One of the most important things to understand about content marketing, along with digital marketing in general, is that your efforts cannot exist in a vacuum.
Success in terms of marketing is all about getting the right message in front of the right person at exactly the right time. You’re not going to get there if you’re still writing blogs or creating other collateral on a whim. You need to think about who you’re trying to connect with, what they want to hear, and how they need to hear it – only then will you be able to use digital marketing to build a bridge between you and these audiences.
This, in essence, is why keyword research is so important. Not only is it beneficial in terms of search engine optimization, but it also helps you understand what content you should be creating – all in the name of helping you accomplish your larger business goals.
The Key to Successful Keyword Research Involves Understanding Why It Matters So Much in the First Place
Keyword research is important primarily because it helps you understand those topics that are most relevant to your business. If you know who your ideal consumers are, and you know what you’re searching for, you immediately know which questions you should be going out of your way to answer and what topics you should be writing about.
But more than that, it also helps you understand your efforts in the context of the larger digital marketing landscape. Keyword research is also a great way to help identify topics that A) have a high search volume, and B) that currently have low competition. The intersection between those two ideas is where a successful digital marketing campaign is born.
In a larger sense, keyword research also helps you understand all the various ways that people might find your website via a search engine like Google. By now, you probably have at least one or two terms that you know you want to rank for. That’s great – but during your research phase, you may discover a lot of other related, relevant terms that might be just as effective that you could include.
Keyword Research is About Capitalizing on Opportunities
A thoughtful keyword research strategy can help you uncover a potentially limitless number of keywords and phrases to rank for – at which point you can capitalize on certain opportunities that your competitors haven’t even discovered yet.
Keyword research also helps you find those terms and phrases that you can actually rank for, helping you get the most out of your return on investment. Depending on how competitive your marketplace is, there may be certain terms that are essentially locked down – meaning you’re never going to rank #1 for them.
But that’s okay, because so long as you are able to identify those keywords that currently have high demand and low competition, it won’t matter. You can attract customers through other avenues, achieving the same results at a fraction of the cost that it would have taken to make a dent in those more competitive searches.
Always Pay Attention to Search Volume
During your keyword research, if you had to make a list of some of the most important metrics that you need to be paying attention to, average monthly search volume would undoubtedly be right at the top.
For the best results, understand that keywords with higher search volumes will certainly attract more traffic – but they’re also going to be more competitive at the same time. This means that you’ll likely be paying more money to rank highly for these terms, especially if your website has been recently launched.
Instead, you need to be looking for those keywords that are A) relevant to what your real users are looking for, and that B) may not be quite as competitive right now as they will be in the future. By targeting these keywords, you can establish a rock-solid foundation for yourself from which to build moving forward.
On the subject of keyword relevance, you always want to make sure that the content you’re putting out there into the world is actually relevant to the interests of your target audience. Keep in mind, however, that this is not something that you “do once and forget about.” You need to constantly be conducting research to make sure that the interests of your ideal customers are still what you think they are.
To do this, you can use a number of different tools to make your research more effective. Google Trends is a major one of them as it provides not only search volume-related trends but also other important data for any keyword that you desire. It allows you to take a deep dive into specific keywords and searches to see exactly how much interest there is in real-time. You’d be shocked by what insights you can uncover by simply taking a closer look.
Not only will this give you an excellent indication of what you should be writing at the moment, but it can also help you uncover certain topics that may be picking up steam – all so that you can capitalize on them and get compelling content online before any of your competitors can.
It’s About the Long Game
Finally, you need to understand that keyword research isn’t about instant, overnight success. Far from it. While there will certainly be some easy wins every now and again, you need to be focused on those long-term gains. Meaning, you should be writing content that will slowly attract more and more attention, generating its own momentum in a way that people won’t be able to avoid.
If you’re able to get to that point, you’ll wind up with the best kind of content – the type that stays relevant for years to come and that continues to be as compelling a year or even five years from now as it is the moment you hit “Publish.”