Content Strategy

Selecting the Right Keywords For Your Content Marketing and SEO Strategies

With the digital world expanding, content marketing is gaining more and more popularity. In fact, 84% of marketers plan to increase their investments in this field by the end of 2016.  However, only 60% of companies who create such content claim that it is coherent and well integrated with their organic search strategy.

Isn’t it unproductive to create content in order to attract potential clients on a website and integrate keywords that are not sought out by consumers? It absolutely is! And that is because SEO practices are inconsistent, inefficient and non-optimized.  So here are some tips to help you select relevant keywords during the process.

3 steps to selecting the right keywords 

1. Brainstorm and take recommendations 

Nobody knows your business offer better than you! So ask yourself: “What do we offer that is most likely going to be searched for by our customers, and how are they going to look for it in search engines?” The second question is particularly important because consumers talk in one way and type in another when searching on the internet. So find a few topics related to your business offering or marketing content and determine a list of keywords that could be used. Do not hesitate to ask your customers their opinions on the subject. 

You should also employ the Google functions “searches related to” (scroll down to the bottom of the page) and “suggested searches” (also available on Youtube, eBay, Amazon, Wikipedia, etc.), which will surely lead you to additional keyword ideas linked to words or subjects that you are already in the lookout for. 

Here’s a hint for companies that want to lead specific customers to their website: prioritize long-tail phrases rather than short phrases or single words. Although the latter may have a higher search volume due to its generality, it’s probably too common to attract the targeted clients. Moreover, these general keywords and phrases are most likely already used a lot by competitors, making it more difficult to rank on top in search engines (SERP). For instance, a law firm specialized in personal injury should focus on the keywords “personal injury lawyers” instead of “lawyers” because it will get a more defined and probably more lucrative reach. 

2. Take advantage of tools at your disposal 

Certain tools can be really useful when it comes time to confirm (or refute) ideas and assumptions gathered in step 1.  They help users define the keyword difficulty, any opportunities, and importance (user-defined) of a keyword and its potential. 

At this stage of tweaking your preliminary list of keywords, using Google Keyword Planner, you will get a list of other related words allowing you to get historical statistics about these lists, see how the keywords will perform and estimate the search volume and traffic they could generate. Moz Keyword Explorer, although it’s a new tool, acts similarly and it too is very relevant. 

SEMrush on the other hand will enable you to see and analyze your competitor's ad copy and keywords. You can then decide to either use keywords not used by competitors, or attempt to rank higher on those used keywords. 

Finally, Answer The Public is a tool that allows you to enter a keyword and receive a list of questions people ask that is related to that specific keyword. This is a great opportunity to create content strategies that target questions in the exact way people are searching. 

3. Define a clear performance measurement system for keywords selected

It’s needless to say that the two previous steps are not enough without this last stage of  measuring your selected keywords on its performance and value. However, finding time for research and evaluation is not always easy, and that’s where an efficient methodology comes in handy. It should help demonstrate a positive ROI on your content strategy.

At iProspect, we created the MAVY (Maximum Achievable Value, Yearly) matrix to optimize SEO practices we create for our clients, by showing them the value of a keyword compared to another. The MAVY index is based on a combination of organic data from Google  and the cost-per-click (CPC) of the selected keyword in order to assess its true value.

To rate a keyword’s value, one must first take its yearly search volume and multiply it by the best SEO-positioned click through rate (CTR) to get the optimal number of visits there would be on a site using the selected keyword. You then multiply it by the keyword average CPC to finally determine the estimated dollar value. 

For example, the MAVY of  X, with a search volume of 400,000 yearly, an SEO position CTR of 16% and an average CPC of $3.50 would result in a value of $224,000 (400,000 x 0.16 x 3.50).

Therefore, using a MAVY matrix is very helpful to understand how much traffic a brand can get based on specific keyword  groups. It will also help convince others in your organization to allocate more resources for your content marketing practices, as it justifies and can lead to a positive ROI.

The digital world is constantly evolving 

Whether you are working for a consulting firm, a small retailer or a large creative agency, having an attractive marketing content strategy is essential. To get noticed on the web, your content must be attached to an optimized SEO strategy with appropriate and sought out keywords. However, it is even more important to keep your SEO efforts optimized and up to date by constantly revising your keyword value and popularity with the ever changing digital world.

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