A lot of website owners are taking a “ready, fire, aim” approach to search engine optimization.
They optimize their content like crazy — putting keywords in their post text, titles and subtitles, and anywhere else they think Google might look.
Here’s the trouble, though — if you don’t do your research before you begin your optimization efforts, you might as well be shooting arrows into the wind. Because all the optimization in the world won’t help you if you have no clear idea of what terms you really want to rank for in the search engines.
Website owners need to slow down, take a deep breath, and research their best keyword options before they dig into search engine optimization efforts.
But since keyword research isn’t sexy, it often gets overlooked or pushed to the end of the priority list. It’s often an afterthought.
Searching for good advice on keyword research
Finding clear, understandable advice on keyword research is surprisingly difficult. Information on this kind of research needs to be Goldilocks-perfect (not too much that you get overwhelmed, and not so little that it’s not helpful in the everyday world of content marketing).
We know you need just the right amount of information, taught in ways you can actually use. And we’d really like to give you that — for free.
Keyword research is more than just SEO
At the deepest level, keyword optimization is more than just a system for helping you improve your search rankings. It’s about knowing your audience so well that you know exactly what words will grab their interest and make them pay attention — which words will make them notice you, because it feels like you’re able to read their minds.
When you make it a priority to find out what language your prospects are using to search for information on your topic, it will also help you shape your content strategy. Wouldn’t it be great to know exactly what questions your prospects have, before you sit down to write your next piece of content?
We’d love to show how to make that happen for your site. Our free ebook, Keyword Research: A Real-World Guide, will teach you:
- Why great copywriting depends on keyword research
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- How keyword research can help you make money
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Reader Comments (12)
Ryan Biddulph says
Put in the mental legwork to reap the rewards. Love the message and ebook here Beth.
Foolish bloggers ignore keywords. Silly ones grab any keyword and plaster it all over their blog.
The few online successes of the world use niche-specific, targeted, heavily researched keywords to drive traffic to their blog.
Take time to carefully figure out what your target audience wants AND how they look for what they want. Pay attention to the latter; once you ID these keywords you find the secret key to profits.
Like any worthy venture expect to spend serious time and energy finding what makes your audience tick and how you can target this market. Doing intensive keyword research helps you take these steps and succeed online.
Once you offer exactly what people are searching for you can work less and enjoy a steady passive stream of traffic via search engines and social networks. Yep, you still need to work, but your thinking leg work helps you work less and make more money in the long run.
Thanks for sharing Beth!
Lindsey Trainer says
Totally agree- thanks Beth. I would prefer that ‘SEO experts’ would have full marketing (and PR) training to ensure they view keyword research strategically rather than simply looking at it as a tactic. O for an internet rich with targeted information designed to serve the needs of the end user whilst benefiting the selling business at the same time. At Business Mapper we’re happy to help people with this kind of digital marketing planning.
Archan Mehtaa says
A needs assessment report can help in finding out what your audience needs. This translates into conducting surveys, questionnaires, focus groups, meetings and interviews. There is no magic wand or formula, but persistence pays in the end and you will most likely unravel this mystery.
There is no harm in asking and using that feedback for your products or services to target your audience. Thanks for the timely reminder. Cheers.
James Rigley says
Another great product from the series. It’s really important to note the fact that “Keyword research is more than SEO”. For me the brainstorming about the title and keywords is the hardest moment, when writing online articles, but once i started focusing more on the writing and less on checking competition on words and just thinking about how my clients/customers would think about the topic I was way more productive and happy with what I am doing. So, your series of e-books is definitely worth a read.
George Gurdjieff says
Totally agree with you that its about knowing your audience. It’s also about knowing yourself as well. If you know yourself you’ll know what your audience is looking for. Remember why we became bloggers in the first place? To connect with like-minded individuals. When we understand that our readers and subscribers are more like ourselves, we can serve them content, products and services they need because these same products and services are exactly what we would look for. Thanks Beth – timely post.
And it pays to go beyond Google’s keyword tool when doing a keyword search. Use two to three keyword tools if time permits.
Pretty True… But with the proper use of keyword you need a really safe and comprehensive off page SEO plan to make sure you get a good position in SERPS easily.
Julius Minor says
I have websites that got indexed on the first page with just the keyword alone. Keyword research is the most important part of SEO..
Greg Strandberg says
I think we all know that articles and other page content always sounds better when writing’s the most important, not the keywords. Still, does that mean you should abandon all your SEO efforts? Of course not, but it does mean you should choose care with your keywords and their placement.
When I write SEO content for people there are two main groups: those that give me a list of keywords and tell me to wrap an article around them and those that give me an idea for an article and don’t worry about keywords.
The latter content always sounds better. I’ll always research which keywords’ll go good with it and throw a few in. For those employers I’m always writing for the reader, and the content’s so much better for it.
Glen Wilson says
What about content curation? There appears to be a huge push on content curation tools these days. Surely, getting highly ranked articles then putting in some commentary along with other parts of media couldn’t hurt?
I think though, at the end of the day, you have to have things that people want to read, is interesting or polarizes people.
I know with my dog site, there are differing views everywhere, and I can put up some content and get commentary that completely contradicts what I have written. Or maybe, they’re just shit stirrers..lol.
Either way, nice article Beth, great to see confirmation of the some essential tips.
Jarvis Edwards says
Keyword research is definitely the most vital component for any content marketing campaign, oh yes. Years of time and large sums of money are constantly wasted–chasing keywords without proper research, or a total lack thereof. Myself included!
Unfortunately, a considerable number of people HAVE to actually learn the hard way, through trial and error. Some will even have to scrap their main keywords altogether for more realistic ideas, even after committing a mind-boggling amount of hours pinpointing which ones to target .
Especially when the keywords you want, need, and MUST rank for…are all gobbled up by “authority sites.”
With so many changes being incorporated by Big G (the search/SEO monopoly), keyword selection may not be as straightforward in the future.
MyCopyBlogger will be a goldmine for many, I’m sure.
Michael Richardson says
I wasn’t even aware of how much work was needed just to properly use keywords!! Thank you so much for the information!! I will definitely be putting this at the top of my priority list from now on instead of jumping in headfirst to unknown territory.
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