Article

How To Use Keyword Research To Create Content Which Converts

Would you rather get 1,000,000 irrelevant hits or 1000 hot leads?

Given a choice, who would you prefer coming to your website - millions of visitors who’ve searched for generic keywords in your sector, or a few thousand whose search terms are much more precise?

Of course, an audience in the millions is great. But think about where those more precise searchers are on the customer journey. They’ll be further down the sales funnel - no longer researching general information, but searching with pinpoint focus for what they actually want.

They’ve done their preliminary research, and whether or not your website answered them, they’re now in buying mode. Even if you missed them before, you’ve got to be there for that.

That’s why there’s value in long tail keyword research - the lesser-used, but often more relevant search words and phrases that make up 70% of the total. But search engines - Google foremost - make it hard for marketers to see which keywords actually delivered prospects to their site.

How can you fix this? Here are four steps that will help.

1. Discovering the core set

The long tail doesn’t exist separately to the major keywords - they’re connected to the mainstream terms. So the first step is to track down the major generic terms your customers search for at the beginning of their customer journey.

Remember, search terms are the words your customers use - which may not be your preferred words for what you do.

Review “metadata” - the parts of a web page not seen by humans - for ideas. Do this on your own site and your top competitors’ - that’s 20 sites to start with! Search engines tend not to look at “keyword metadata” these days, but countless home pages still have a list of preferred words and phrases in their headers. That’s your core set.

2. Expanding sideways

Long tail keyword research involves looking laterally at data: the phrases conceptually “around” the core set. So if “estate car” is a core term, its long tail relatives might include family estate, towing car, large capacity car.

A quick and dirty method is to switch on “Show search suggestions” in your browser, and look at what similar searches other people have made for the same general subject - the list of half a dozen or so can yield real insights. Write them all down.

3. Finding proxies for popularity

The next job is to bring order to your list, by finding out which phrases are most popular. Google AdWords, the largest web advertising network, can help - by showing you how many searches were made on each word or phrase. (It can also tell you how much they’d cost if you bid for them in an AdWords campaign!)

The killer combination is words with a relatively high number of searches, but a low bid price. This means the terms are in use by customers, but they haven’t been noticed by advertisers yet.

Another method is even quicker and dirtier: simply type the search term into Google. The first page of results will tell you approximately how many results there are for it. Of course, if your company’s on the first page, half your job’s already done!

4. Get the drop on your competitors

The last step in this brief run-through is to see how much traffic your competitors are getting from those keywords! While there’s no foolproof method, there are plenty of useful tools around.

One such tool is the paid-for SEMRush. It lets you enter the web addresses of your competitors and shows you its best guess at which search terms are delivering visitors to it - with hundreds of millions of sites in its database, these guesstimates can be pretty accurate.

You can then cross-reference your long tail keyword research with how valuable those terms are to your competitors… and how much competitive damage you could inflict! Well, if business is war - then keyword research is defending the castle.

Like where we’re going with this? Search no further! Download: Listening in: how to use social tools to create content which converts

 

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

What's the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing, and why does it matter? The answers may surprise you.

Julie Cave
Julie Cave 14 July 2016
Read more
4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

It goes without saying that a company can't do without digital marketing in today's world.

Digital Doughnut Contributor
Digital Doughnut Contributor 5 November 2014
Read more
14 Facebook post ideas for each and every brand

14 Facebook post ideas for each and every brand

A lack of creativity – like many things in the world – just happens sometimes. There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s not an irregular event. But nowadays, you need far more than a your average post to attract your audience’s attention instead of losing them to your competitors. And if you don’t enhance your strategy with creative ideas that work towards your business goals, your performance is going to weaken.

Jan Zajac
Jan Zajac 19 June 2017
Read more
How To Write Content That’s Easy To Localize

How To Write Content That’s Easy To Localize

Do you want to know how to reduce costs and get to market faster? Write content that's easy to localize!

David Ost
David Ost 15 June 2017
Read more
5 Marketing Automation Hacks

5 Marketing Automation Hacks

In 2015, it was predicted that marketing automation will be amongst the most piloted marketing technologies, and since then, the term has become a buzz-word for marketers. Now, marketing automation is almost seen as something both necessary for business growth and essential for generating new leads.

Natasha Orme
Natasha Orme 26 June 2017
Read more