Search engines are the gateway to knowledge. In fact, they can be considered the most important tool of our time. There is a reason why many people call Google “the world’s most used search engine.”
Using keyword research to make your stories findable in search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing is an essential step for any content marketing strategy. But what does it mean? Below we will discuss a keyword research checklist that you can use to prepare yourself for writing articles that rank well in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Making Your Stories Findable
Keywords are the foundation of SEO. To create an effective content strategy, it is important to understand what people are searching for and what should be included in your content. We wrote this beginner’s guide to help you jump into keyword research. We used the same strategy and it helped increase our monthly search visits from 0 to 15,000 in just a few months.
Keep in mind, some topics (i.e. fitness, recipes, financial) are more competitive compared to others and therefore might rank faster. Not all content will rank for the keyword you are targeting right away. It takes time and can take 3 to 6 months, sometimes up to a year.
Keyword research is the process of understanding what customers search for on Google and other leading search engines. It then involves studying, comparing, and prioritizing which keyword opportunities are best for your website.
Keywords are the only way to figure out what people are typing into search engines. You need to know this in order to avoid creating content about things that nobody is searching for. Many website owners make that mistake, and it’s likely a big part of the reason why 90.63% of pages get no traffic from Google.
How to Create SEO Strategies for Content
Our SEO Strategy: To create an effective SEO strategy for our content we start by creating what type of information we want to teach people about the keyword around topics like “keyword research.” We then map that out with keywords from the most relevant list you pulled up earlier in these two steps:
- Use a keyword tool (Google Trends, Keyword Generator, Keyword Sheeter, etc.) to find the most relevant keywords for your website in terms of search volume, competition level, and commercial intent levels. The tools will give you an idea of what people are looking for now.
- Use a keyword discovery tool to get suggestions on new keywords that you could use as well as the synonyms and related words that might be appropriate too. We find these by typing in our keyword phrase, then we click “show,” which will show us all the hidden phrases with similar meanings or ideas; this is important because it provides an opportunity to optimize your content
- Create content by mapping out what type of information you want to teach people, what type of keywords you’ve selected (by using a keyword tool), and how often your content should be updated.
- Once you outline your content, let’s find out what customers are searching for on Google and other search engines related to the topic you want to teach
- Use keyword tools like Google Keyword Planner – which can be found in Adwords or Bing Ads Toolbar within MS Word Online Writer – just to make sure your content is set up correctly, based on what the audience would search!
- NOTE: Your social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube channel pages should also contain keywords for people to find you on these different networks. Include these search engine keywords in your article.
- Then study, compare, and prioritize which keyword opportunities you think will be best for your website
- Find the keywords that have low competition and high commercial intent (these usually cost less to rank well in search engine results pages)
Once you find the appropriate keywords, work on your initial article draft freely–with no consideration for keywords. When you’ve completed your first draft, go back and refine it with keywords in mind.
This is our process. There are many SEO methods that will do the job – develop what works for you. Plus there is a plethora of SEO or keyword research tools out there with features galore – focus on one or two and stick with it. Don’t waste money and time by using these software tools with features you don’t need.
In closing …
The higher ranking a post is with SEO techniques applied properly will help drive more traffic from search engines. You may have an amazing story that resonates deeply with readers but if they cannot find it when they are searching online then there’s no point in publishing it at all!
Remember: SEO is a science, strategy, and art. Just because you have great keywords, it does not mean that you will be ranked #1 on Google the next day. It takes time and effort to rank for some keywords.
Optimizing your content to rank in search engines can take months. Google and other search engines generally take 3-6 months (long-tail strategy) before they rank an article that you published, so it’s important to keep this in mind when writing posts for your website.