Keyword research for content strategy

Good quality content offers website users a reason to keep coming back. A content strategy is the blueprint for great content which can then be leveraged in various formats for a variety of channels and media to get the best return on investment. With the major search engines cracking down on sites with less than average content, it is more important than ever to ensure that your website features fresh and relevant content regularly.

Content strategy plays a key role in search engine optimisation and is a great on-page optimisation method. This means the content must be dedicated to the relevant keywords and key-phrases that attract the maximum search engine traffic for your site. The website content must be optimised with these keywords, preferably long tail keywords, to consistently generate traffic.  To do this, keyword research is the first step.

Keyword research – the foundation for a successful content strategy

Creating great content must begin with identifying the relevant keywords for your business website.  Adequate time invested in the extensive research of keywords and key phrases that include long tail key phrases will pay off with a high ROI.

Specific yet descriptive multi-word or long tail key phrases have better chances of ranking well than a single word keyword. They also help target your traffic since users who search with long tail key phrases are likelier to buy, increasing your conversion rate. Examples of long tail key phrases are:

“Cape Town hiking tours for beginners” Instead of just “tours”

“Sony digital camera 10MP free shipping” Instead of just “digital camera”

“Criminal defense lawyer in Johannesburg” Instead of just “Lawyer”

Notice how the long tail keyword narrows down the search, helps the user find what she wants and increases the chances of converting her into a customer.

While creating your content strategy, create content around long tail keywords to drive more traffic.  There are many advantages with the long tail keyword strategy:

  • Easier to rank for
  • Less competition
  • More targeted traffic
  • Higher conversions
  • More search engine indexed pages

After deriving a list of long tail key phrases, your content should be packaged around it in a relevant way.  The focus must always be on the topic, not the keyword. In fact, the content strategy must be built around these keyword silos.

A word about keyword silos

Keyword silos are groups of theme-based keywords. On most websites, themes and keywords are spread out without being aggregated in a specific location. This makes it hard for the search engines to decide the relevancy of each page in relation to the search phrase used by the user. In the process, it can affect web rankings negatively.

By building silos, you create keyword rich content and themes for each page and section of your website. The information must be structured in a logical and easy to understand manner so that it is both search engine and user friendly.  Besides this, the silo also helps with inbound links and higher rankings.

When your content strategy is built around keyword silos, it must ensure that it sounds natural and is in alignment with your overall content strategy, which is part of your marketing plan, and include all your products and services.

Remember to avoid keyword stuffing as you consider the following:

  • If you have consumer questions to answer, this is a golden opportunity to build valuable, relevant content.
  • Research what devices your market is using for various keywords and searches to discover trends if any.  Based on this, create content that displays on these devices and creates a happy user experience, motivating them to interact and respond.
  • Your content must be found in order to be effective. Concentrate on the search engine results pages with keywords. Users depend on the search engines throughout the purchase process, right from searching for information to placing their order. What are they looking for? How can you add relevancy to their search and make sure your brand shows up? The answers to these will help frame your content strategy.

While creating your content, bear these in mind:

  • Vary your word count across pages to make it appear natural.
  • Use synonymous phrases and secondary keywords.
  • Add value to each page for a happier user experience.
  • Write unique content about what has not been said before. If it is a popular topic, provide a new slant to it.
  • Use emotion to engage your reader.
  • Encourage visitors to tell you what they want to read and give it to them.
  • Create an ongoing list of interesting topics around long tail keywords.

Aim to make your website an authority repository of valuable information about your topic.
Content marketing is here to stay and your business is guaranteed to flourish as long as you can keep the search engines and your users happy. Add website analytics and keyword research, and you are well on your way towards a successful content strategy.