You’ve heard a lot about how you have to create high value content; it’s the cornerstone of content marketing. But writing excellent content isn’t enough.
You need to help people find your posts, ebooks, and articles when they go to Google and search for a topic. That’s where keyword research for article marketing comes in.
How to do keyword research for article marketing
Brainstorm Broad Topics
Sit down for a little brainstorming session. What broad topics do you want to rank for? For example, if you run a vegan-friendly bakery, you might want to appear when prospects type keywords like “vegan food,” “vegan bakery,” or “vegan desserts” into Google.
Narrow in on Specific Keywords
Now that you have 2-3 broad topics, narrow in on specific keywords within those topics.
Google’s free Keyword Planner is a great place to start. It lets you enter broad topics and it suggests specific keywords that you might want to use.
It will also show you roughly how many people search for those keywords every month, and whether the level of competition for that keyword is low, medium, or high.
Start by picking keywords that have a low level of competition and a reasonably high search volume. Make a spreadsheet of the keywords that interest you, and remember to focus on long-tail keywords. Broad ones like “vegan food” will be hard to rank for, while ones more specific to your business, like “vegan food in downtown San Diego,” will be easier, not to mention more valuable to your business.
Check out the competition
Then, head over to BuzzSumo, which is a free tool that lets you enter a keyword and see the most highly-shared content related to that topic.
That’s handy, because you can see who your competitors are, and determine what type of content is highly-shared around this keyword.
Is the competition too difficult? Can you create the type of content that works well for this keyword?
Identify the user behind the keyword
Next, look for the user intent behind each keyword. Brian Dean from Backlinko wrote an excellent guide to the types of keywords that reveal what action the user is looking to take.
You’re trying to figure out where the user is in the sales funnel.
For example, a user searching for “buy cheap crockpot” is much more ready to buy (and therefore deserves a different type of content) than a user searching for “Comparison of small crockpots,” who is probably just doing some research.
Look at your spreadsheet of keywords and add a column where you note the user intent and stage of the sales funnel they are in.
Remember your business goals
This is a key step, don’t neglect it. Go back to your business goals that you should have written down somewhere as part of your content marketing strategy.
Look at your keyword spreadsheet and prioritize your keywords based on how they can help you reach your business goals. Keywords that serve high-priority business goals are the place to start.
Remember, behind every piece of content is a plan for how it will help you reach a specific goal, whether that’s growing your email list, driving more traffic to your website, or converting more prospects to customers.
Optimize your articles with your keywords
So, you know the keyword and type of content you plan to create. You know how it fits with your business goals. Here are a few extra steps you can take to optimize your content for search engines.
- Use the keyword smartly. Use it in the page title, meta description, URL, and a few times throughout the copy of the article.
- Build internal links. Make it easy for new visitors to find core pages of your website. Include a link or two in your content.
- Make it easy to share. Include social sharing links in an obvious spot.
- Tell influencers. If you linked to another article from a marketer in your field, tell them! They may share your content with their audience, too.
Taking the extra time to do keyword research for article marketing can make all the difference between a piece of content flopping and getting hundreds of shares.
If you follow the steps I’ve outlined here, people are much more likely to discover your brand when they head to Google and search for related topics. That leads to more website traffic, more leads, and more sales.
Do you have any questions about how to do keyword research for article marketing? Let me know in the comments, I read every one.
Then, start optimizing your articles faster with the help of BlabberJax content marketing system.
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