Inbound Marketing is all about creating valuable content that has been designed specifically to answer the questions that your prospects have, at the right time within their buyer’s journey.
To do this successfully, you need a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy that improves how your content ranks across search engines. Keywords are the foundation of SEO and a key aspect of any Inbound Marketing program.
After all, if nobody is searching for what you are writing about, you aren’t going to receive traffic to your website. That’s why before you start creating content, you first need to do keyword research.
What is keyword research?
Keyword research is an important part of SEO. It is simply the process of analyzing and finding the search terms that you want the content on your website to rank for, and then creating an extensive list of keywords that your content will be built around.
This process lies in better understanding your target market (particularly through the creation of buyer personas), as well as using search engine analytics tools to research the terms that prospective buyers are searching for.
Why is keyword research important?
Conducting keyword research provides your organization with valuable insights into the search terms and queries that your buyer personas are searching for when using search engines.
Once you know the keywords that your target audience is searching for, these keywords will become the foundation of your SEO and content marketing program. By optimizing the keywords on your website for the exact key terms that your audience is searching for, you will increase the odds that your content reaches them, driving traffic to your website and increasing conversions.
How to research keywords for your content marketing and SEO strategy
With that in mind, how does your business conduct effective keyword research? Here at The Brit Agency we have listed a few steps that will help you create a keyword research strategy that boosts your SEO and helps you design a content marketing program that drives traffic.
1 - Start by understanding your customer
Keyword research takes time, and the first step to writing content that drives the right traffic is understanding your audience. Once you know what answers your prospects are looking for, you’ll be able to create content that is highly valuable to their specific needs.
Creating detailed buyer personas will help you understand exactly what challenges your prospects have, what they are looking for and where they search for information. This is the start of your keyword research process.
2 - Make a list of your core topics
Now that you fully understand your target audience, it’s time to create a list of your organization’s core topics. This should be the top 5-10 core topics that are important to your business and that you want to rank for.
For example, here at The Brit Agency our core topics may look something like this:
- Inbound Marketing
- B2B marketing
- Content marketing
- Marketing automation
- Digital marketing
3 - Fill in those core topic keywords with subtopic long tail keywords
Once you have your core topics, you can fill each of those lists with subtopic keywords. These keywords should be long tail keywords (key phrases) that you believe might match the searches that your target customer is conducting on search engines.
For example, if we take our core topic of Inbound Marketing above, subtopic keywords that fall under this bucket could include:
- What is Inbound Marketing?
- Inbound Marketing benefits
- Inbound Marketing strategies
- How to generate Inbound Marketing qualified leads
- Inbound Marketing vs outbound marketing
- Inbound Marketing definition
- Inbound Marketing examples
Remember, at this stage you aren’t creating keywords that your target audience is actually searching for. You are creating keywords that you believe your target audience is searching for - we will narrow these keywords down in the next step.
4 - Research your keywords
You’ve now created a list of core topics and keywords that can be used to build your SEO strategy around pillar pages - a practice that is becoming increasingly common in the Inbound Marketing methodology.
To make sure these are the right keywords to reach your target audience and drive traffic, it’s time to dive a little deeper and do some keyword analytics research.
There are plenty of tools you can use to make this process easier. If you are using the HubSpot platform then you can hook up Google Search Console for keyword research, or alternatively you can use tools such as SEMrush, Moz, Ubersuggest or Ahrefs.
You can use these tools to refine the keywords and key phrases that you have come up with in the above steps. These tools will also help you to generate new keywords under your core topics as your content marketing strategy evolves.
Want to learn more about keyword research, content marketing or Inbound Marketing as a whole? Contact The Brit Agency today. Our team of Inbound Marketing experts have years’ of experience designing B2B marketing programs for a wide range of companies.