What are keywords?
The words which are used to search for something on the search engine are called keywords.
For example- if consumer types “buy a smartphone online” in the search box of Google, the keyword is “buy a smartphone online”. On the basis of searched keywords, Google displays the search results.
Keywords form the basis for digital marketing campaigns and are not only restricted to Search Engine Optimization. They are building blocks for your digital marketing strategy and a very important ON-page SEO factor.
The goal of businesses is to get discovered on the internet. People use search engine to find about products and services.
Different people have different ways to search, but the concept of search remains the same.
Importance of Keywords in Digital Marketing
1. Help Your Audience find you
The keywords on your website act as a vehicle for your target audience to find the most relevant content available on your website. As a business owner, you want to be certain that the keywords that you use in your blog posts which directly linked to what your potential is interested in.
With proper optimization and keyword research, your audience will see you using common terms or phrases that they use to search on the internet. Keyword research also helps you in finding the right keywords which the theme of your business. You can also be viewed in a favourable light by search engines.
2. Identify your audience
Keywords serve as a linkage between what people are searching for and the content provided by you to meet their needs. The keywords you pick for targeting or include will determine the kind of audience you’ll get.
It may be possible that the way you are presenting your content may be different than the way people are searching for. To ensure that your content ranks organically and will drive the right kind of visitors to your site, you need to understand their needs.
To do this, you have to create a persona for your visitors. A person will act as a benchmark.
Following are some of the benefits of creating a persona for your digital marketing campaign:
- Understanding your customer needs and interests allow you to create content.
- Knowing where your customers or visitors spend most of the time internet lets you know to better target your marketing efforts like – you can place ads or promote your content on platforms where your audience will most likely see and share it.
- You can create better quality leads and give your marketing campaigns a more personal touch.
- When you know which audience your marketing team should focus on, it becomes easy for you to allocate funds and resources into the right channels which are most efficient for attracting your ideal customers.
- You can build future products and product features that are more closely aligned to customer needs.
3. Make a content strategy
Once you know which keywords are relevant for your website, you can easily make your content strategy around those terms. An effective content strategy will help you get more digital traction and attract more attention to your brand.
Sometimes, you already have existing content and only you have to figure out how to match them with keywords. A content-to-keyword map will be helpful. It will provide you with insight into the impact of your content and determine if there are gaps or weak links that need to be addressed.
A content-to-keyword map include following –
- Primary keyword
- Keyword search volume
- Organic traffic
- Page authority
Every page on your website should target a unique keyword. Your homepage should target a broad industry term. Target more specific niche keywords when you create pages for your website.
4. Simply your marketing efforts
Keywords tell your visitors what your business is all about – the products and services you provide. Choosing the right keywords will help you in knowing what content you need to market so that people can find you. Also, you can use online tools which will help you in researching keywords that are relevant for your business.
Key benefits of using online tools for keyword research:
- Provides valuable insight into the number of users searching for any given keyword.
- Let’s you know how much competition is there for your keyword of choice.
- Also gives you a realistic understanding of the right keywords for your website.
- Helps you determine how effective a keyword will be for your marketing campaigns.
5. Boost Leads and sales
The keyword you choose should help boost your conversion and, ultimately, increase your revenue.
For an effective digital marketing strategy, you should proper keyword research and optimization. The keywords you choose should essentially target the kind of web traffic which will convert into paying customers, the wrong choice of keywords will attract traffic that does nothing for your bottom line.
Keyword research and optimization are an ongoing process and are not something that you only do once. Regularly checking your keywords will help you constantly improve your marketing efforts.
What is keyword research?
Keyword research is the process by which you research popular terms people types into search engines like Google, Bing and include them strategically in your content so that your content appears higher on search engine results page.
Keyword research is a fundamental practice in search engine optimization.
How to do keyword research?
There are various ways by which you can do keyword research, either manually or by using keyword tools, whichever way you choose, there are certain steps that you need to take.
