Welcome to Marketing Monday, where I give you tips and tricks for being your own content marketer. This week’s post covers everything you need to know about making sure you’re using relevant keywords to optimize your online content.
Keywords. They get a lot of attention when it comes to discussions of SEO and content optimization, but how can you make sure you’re using the right keywords? How can you get the most out of your content?
I realized this could be a problem for a lot of small business owners when it came up at a presentation on digital marketing that I attended. Someone mentioned keywords and most of the attendees there didn’t even know where to start when it came to researching keywords, so I’m going to remedy that right now.
The first thing you need is a good keyword research tool. SEMrush and KWFinder are two of the best, but they both require monthly subscriptions. If you’re looking to do this on the cheap, I like to use Ubersuggest, a free keyword research tool that’s not quite as good as SEMRush or KWFinder, but it has been getting better and I’m excited to see what developments they come up with in the future.
Analyzing The Data
There’s getting the data, and then there’s knowing what the heck any of it means. Here’s what you can expect to see in any given keyword research and what it means.
1) Search Volume
One of the first numbers you’ll see is the search volume. This is how many searches that keyword gets per month and it can range anywhere from a dozen to hundreds of thousands. Generally, the higher the search volume, the better the keyword, but not always. I’ve talked before on this blog about the benefits of using keywords that might have a smaller search volume, but the people conducting those searches are looking for something specific and are more likely to buy when they find it. For example, someone searching “content marketing” is probably just looking for general information about the topic. But someone who searches “small business content marketer in the Chicago area” is probably looking for someone who can help them create content that will boost their online visibility.
2) Competition/SEO Difficulty
This is the really important number because it’s the one that tells you how hard it is to rank for that keyword. It ranges from 1-100 with 1 being the easiest to rank for and 100 being the hardest. You should do some A/B testing to see what works best for you, but I think most content marketing professionals recommend avoiding keywords with a competition higher than about 35 or 40.
The key is to find keywords with high search rates and low competition. Those are gold, not only because they’re easy to rank for, but because it shows there’s a gap in the available content, and if you help fill that gap, you’ll become the authority on that topic.
Once you look up a keyword, you should look at the stats on related keywords. SEMRush and KWFinder will automatically give you the most popular related keywords, but on Ubersuggest you have to go to “Keyword Ideas” on the left side of the screen in order to get stats on keywords related to the one you’re looking up.
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