You’ve jumped on the content bandwagon, you understand the value in good quality content that serves your user, but where do you start when it comes to coming up with content ideas?
You must start with keyword research. Let me explain to you why. You may think that you know what consumers are searching for when it comes to your business, but I’m going to guess that you may be too close to it.
Recently, I visited with a client that worked on credentialing services. When I asked her what people looked for when it came to her services she immediately responded “credentialing.” This wasn’t the case at all, what they search for was information on regulations and regulation penalties within the industry she represented.
Do I have your attention now? Good. I’m going to share with you the fundamentals of keyword research and how you can get started doing your own research today and identify the right search terms to attract your target market.
When I look for keywords I focus on the following:
Low competition + High Volume + High Value = Higher Conversions
I’m looking for keywords that have low competition, but a high volume of searches and those searches bring me valued visitors that are interested in my product or service.
Now let’s find out what keywords you should be targeting.
- Step 1: Take out a blank sheet of paper or if you are like me and prefer to type open up a blank document that you can brainstorm on. What do you think your target market searches for? I’m going to use an example of a Pediatrician Doctor.
Keywords that I think my potential customers, clients and patients search on:
- Child’s doctor
- Infant doctor
- Child physician
- Pediatrician in Overland Park
- Step 2: Take the list you created in Step 1 and build on that list using Google’s Keyword Planner. You will need to setup an adwords account to use the tool, but setting up an account fairly easy. Once you are on the Google Keyword Planner, you will see several options including a place to enter your keyword list. I’d suggest leaving the website field blank at this time. I’d also suggest ignoring the advanced filters for now, so that you can get a general overview of popular keywords that surround your business. So, I entered the keywords from my Step 1. I ended up with a list of 100 keyword ideas.
- Step 3: Once you have your list export them into Excel by clicking the download button. This will make it easier to sort them via volume and competition. Your Excel File will have the following columns:
Keyword | Competition | Global Monthly Searches | Local Monthly Searches
Since most of the business I work with are within the United States I go ahead and delete the Global Search Column. It’s one last column of data that I have to worry about. I think sort the spreadsheet according to competition and local monthly searches.
I’m going to focus on the top five keywords that have high volume, low competition and attract my target market. They would look like this:
Pediatrician | Competition: .08 | 1,500,000 searches
Child Physician | Competition: .12 | 6,600 searches
Pediatrician Doctor |Competition: .12 | 27,100 searches
Family Doctors |Competition: .12 | 550,000 searches
Pediatrician in Overland Park |Competition: .14 | 390 searches
As you can see there are several words that have low competition and plenty of searches. In this case since I’m working with a local pediatrician, I would first target the keyword Pediatrician in Overland Park, even though it only gets 390 visits per month. The reason I would target this keyword is because if I added 100 new patients to my client’s list he’d be a very happy position. This keyword matches the criteria we discussed previously:
Low competition | Decent Volume | High Value Searcher
While it doesn’t have 1,500,000 searches like Pediatrician, the chances of this keyword phrase is more likely to bring me business in the short-term. I can always go back and work with the general term Pediatrician, but let’s get the low-hanging fruit first.
- Step 4: Now that you have your keywords you are ready to start your search marketing and content strategy. Go ahead and create a benchmark report to see where you rank on those terms. I like the Rank Checker tool but out by SEOBook.com, it’s easy to use and you can use it to keep an eye on the progress you make with your search marketing efforts and content strategy.
- Step 5: Be patient, getting ranked for keywords can sometimes take awhile so don’t lose patience, keep working at building content and creating a site that has a good user experience and provides your target market with the information they are looking for and before you know it you’ll start seeing your site rank for those targeted keywords. Monitor and keep track of your progress. Keep a log of the content you add and tweak you make to your site so that you can evaluate what helps you push you into those top search results.