Note: This is part two of a series of short blogs related to our Content Planning Workbook read Part 1 and Part 3.
Have you ever walked into a party only to realize there is someone else wearing the EXACT same outfit as you?
As soon as you see them you get a sinking feeling… You know that for the rest of the night you’ll be the going joke.
“Hey, you two are wearing the same thing can I take a photo.” (Sub-text, let’s turn that photo into a meme or something else degrading and hilarious)
Unfortunately, this is something we have to live with. The people we socialize with tend to shop in pretty similar places, and those places have a limited amount of styles to sell. So it’s not totally crazy that you could end up wearing the same thing as someone else at a party.
This is what has happened with SEO.
Everyone is shopping for keywords in the same place, and subsequently, everyone is chasing the same search engine traffic.
You come up with an idea for a piece of content, go to Google Adwords, and check to see what the best keyword is for that topic. Then you create a blog post or web page about that keyword. It’s not a bad strategy.
The problem with this keyword research method is that EVERYONE is doing it. (Including your competitors)
How good would it be if you could find hidden keyword gems that your competitors had never heard of? Keywords that would help you compete for rankings and traffic with underdone and outdated content? Keywords with little to no competition?
Yea I know, those questions are rhetorical – it would be totally awesome.
But instead of dreaming about it, I figured I’d do something to help you out…
First, why is keyword and topic research important?
There are four main reasons why keyword and topic research is an integral part of effective content marketing and ranking in search engines;
- Keyword research helps you eliminate assumptions about what you THINK is an interesting topic. Too often people rush to assumptions about whether a topic is interesting, without confirming that people are actually searching for it.
- It helps you communicate in a language that search engines understand. Even though search engines are getting more intelligent in the way they interpret content, keywords or “search terms” are still the best way for them to understand what your content is about and therefore show it when someone searches for those terms.
- Keyword research also helps you get the right TYPE of visitors to your website. This point can’t be understated. There is no point in getting lots of traffic that is irrelevant to your business proposition – this will not only result in frustration for you but most likely a lot of people bouncing straight off your site.
- Finally, it helps you better understand your ideal customer. The insights you will discover by analyzing search trends, search volumes and how competitive keywords are, will provide valuable information about the behavior of your ideal audience.
These four reasons are WHY keyword research is so important – despite it being slightly tedious – you will reap the benefits in the end.
How do you do keyword and topic research?
Ok, great, so you understand that keyword research is important… but how do you do it?
Here is a short, and simple, process for finding hidden gems with your keyword research:
- Start your research by highlighting the key pains, interests, and desired outcomes of your Ideal Customer Profile.
- Then, expand this research by looking into the content published by your top competitors.
- Finally, use a keyword research tool to identify opportunities for creating content that will rank in search engines.
My keyword research tool of choice is KWFinder. It’s far more affordable for non-SEOs than the all-in-one software tools such as ahrefs and SEMrush, plus it has some really cool features:
- It helps you discover keyword phrases with “Suggestions”, “Autocomplete” and “Questions” as they relate to your chosen topic.
- It shows you the pages that are currently ranking in the top 10 for your chosen phrase and analyzes their domain strength.
- It shows you the search volume for each keyword phrase.
- It uses a color-coded SEO ranking difficulty system to determine whether or not you are likely to rank for a phrase.
SEO can be frustrating… Especially when you’re stuck competing for all the same keywords as everyone else.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
With a little bit of creativity and the right process, you can discover some pretty exciting opportunities.
Want us to do this research for you? Send an email to [email protected] with the subject line “SPIDER”.