Regardless of whether you're hoping to get traffic from paid or organic sources, if you ignore keyword research - your efforts won't amount to much.
As a brand or business, the idea of regular blogging is to construct a narrative that is both engaging, and reaches the right audience through proper optimisation. Over time, the readers will come to trust your brand, and will in turn encourage both new and repeat clients. It’s certainly not the place for the hard sell, as blogging as an online brand or business is how you build trust with consumers, and in turn position yourself as the go-to authority within your industry, field or sector.
However, the fine art of blogging is also paramount when it comes to nailing a successful SEO strategy. Otherwise known as Search Engine Optimisation, SEO is what we call the practice of including specific content on your website that has the potential to improve your visibility on search engines, and in turn their users. Put simply, it helps your site show up more often in relevant searches, and is crucial if you want to reach the lofty heights of Google’s top rankings - but what does conducting regular and thorough keyword research have to do with this?
What Are Keywords?
The role of Google and other search engines is to categorise organic content, and to present the user with the most relevant results. If you are able to get the magical tick of approval from Google and your SEO, you’ll in turn receive a steady flow of regular traffic to your website or platform that’s more or less free of charge. As such, what you choose to do with said traffic, is entirely up to you.
If you had to boil all of your website’s content or social media down to just a handful of simple phrases or words - and this includes all of the images, videos and text copy - these should be your primary keywords. It’s the internet’s way of indexing the context and relevance of what you’re all about, and how others can find you. Google crawls over millions of websites, products and pages every day, and uses your choice of keywords to appropriately categorise content, and in turn present the “best fit” to consumers as answers to their search engine queries.
The function of keywords is that they essentially act as a data driven truth serum. When nobody’s watching, we’re combing the internet for solutions to all kinds of problems, in the hopes that somebody out there has the answers. At its core, keyword research is a powerful market tool that can be leveraged in many different ways. Not only can you “mine” this for information, but you can get to know your customers, and in turn what it is that they want from their internet searches.
Needless to say, it’s for this very reason that they’re so important. If you’re trying to sell a black leather jacket in Queensland, then targeting “jacket” or even “leather jacket” is still far too broad, and users won’t have a hope of ever possibly finding you as the competition is simply just too vast, and this is where keyword research comes into play - but where do you start?
How To Conduct Keyword Research
Search intent (or user intent, audience intent) is the term used to describe the purpose of an online search, or perhaps the who, what, where, how and ultimately, why. It’s the reason why someone conducts a specific search, and what they hope to achieve out of said search. According to the big wigs at Google and most digital marketing professionals, there are four distinct search intent categories that almost every search term falls under.
Informational - The internet is the world’s greatest hub for general information, and many queries simply boil down to a user just wanting generalised information about a topic or subject. Users often type in a long tail keyword, which usually presents as a question, or a query that requires an in depth or straightforward response (sometimes both).
Commercial - This form of search intent is usually derived from a user that is in the market for a specific product or service, but has yet to make a final decision on which solution is right for them. The query can involve asking for locations, reviews or comparisons to other competitors.
Navigational - Relatively straightforward, the user usually knows exactly what they’re on the hunt for, but find it easier to type the search term into Google as opposed to remembering the URL or domain (such as accessing Facebook). Your user already knows where they want to go.
Transactional - Your user is on the hunt to make a purchase and are in buying mode, but this may be their first point of research surrounding the product or service. They may know what they want to buy, but not quite where they plan on buying it from.
To determine the search intent of the audiences that you would best like to target, and in turn convert into customers, you’ll need to get your hands dirty by conducting some thorough keyword research.
Thankfully, there are quite literally thousands of platforms and programs available for marketers, brands and businesses to use in the hopes of finding the keywords to use that best fit their product or service. While many offer a paid subscription model, one of the best options available is the free module that Google itself provides, known as the Google Keyword Planner.
When sourcing keywords that are appropriate for your product, service, sector or industry, there are a few things to consider in order to see some tangible results. These include:
Search Volume - How many people are on the hunt for the specific keyword?
Search Intent - What are users hoping to achieve through search results?
Value - How much will you pay to use this keyword via paid cost per click advertising?
Difficulty - How many other competitors are trying to target the same keyword?
If you haven’t done so already, start checking out the competition. See what your industry peers are writing about, as this is usually a good indication that they’re also paying attention to search intent and the best keywords to deploy if you sell similar products or services.
Once you have a nice pile of keywords that you think are most in line with your product, service, brand or business, it’s important to break them up and analyse them accordingly. An example of this would be if you were a business selling coffee machines, beans or equipment online, your “seed” keywords would be phrases like coffee, espresso, cappuccino or French press.
However, if you tried to write content based around those terms alone, you wouldn’t have a hope in ranking for them as there is simply too much competition out there on the world wide web, and the words are just too broad. Instead, think of your seed keywords as foundations or concepts to build on.
An easy way to expand on these and grab the “low hanging fruit”, or less common search terms, is by incorporating your seed keywords into search queries that include questions, such as who, how, what, where, when or why. If we return to the coffee examples, it could be as simple as “where to buy a French press in Australia” or “how to make the perfect cappuccino”. Get creative with your keyword research, and when in doubt, think about common or frequently asked questions from your existing client base - the idea is to solve the questions of your audiences before they even think to ask them.
Sourcing Help With Your Content And Keyword Research
Producing quality, consistent and on brand content takes time, effort, experience and resources - and you’re not alone if you can’t quite commit to that. Avoiding the use of keywords and content marketing all together may actually be doing your brand a disservice, but thankfully, investing in a solid content marketing strategy has never been easier.
Here at Content Hive, producing top quality video and digital content is exactly what we do best. We have itemised a list of digital content services, and allocated credits next to each of these. This means that each month, you can use your credits with us to produce digital content such as social media posts, blog articles, videos and even animated Instagram stories.
We believe that this model means we can produce high quality content in faster than normal delivery times. It also means that because you have a monthly credit, you are going to want to make sure you use these up - and so do we - meaning that your digital content is always consistent.
If you aren’t quite sure where to start on your digital marketing journey and would like to speak to a professional, why not book in a free discovery call with us at Content Hive today to discuss how we can get your brand buzzing online.