Kasia Manolas, the founder of content marketing agency Narrative, works with startups and e-commerce brands on their organic marketing strategies. She specifically enjoys writing in-depth, well-researched content on niche topics that help brands improve their Google ranking and increase organic traffic.
Why should you perform keyword research?
Performing keyword research is a practice that helps you identify popular queries that people type into search engines. It shows you how high the demand is for certain terms and how difficult it would be to compete for those keywords in organic search results.
Keyword research is a powerful tool to improve your content marketing strategy and focus your organic efforts on the topics that bring more readers to your website, and eventually convert those readers into paying customers.
Follow these steps to perform keyword research and increase the traffic to your site
Start by asking yourself what your customer cares about. Jot down the questions on their mind and the topics that interest them. You will quickly find what’s called pillar topics. Pillar topics are two to five core topics that you write about on your website. They act as categories that help you break down your overall branded content into different topic areas. Not only does this help you determine what to write about, it ensures your readers are getting a thoughtful and deep look at your overall topic. Establishing pillar topics will help you kick-start that brainstorming process, so you can drill down on the topics that your audience will care about.
״Establishing pillar topics will help you kick-start that brainstorming process, so you can drill down on the topics that your audience will care about.״
2. Gather data
Now that you have a long list of ideas from your brainstorming session, go ahead and circle or highlight what are the most important words in those phrases—these will be your keywords. Take these keywords and use one of the many keyword research tools available online to gather data about them. Look at indicators like search volume (how many people search for this keyword per month) and difficulty (an evaluation of how difficult it is to rank high in Google’s organic search results for this term). On top of that, the keyword research tool can give you other keyword ideas. This is where keyword research really takes your brainstorming to the next level with data.
“Keyword research really takes your brainstorming to the next level with data.”
3. Track results
Don’t forget to track results and gather knowledge about your organic traffic. Use your keyword research tool to create a list of keywords that you’re trying to rank for and it’ll give you a report of how you are performing on those. Google Search Console and Google Analytics can also give you a lot of knowledge about your traffic.
4. Provide value with your writing
Once you choose the relevant keywords, keep in mind that the quality of your writing is critical to keep readers engaged and eventually convert them into paying customers. You need to educate and entertain, and simply provide value. Be consistent and choose topics your readers care about.
Keyword research is very important, it’s data-driven and very helpful but ultimately you want to make sure you’re providing value by choosing the right topics.