Follow this detailed step-by-step guide to do proper and thorough keyword research:
Step 1 – Study your niche
Before you figure out which are the best keywords to optimize your page, it’s best that you start by diving deep to know more about your topic or niche. It can help you in getting out of the box ideas and help discover different angles for your marketing and SEO strategy that you might not have thought before.
Here are few ideas which you can use to study your niche:
- Interact with your customers and know them better, find out which are the terms, they use when they describe your products or service, company, business, brand.
- Think from the perspective of your potential customers.
- Get involved in your topic or niche’s online communities. Read the discussions and find out the points regarding your niche.
Step 2 – Define your goals
Any plan needs to always start by defining the goal. But before, that you should ask questions like:
- Who are you?
- What is brand about?
- What makes you unique?
- What’s your website about?
- What promises do you make on your website?
Once you have answered all these questions, then you have to specify your business goal. Do you want to achieve sales target by a certain date?
It’s important to define your goals because it will provide a direction for your SEO strategy. The search terms that you will use should be aligned to your goals, ideally segmented into different content marketing funnels.
Write down your goals. Draw charts. Document them. It will provide the framework and need for your top-level content and digital marketing strategy.
Step 3 – Make a list of relevant topics
Based on the main category of your brand and the goals that you aim to achieve, break it down into smaller parts. Make a list of topics related to your brand which you want to be ranked on Google.
The topics need to be important to your business and relevant to your buyer personas. Think about what type of topics will your target audience search on Google? These can then be broken down to keywords that are related to your topic.
Step 4 – Create a list of seed keywords
Now that you divided your main category into a subcategory, you can start creating a list of seed keywords. These keywords need to be related to your various topics, and more importantly, terms that your target audience might be searching on Google.
Seed keywords are important because they become the foundation of your keyword research. They define your niche and identify your competitors.
Step 5 – Use keyword research tools
You all must be thinking, “shouldn’t keyword research begin with using a keyword tool?” To be honest there is an answer to this question. But there is obviously an advantage for researching search terms from your business or brand perspective.
This will help you to avoid bogged down with keywords and helps you gain a wider perspective for your content and SEO Strategy.
Once you have completed all the above 4 steps – studying your niche, identifying your goals, topics, and a list of seed keywords it’s time to use keyword research tools to further refine your search terms.
Step 6 – Understand the search intent
In earlier days it worked pretty easily plugging in high-volume keywords to bump up rankings for a page. Today, Google machine learning search algorithms compare search terms with user queries to learn about search intent.
Search intent is defined as the reason behind why search for a specific term. There are many factors behind people’s search habits, like –
- Why are they searching?
- Are they searching because they have a question and want to answer to that question?
- Are they searching for a specific website?
- Are they searching because they want to buy something?
Try to put yourself in your target audience’s shoes. Why would they search for your topic? Are they looking to buy something? Or are they for a service to solve a specific problem?
Once you get an idea of the search intent behind potential customers, you will be able to use it to fine-tune keyword research. Getting a list of high-volume keywords related to your brand or topic is great. But finding keywords that which exactly match the search intent of the target audience is even better.
Step 7 – Identify long-tail keywords
Seed keywords are often shorter search terms that are closely related to your brand’s main topic or category. Long-tail keywords, are more descriptive and often related to your business or brand’s subtopics. Matching your target audience search intent to long-tail keywords is much easier.
Longtail keywords usually get fewer clicks, but since they are focused on a specific or product, they will have a higher conversion rate.
Step 8 – Find out more about your competitors
Doing keyword research on Google is not just enough. You also need to be aware of your competitors. The better you understand the content landscape of your industry, the better it will be for your SEO.
Understanding the competitiveness of different keywords will also allow you to identify search terms which might be too difficult to rank. But most importantly, you will be able to find keyword opportunity gaps. These opportunities occur when you find related keywords that are related to your business, brand or industry with low to medium competition level.