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You probably already know the saying by heart: Content is King. And if that's true, then the key words are kingmakers.
Keywords are search engine optimized terms that crawlers can use to determine what your content is about and then rank it by comparing your content to other websites with similar keywords.
The right content marketing strategy that unlocks the power of keywords will allow you and your brand to reach the audience that ultimately leads to these conversions happening frequently and quickly – that's the ultimate goal, right?
Why should you have a content strategy at all?
The amount of data in the world was estimated at 44 zettabytes at the beginning of 2020. By 2025, the daily amount of data generated is expected to reach 463 exabytes worldwide. A zettabyte is 1000 bytes to the power of seven and an exabyte is 1000 bytes to the power of six.
For content marketers, this means that every time you write and publish an article, it inevitably drowns under the sea of articles produced daily on every topic imaginable. The good news is that there are over 3.5 billion Google searches performed worldwide every minute, every day. This corresponds to up to 2 trillion search queries worldwide and over 40,000 search queries per second. You can rank high on these queries. But first you need to put together a winning strategy.
There is one caveat, however, that would not be fair to hide from you. And that is segmentation by language. According to the World Economic Forum, 80% of online content is available in just a tenth of all languages.
This is one of the many reasons billions of people are still offline today. They still struggle to find the content they understand. For English speakers who create content online, it means that the competitiveness in content marketing in English has only grown and, in the absence of a better word, tougher.
But don't worry, most of the hard work is already done for you with these seven steps to help you build a successful keyword database. If you are tired of trying the losing tactics and strategies, don't hesitate to try these out.
Related: How to create a powerful content strategy for startups
1. Find out who your audience is and what they want to know
One of the best organic ways to find out what your audience really wants is to go to websites that have your audience's questions in it. For example, Reddit and Quora are great places to find questions from a wide audience.
Pick a topic that will appeal to a lot of people. But remember, you are going too far and you could attract a lot of traffic. Be too niche and risk the sound of a barbecue.
The subject should be interesting enough to write about 2000 words. Interlaced with these words are convenient places to link to other articles on your website that encourage your readers to stick with them a little longer.
Another way to understand who your target audience is and what they want is to hear from someone in sales or product roles. You can also listen to sales calls so you can jot down the wealth of information.
2. Make a list of questions and categorize your keywords
Now that you have asked your initial question, you can create sub-questions. Sub-questions can branch into their own topics, from which you can create specific keywords.
The result of this step is a list of topics that represent the interface between your buyer and your product, areas where you or a team member is an industry expert, and concerns that your buyer is important about your service and / or product are. This is where the keyword taxonomy comes in. A taxonomy is a tree-shaped classification scheme that becomes more specific as you get closer to the ends of the branches.
For example, you can plan a backblog with targeted keywords using the following taxonomic structure:
Baking> Cakes> Muffins> Chocolate Muffins> Cream-Filled Chocolate Muffins
3. Create a keyword list and answer your list of questions
To expand on the previous point, start by answering each question under each category (see your taxonomy structure). This will help you find the keywords that will fit under each category. Take this time for a brainstorming session and draw on your own experience and knowledge. Remember, the goal here is to get specific content through your keyword choices.
You should also try to create “linkable assets” with your article content. Put simply, linkable assets are high quality content that inherently attracts backlinks or is meaningful and valuable enough for other people to link to in their own posts or share on their social media.
Related: 5 steps to find the most profitable keyword
4. Write your content with value in mind
Writing your content simply means writing the answers to the list of questions and sub-questions that you discovered and listed for yourself and your brand. However, do not create an info dump or content based on keyword stuffing. Take a look at a few tips that have proven effective in writing great content:
Use a mixture of short, concise sentences and sentence structures of different lengths
Keep your language simple and relatable
Use keywords in picture captions and picture alt texts
Use headings and sub-headings appropriately
Make use of the "white space" by paying attention to the paragraph density.
Use bullets or lists of numbers
Be talkative and informative using variations on first, second, and third person sentence structure.
Link to related content on your website
5. Check the keyword search volume
With Google AdWords, you can easily check how much volume a given keyword is getting on average monthly searches. Follow these steps:
Sign in to Google AdWords
Choose Tools> Keyword Planner
Select Get Search Volume Data And Trends.
Copy your keyword list into the search bar
Download your results, then update your keyword list
Related: 7 common mistakes businesses make with Google AdWords
6. Evaluate your keywords correctly
Now is the time to prioritize your keywords. Rate your keywords from 1-3 to keep it simple.
1 is for keywords that are closest to your goal. For example, if you sell a range of organic skin care products, then the keyword for "best organic night creams" is” would score 1.
2 is the score you would give for an action without specifically looking for skin care products such as How To Remove Acne Scars.
3 is for ambiguous steps that have more to do with research than buying a product (or, in your case, possibly a service). For example, think of "What is a facial scrub?" The topic is relevant to you, but you cannot determine the real reason why the audience is looking for these keywords. And chances are they aren't buyers.
7. Make sure you are prioritizing all the time
There's no shame in throwing in the towel with "non-winnable" keywords when you need to cut your losses. However, always keep an eye out for new and existing keyword opportunities.
Check to see if you are currently ranking for specific keywords. Or maybe you have a backlist of content that you want to rank for those keywords. There's a good chance that you can tweak the content that you already rank for your desired keywords in the future.
Essentially, the goal is for your existing keywords to help you rank better, drive traffic to your website, and convert your existing content.
New keyword opportunities
Don't start looking for new keyword opportunities until your content has a healthy amount of existing keyword opportunities in it. If you do this, you will only dilute your current keyword lists and risk lowering your rankings even further. Look for keyword opportunities in:
After all, the great thing about creating keyword lists is that you can be innovative and strategic with your time, approach, and resources. If you have a small team to work with, here are some things to keep in mind:
Whether you are looking for profitable keywords or are working on getting more out of your existing content, you can never go wrong by revising your current keywords quarterly and playing the balancing act between existing keyword opportunities and new keyword opportunities.