Content marketing and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) ideally go hand in hand. Content is still king, but when you optimize your content so that it ranks more efficiently, it’s a definite benefit. If you want to complement your content marketing strategy with SEO, you can’t neglect keyword research. It’s one of the staples of SEO, and it can help you better understand your target audience as well.
Let’s look at a few reasons to invest in researching keywords from an SEO standpoint:
1. Getting a Place to Start
How are you going to know what call-to-action works best if you don’t do your research? How will you optimize your content without knowing which SEO keywords to use? Guessing can only get you so far. To get the best return on investment (ROI), you need to know exactly what you’re doing. In SEO, understanding where to start begins with keyword research, and it’s never too late to start. Without it, you won’t be able to learn enough about your customers to target them effectively, either.
2. Taking Advantage of Hard Data
Even if you have a marketing strategy “hunch” that you think might work, you should back it up with facts. Hard data can tell you what’s working and what isn’t, but it can also confirm your “sixth sense” was right. Alternatively, it can prove you wrong as well. Perhaps your research will reveal that specific keywords are more or less competitive than what you initially thought. Knowing this can help you make a more informed marketing strategy. It will be a mistake not to use that knowledge if it’s already at your fingertips.
3. Putting Your Website on the Map
Having an SEO-optimized website is still one of the best ways to rank high on Google and promote your business. Nowadays, it’s not enough to rely on your domain name as a keyword to do it — you need an SEO strategy. It starts with researching your main keywords, as well as your long-tail keywords to ensure you’re relevant to just the right audience. The beautiful part is that it won’t take away from your content — it will complement it.
4. Ensuring Your Content Does Well
Researching keywords provide you with the direction for your content. Once you start building the content strategy around the keywords you researched, you’re bound to see improvement over the directionless approach. You don’t create material and then stick some keywords in — SEO keywords should come before the content does.
5. Targeting the Right Audience
Trying to get traffic by using keywords that haven’t been researched can have mixed results. You’ll get the right traffic if you are lucky, or you’ll end up targeting the wrong audience. That’s why it’s imperative to research keywords and learn what your target audience searches for and how. The aim of any marketing plan is not necessarily to get you a bunch of customers — it’s to find your ideal customers and draw them in. From an SEO standpoint, that’s what the right SEO keywords help you to do.
As you can see, your business and content marketing strategy can significantly benefit from keyword research. The best part is that you don’t have to do it on your own – an SEO professional could help you start. If you don’t want to wait forever to see the results of your digital marketing strategy, contact me, and we can discuss how I can best help you with my expertise.
Rob Dunford is a Marketing Consultant in the Great Toronto Area with over 20 years of experience in implementing marketing plans for small businesses.