In order to drive consistent organic traffic to your site it is imperative to publish SEO content, meaning that your content is designed to rank highly. SEO content is effective at gaining organic traffic because it’s strategic – by targeting topics that have a proven search demand you can promote your products and services…
It is vital to target the right content topics, and furthermore you want to target the topics that are fueled by relevant, intent-driven keywords with proven search demand. We take a look at how to find the right keywords, and how to turn them into unmissable, high-ranking SEO content that will bring growth and traffic to your site.
Finding Your Keywords
Keywords are essential to your strategy for several reasons – they inform topics, they gauge demand and they help you to understand the searchers intent. Additionally, keywords give a measure for how likely your content is to rank highly – as the greater the monthly search volume, the harder it will be to rank for that keyword, so you can work out if you will be able to outrank your competitors before you set out to do so. This means that you can prioritize your content topics according to the popularity of your keywords, and you can track your rankings for your keywords as a way to evaluate how your content is performing in the SERPs.
Finding and using the correct keywords for your business is the most important element of your SEO content strategy, so with that in mind we list some of the best tools for keyword research. As a general rule, use Google Keyword Planner for the bulk of your research, which can be cross examined for additional ideas with one other tool from the list. Use these resources to find keywords that are relevant to your product and your target audience:
- Google Keyword Planner
- Google Search Console
- Google Trends
- Google Auto Suggest
- Moz Keyword Explorer
- Moz Keyword Difficulty Tool
- Ahrefs Keywords Explorer
- SEMrush Keyword Research
- Term Explorer
- Bing Webmaster
Another way to find keywords is to analyse your competitors’ sites. By doing this you can see which keywords they are targeting and which of those are the top performers that drive the most SEO traffic.
It is worth noting that keyword research is a time consuming task, so it is advisable to cast a wide net in order to gather as many relevant keywords as possible as this will give you more topic opportunities. Make sure to stay organised during the process – create a system in order to manage your keywords that allows you to group, refine and iterate the large and expansive list into core groups of your strongest keywords.
Refining Your Keywords
To begin, take the most relevant, core keywords for your company and run them through a keyword planner. This will result in a list of related search terms as well as the amount of monthly searches each term receives – copy and paste this information into a document or spreadsheet with a dedicated tab labelled for that keyword.
Focus on search volume to start with – as it is the most important KPI in SEO content strategy – however, it is also interesting to note the keyword difficulty. Keyword difficulty can be found using Ahrefs Keyword Explorer or Moz Keyword Difficulty, and you should look for keywords that have a combination of not too much competition and not too little search demand.
Having cast a wide net when researching your keywords, it is essential to review the results and to remove any keywords that aren’t relevant, that are too broad or general or that are too competitive. Other keyword that should be removed are those that are job-hunting related, salary-focused or keywords that are branded.
Keywords into Content
With a refined list of relevant keywords, it is now time to brainstorm topic and content ideas. The majority of search queries are informational – where the user is looking for facts or an answer to a question – and as such, Google gives this type of content priority on its SERPs, so this is the type of content you should focus on. To choose the right form that your content should take you should research the current SERP results for each keyword in order to determine what type of content is preferred (and add this information to your document or spreadsheet). User intent is also an important factor in deciding what type or form of content will be most successful.
When deciding on the content types and topics remember: match informational keywords to information seeking topics and match transactional keywords to transactional content topics. To understand if a keyword is informational or transactional, search the current SERPs to see what type of information is returned in the results – and these results will determine what type of content you should be producing.
Once you know what type of content you should produce for a keyword it is important to be clear and concise – meaning that you should really only target one core keyword and two or three very closely related variations of that keyword in each piece of content. Any more keywords or variations will confuse the search engines, meaning that your content will not rank as highly on the SERPs.
Your keyword research will be a source of inspiration for your content – your competitors sites can be too, as it is a good strategy to replicate their content topics that had a proven record of performing well. There are also tools to help with SEO content ideas, which include BuzzSumo, Answer the Public, BloomBerry, FAQ Fox and Autosuggest Keyword Tool.
Prioritising Your Keywords
In order to prioritise your content topics you should consider the audience interest, the search demand, the level of difficulty and your objectives and goals. These are pretty straightforward and should create a list of prioritised content ideas that are most suitable for your brand.
An effective SEO content strategy is the key to regular, consistent and growing organic traffic, so make sure to follow our advice, tips and tricks for an improved digital presence.
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