Content marketing is an integral element of a successful SEO strategy.
But content marketing is pointless if you don’t know what you should write about. Ranking well on Google is not a guessing game, and it all starts with finding the right keywords – they are the lighthouse that guides your SEO strategy.
So before you write a word, you need to know what keywords you should be targeting, aka the terms that you want to want to be found after someone Googles them.
Useful keywords have three things in common: 1) they’re relevant to your business, 2) they have high-search volumes, and 3) they have low competition.
Keywords that meet all three requirements will be easy enough to rank high on, bring you a large number of visitors to your site, and those visitors will be actively looking to read your content.
This process is not all technical and does require an ounce of creativity.
First thing first, you need to identify who your target audiences are and what they’re looking for online to solve their top problems and questions. Brainstorm a few ideas as a potential customer searching for solutions and answers online.
Can’t come up with many? Your listed services are a perfect starting place. You can also ask your customer service and sales people what are the common points that customers often mention.
Once you have a brainstormed list of 20-50 “starting” keywords, you can use a few tools to check the traffic and competition of your list.
Google Keyword Planner gives you Google’s own insights on keywords and topics and how the world is searching for them. You can search your initial brainstormed keywords here and determine the competition surrounding them and their search volume. From here, you can get suggestions on longer tail keywords that are lower competition and more specific.
Google trends will help unveil keywords and phrases that are “on the rise” in search volume. This will help you jump on trending keywords before they are hyper-competitive and create a dynamic keyword strategy. Simultaneously, stay away from searches that are losing popularity.
Use a few tools to know what your competitors are writing on and best strategize how you can compete. You can try:
Spyfu allows you to search your competitor’s pages and “spy” on their keywords, paid keywords, and paid and organic traffic. You can better determine how to adjust your own organic and paid keyword strategy to beat out competitors in getting in front of your target audience.
SEMrush gives you insights on paid keyword strategy and helps you determine the most effective and cost-effective strategy that is still competitive against others in your area.
Your ultimate goal is finding keywords that are relevant, organically position you in front of your target audience, and are low competition so you are likely to gain organic traffic from putting an effort behind them.
Once you’ve nailed these down, it’s easy to take your keywords and build an effective keyword strategy.
Marti writes about digital marketing and entrepreneurship. Find him with coffee and a laptop while traveling back and forth between Barcelona and Charlotte. Connect with him on LinkedIn.