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The day Google changed their privacy guidelines—resulting in keyword data in Analytics being replaced with (not provided)—remains the saddest day in digital marketing history. Despite this change, keywords remain the foundation of every great PPC advertising or SEO campaign.
It’s day three at SMX East 2014 and I’m in a session with Joe Pawlikowski (PushFire), Jason White (DragonSearch), and Mike King (iPullrank). The topic is keyword research for better content and audience engagement.
Here are the highlights:
Keyword Research for Better Content
Joe Pawlikowski from PushFire kicked things off by providing some keyword research tips for coming up with better content ideas. According to Joe, when it comes to keyword research, most business owners and marketers start with search volume, keyword ranking difficulty, conversions, and cost per click. These are great metrics and things to consider, but when thinking about how to come up with better content ideas, Joe suggests asking and answering the following questions:
- What are our customers’ problems?
- What are our customers’ objections?
- What motivates our customers?
Every business owner and marketer needs to be constantly thinking about their customers’ problems. What problems are your customers trying to solve? Make a list of these problems and use keyword research tools to create a list of related keywords and topics. Do the same for your customers’ objections and motivations.
Brainstorm a HUGE list of topic ideas (Joe suggests that the minimum required to create a great content marketing campaign for the year is 3,500). The reason you need such a huge list is because you’re going to whittle it down. Combine like topics and keywords. Instead of creating 10 crappy blogs about 10 niche keywords, create one killer piece of content that targets 10 closely related keywords.
Mike King takes a slightly different approach. Mike notes that there are keywords with ridiculous search volumes that make no sense. For example, people searching Facebook from Google (this makes perfect sense to me… I think Mike has lost touch with how non-techie/SEO people usethe web). Search volumes and keywords mean zip. A lot of SEOs do metric-driven KW research. Good KW research considers intent and personas. People search to fulfill some sort of need.
Think about people and their needs. Think about a specific person doing a specific thing.
Mike suggests mapping the customer journey for your business. Identify the various stages of the buying process. Articulate the considerations a customer would have at each stage of the journey. Brainstorm the keywords they might be using at each step. Make a list of content assets that might be useful. It’s all about personas, the visitor journey from awareness to purchase, and their intent at every step along the way.
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About The Author: Ben Landers is the President and CEO of Blue Corona, a data-driven, inbound internet marketing company. Submit an inquiry to book Ben to speak at your next conference or event.
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