From years of running digital and content marketing for my software as a service (SaaS) business, I’ve learned the power of what good, relevant keyword targeting can do to establish your authority and improve awareness for your brand.
For example, this company grew their daily visitors by 40% and saw an increase in brand awareness by doing extensive keyword research.
And they’re not alone. About 82% of marketers report the significant rise of SEO effectiveness in 2016.
That’s why I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to determine a consistent set of effective keywords our company should identify with. Content marketing and SEO go hand-in-hand, so this set of keywords serves as a vital foundation for all content writing in the future.
Here’s how you can start determining keywords relevant to your business:
Know your customers
I always tell my marketing team to dig deep into understanding who our customers are first before executing any content or digital marketing plans.
It makes sense These are the people who need your service, so you want them to notice you. And not just know you exist but know you can solve their problems.
Knowing your customer’s age, gender, geographical location is great. But when I say dig deep, I mean you should know what they think about and what they are most likely looking for when they search for a service like yours.
A good tip is to brainstorm for long tail keywords.
- “brown leather loafers NY”
- “best aglio olio recipe easy”
- “organic skincare online cheap”
I once said before that focusing on search phrases (long tail) converts much better than keywords (short tail). This is because a customer with a more specific search is more likely to be ready to buy than one that has a casual, generic search.
In most cases, the latter is probably still at the research or “just browsing” phase.
Use a keyword research tool
I always like to be as comprehensive as I can, so after I’ve exhausted my own personal list of words I think are associated with my business, I always look to a keyword research tool to take it further.
Here are some tools I swear by:
1. Google Analytics
Whether you’re new to SEO or otherwise, you’ve definitely heard of Google Analytics and how powerful it is. Best of all, it is always free.
Google Analytics is an overall analytics tool to monitor the key metrics of your website such as demographic, best-performing keywords, and search phrases users are using to land on your page.
Of all the reasons above, I particularly prefer using Google Analytics over Google Keyword Planner because of how it shows me the search phrases that lead people to our site.
I’ve mentioned before that you shouldn’t rely on Google Keyword Planner alone to do your keyword research, although it is still a decent tool for keyword ideas.
But for more precision and relevancy, Google Analytics gives you a far better idea of possible long tail keyword phrases you can retarget your campaign to.
Pricing: $69 – $599/month
NinjaOutreach is something we developed to address the deficiencies we experienced from having used several other apps in our marketing before.
At its core, it’s an influencer prospecting and email outreach tool, but we’ve added other features to it to help us refine our content research, link building efforts, and, in this case, refining our keyword research.
Applied to keyword research, we use our content research feature to look for top shared, followed, and tagged topics to narrow down our possible keyword opportunities.
This will help you get a good overview of what people are possibly looking for and what they’re interested to see. This applies for all business niches whether you prioritize content marketing or not.
Another tool I love is Ahrefs. It’s an SEO backlink checker and competitor research tool for you to not only track your keywords and brand mentions online but it also shows you how your competitor’s keywords are doing too.
Knowing how your competitor’s keywords are doing is kind of like learning from someone else’s success or mistakes.
Not only do you get an in-depth insight into how the overall market is doing but it gives you a broader look into what works and what doesn’t so you can pinpoint the relevant keywords with a higher chance of performing well.
4. Moz Keyword Explorer
Price: $99 – $599/month
Moz Keyword Explorer is a straightforward marketing analytics tool with a sleek, easy-to-use interface for a comprehensive keyword, link, social, and brand research.
This tool is awesome because it takes you through the entire keyword process from early keyword discovery to query filtration and prioritization. You can even sort them into different lists if you have more than one categories.
What I found super useful is their unique metric insight. It tells you the Opportunity scores and Potential scores so you know exactly what keywords are ideal for you. Moz Keyword Explorer also emphasizes its 95% accuracy in search volume range.
Pricing: $99 to $400/month
SEMRush is an incredibly reliable and versatile tool that can be used by any number of sites regardless of your blog’s niche or size.
The great thing about SEMRush is how easy they made it identify trends and keywords in your niche. In addition, it also audits your page’s SEO, check your site’s rankings as well as backlinks.
Again, similar to Ahrefs, SEMRush also offers an insider’s look into how your competitor’s keywords are doing and what search phrases are working for them. Not only can this help you expand your keyword opportunities but it can improve your overall marketing campaign success rate in the long run.
Keyword targeting is still alive and kicking. In fact, it serves as the basis for many successful SEO campaigns even for myself. Please don’t forget to comment below if you’ve tried any of these tips yourself or if you have any suggestions to add. I’d love to hear them!