8 Steps to Improve your Digital Marketing Efforts with Keywords

8 Steps To Improve Your Digital Marketing Efforts with Keywords

Aisling Brennan, 5-Feb-2016

Getting your keyword research right is vital for digital marketing success. It can make or break your website. There’s no point optimising your new shiny website and creating unique and relevant content about keyword themes and the intent behind these themes if it's not what your target market is actively searching for.

Remember the goal is not to get lots of visitors to your website, it's to get right type of visitors, qualified visitors. So the very first exercise you MUST undertake is keyword research. And identify exactly what key phrases and themes your target market is searching for.

  1. Brainstorm the most important topics or phrases for your business. Put yourself in your buyers shoes – what would they search for on Google? Start with 5-7 topics. Also consider the intent behind these keywords.
  2. Add relevant keywords to each topic. Search Google to see what other relevant searches appear.
  3. Check out your competitors’ websites – what keyword themes are they targeting? If your website is already up and running, and you’ve got Google Analytics running, check your web analytics data. Look at the conversion rate, bounce rate and time spent on page metrics for those keywords.
  4. Research related search terms using keyword research tools, such as Google Trends, Google Adwords Keyword Planner, Microsoft Bing Ads Intelligence and Wordtracker Free Basic Keyword Demand tools for each keyword. FYI these will also suggest estimated search volume and predict the cost of running paid campaigns for these terms if you’re planning on doing PPC activity.
  5. Are you competing locally or nationally? It’s easier and faster to get ranked for local phrases (broad term + geographic descriptor), rather than target nationally. Consider adding local phrases to the keyword mix.
  6. Ensure you include a combination of head and long-tail keywords in each topic. Head terms are keyword phrases generally shorter and more generic in nature. Whereas long-tail are more niched keywords that tend to contain three or more words. Us search marketers LOVE the long-tail as conversion rates tend to be much higher with longer tail keywords. But you need to get the right balance of including both head and long-tail keywords, especially when you start off. Generally the longer the tail, the sweeter the results.
  7. Determine the competition for each keyword. In order to know which keywords to target, it’s essential to understand the demand for a keyword, but also the work that’ll be required to achieve a top ranking. I’d recommend a mix of head terms and long-tail terms because it'll give you a strategy that's well balanced with both long-term goals and short-term wins. Head terms are generally searched more frequently, making them more competitive and harder to rank for than long-tail terms.
  8. Page Plan: Once you’ve done your research, start writing bespoke and unique content targeting 1-2 keywords per page of your website, based on the results of your keyword research. For SEO these keywords should be included in the visible text on the page. Whereas for PPC you need to include these keywords in both the advertising copy and the landing page copy. But I’ll talk more about those topics at a later date.

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