A Beginners Guide to Building a Keyword Strategy

By: Jacklynn Manning  
March 27th, 2019

The Power of Digital Marketing series will cover various topics from options for retargeting users, the power of search, and content marketing, to help you build and grow your business through omni-channel marketing.

What is a Keyword?

A keyword is a word or phrase that describes the content on a website page or blog. These keywords are specific to the content that you are showing and helps search engines such as Google and Bing navigate viewers to your pages and drive organic traffic to your site. When online audiences search for your designated keywords or phrases in a search engine, and your page is optimized for that keyword, they should find your page more easily.

Why are Keywords Important?

Marketers often refer to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) when discussing keywords. Today, as Bill Gates predicted, “content is king”, and keywords are just as critical in a business’s content marketing strategy as they are for a SEO strategy.

There was a time when keywords seemed to be the end-all, be-all of content. Writers and editors would work themselves into a frenzy to find the ideal target keyword for a blog post or landing page, and try to integrate that keyword into the content the "right" numbers of times in order to have the piece rank well for that term. However, as Google's algorithm continues to become more sophisticated, keyword stuffing has become an antiquated practice. Nowadays, it's more about creating content that appeals to your target audience which will lead to not only a growth in organic traffic, but an increase in qualified leads. 

It is crucial to think beyond specific keyword targets and instead focus on targeting relevant topics or themes to develop content all around. You should spend time learning about your business’s audience and look at current search engine results to determine how Google interprets various topics. After this research is done, you may develop more accurate content that aligns with your business’s needs.

What Is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is the practice of finding and researching alternative search terms that people enter into search engines while looking for a similar subject.  Keyword research can be time consuming and challenging. It’s vital to know your audience, specifically: where your audience is, what your audience is searching for, and who your competition is. Searchers have a different behavior than business owners do.  The way a viewer may search varies from how you sell products. The wrong keywords drive the wrong traffic, and the wrong traffic never coverts to a business opportunity.

Building Your Keyword Research Strategy

After you have done your keyword research, you should start to develop a priority list of keywords and phrases. It’s important to understand these four keyword categories:

  1. Branded: These contain your brand name and variations of it,
  2. Generic: Keywords related to your products, services, and value proposition,
  3. Related: Other related keywords your audience is searching for, and
  4. Competitor: Brand names and variations of your competition.

When you are defining your list of keywords for your content marketing strategy, you can divide these keywords into two major categories: the shorter, broader keyword phrases are typically known as head keywords. The longer keywords that are often full sentences are called long-tail keywords.

The Future of Search

Search continues to evolve, both in user behavior, and algorithms the search engines are using.  Now, more and more people are searching while on the go. They’re either on a mobile device or using a voice assistant (e.g., Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant). Thus, keywords have become longer and more complex. It’s critical that your keyword strategy evolves at the same pace as the user and the search engines to stay relevant, and remain optimized.

About the Author

Jacklynn Manning is the Vice President of Marketing at Amur Equipment Finance, Inc. and a Certified Lease Finance Professional. Mrs. Manning is responsible for marketing its products and services to customers, partners and vendors alike, bringing more than 20 years of marketing experience to her role.

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