Your company’s blog is live. You’re drafting content for social media networks on a regular basis. You’ve recently sent out a press release announcing your latest company milestone. But are you optimizing all this amazing content for all it’s worth?
With 150+ million blogs on the Internet today, 94% of businesses engaging with consumers on one of the “Big Three” social networks and nearly 2,000 press releases distributed over the wire every day, it can be tough to cut through the clutter and ensure your brand voice is heard. Improving your business’ search engine optimization (SEO) through keywords is the key to your success.
To help, I’ve put together this beginners guide to keywords. The steps listed below will assist you in determining your best-fit keywords for content marketing and help your business achieve greater organic search in today’s most popular search engines.
Step 1 – Determine Your Target Audience
- Start by making a list of your target audience. Remember, there is probably more than one group of people you are trying to reach.
- Put yourself in the shoes of the searcher and brainstorm what keywords and phrases they might be typing into search engines. Is your company locally based? Does it offer the hottest new trend? For example, our client One Ring Networks provides secure and reliable Internet connection for businesses in Atlanta and Dallas. In this case, online users may use search terms like “Atlanta Wi-Fi” or “Dallas internet service.”
- Once you’ve identified the people you are trying to reach, think about how your product or service benefits each group individually. This will help determine how you can transform a search to a conversion.
- Consider how these people are searching for you. Are they searching on desktop or searching via smartphone? Are they searching on behalf of businesses or as a consumer? This will further help to determine exactly what types of keywords they will use more frequently.
- Write these down! Remember to incorporate both short tail (ex: public relations) and long tail (ex: Atlanta Technology Public Relations) keywords. The mix of broad and specific will help you expand your reach while also targeting right fit consumers.
Step 2 – Generate Ideas Through Online Keyword Tools
- Set up a Google Account if you haven’t done so already and locate Keyword Planner in the tools section.
- Next, take one of your targeted consumer groups and type the keywords you brainstormed into the template. In return, Google will produce suggested ad groups and keywords for those specific terms.
- If you include your website URL, Google will screen your site and offer suggestions based on the content you have already written. Google will help you brainstorm by providing keywords and new ideas you may not have thought of. As a bonus, you’ll be able to see which keywords are more likely to lead to conversions.
- Finally, make sure to tailor your search to fit your specific needs. Whether that is by location, language, date range etc.
Step 3 – Optimize Your List
- In addition to suggested keywords, you will also be provided with data on average monthly searches. While you may gravitate towards the keywords that have high monthly searches, it’s important to remember that these terms present much higher competition and it will be more difficult to land on the first pages of organic search results.
- Therefore, don’t ignore terms just because of a lower monthly search number. In fact, the more targeted you get, the more likely you are to see a higher conversion rate.
- You’ll also see a section for competition, which is referring to how many people have purchased the keyword. Since you are not looking to buy keywords this metric is not as important, however, it still provides a helpful gauge on how intense the competition can be for a certain keyword.
Step 4 – Activate Keyword Strategy
- When drafting up new content, begin strategically placing keywords throughout, especially in the title and first paragraph.
- Be careful to not overload content with too many keywords. I recommend writing a post that focuses on one or two main keywords throughout. If you saturate content with too many keywords, you risk facing algorithm penalties.
- In addition to adding keywords to your new content, optimizing existing content will also give your blog an overall boost in SEO.
- Most importantly, keep this strategy alive. Continue to research keywords, see which keywords are getting you the best results and adjust your content accordingly.
Colleen Pinto is an account manager at AR|PR specializing in leading and servicing a growing roster of tech clients in the healthIT and mobile sectors. Follow AR|PR: @AR__PR