Keywords are “search queries” users input when they go on Google or other search engines. Building content that reflects these keywords is vital to ensuring these systems – and your readers – understand the purpose of your site. Choosing the right keywords to reach your business goals requires research. Luckily, it’s easy with the right tools.
The Best Keyword Research Tools
There are hundreds of keyword research tools, and each has its own strengths. That said, marketers can get a lot of value from a handful of leading keyword research tools. These include:
- Ahrefs: Ahrefs is a full-featured keyword research tool that has one of the most granular and precise keyword search functions. It lets you judge at a glance which keywords will be easiest to rank for as well as how many links you’ll need and which content is likely to succeed.
- SEMRush: SEMrush is an all-purpose keyword research suite. It allows you to centralize SEO, paid traffic management, social media, and content all under one roof. This is a great way to be sure all the aspects of your content marketing strategy work together.
- SpyFu: SpyFu is particularly well-known for competitor research. Although it can also help you with general keyword research, it’s excellent when it comes to finding out about your rivals’ link building strategies and how they are using paid traffic.
Keyword Research Strategies to Improve Content Marketing
Keyword research is fundamental in content marketing. Here’s how to get it right:
Mix Head Terms and Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords have three words or more. They usually relate to a major theme expressed in a head term. For example, “recipes for the Atkins Diet” might be a long-tail keyword for the head term “Atkins diet.” Long-tail keywords are usually easier to rank for and let you respond to specific reader concerns; head terms are long-term projects.
Use Topic-Based Natural Language
Although keywords are valuable, it’s no longer necessary to use them a certain number of times in each page. Instead, it’s a good idea to use natural variations on the keyword. Google’s new AI-driven approach will allow it to pick up on your meaning and serve your content to users who input related terms. A natural, conversational voice is more readable and better for SEO.
Narrow and Target Your Approach
Remember, no one keyword is a strategy. Beginner digital marketers have a tendency to pick a big list of keywords and then over-focus their efforts on one or two that draw lots of traffic. Instead, emphasize the creation of useful, informative content and build links to it.
Keywords are an important step, but only the beginning. Always keep your customers in mind and put their needs first.