keyword per page and using a keyword density of 3-5%.)  Using this keyword optimization strategy for your content will help you over time to build a presence in your market and yes, it will improve your search results.
  3. Placing Your Keywords in the Right Channels - As the last paragraph noted, deciding where to place your optimized content with your newly selected keywords is the last step.  This is the promotion or action step and the best strategy here is diversification.  Depending upon your market and target audience, select what you deem will be your top channels to promote your content, then start your content engine, and let the content flow.  To increase the chances that your posts will be viewed, you will want to use your long tail keywords (less competitive, less search results) which will have a higher conversion rate.  Its wise to push this long tail keyword optimized content thru your social media channels and blog posts as they will serve as strong hooks to bait your target audience.  Make sure you have links which bring your audience catches back to your site which will help your marketing goals.
  4. Using Location or Local SEO - If your service is located in a small town or city, then I highly recommend that you add some very easy local SEO tactics along with your new keywords. These days getting on to Google’s #1 search page is very competitive, especially since larger companies simply have larger content marketing budgets and manpower.  Hence, the best way for smaller companies to navigate their way up the search rankings is to optimize their site with their location.  Place your city or town in your title tags and description and make sure that your address is listed on each of your pages. Also, make sure that you have a Google+ Local Business page that has been Verified by Google.  These small tactics really do make a difference in today’s competitive online world.
Try these content marketing strategies out and measure your results over time.  You should start to see some better search results with a consistent content producing engine.  Hence, you could easily add a step #5 for this which would be to measure your results and rinse, wash and repeat.

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Christian Habermann
Written by Christian Habermann of BBB Accredited Business, Auctus Marketing

Christian Habermann is the founder of Auctus Marketing and is a leader and innovator in the online marketing world. He is very involved in the local start up scene in Boston, MA. He co-founded ConsumerUnited.com, now Goji.com, which is one of the fastest growing online insurance companies and has made the Inc. 500 List the past 3 years.  He loves to help companies of all sizes, from start ups to Fortune 500s, embrace the online marketing world to grow their business. He is the author of "SEO for 2014” and holds and MBA in marketing from Vanderbilt.

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