Content remains king, especially in the world of digital marketing but even the most robust content strategy comprised of White Papers, Case Studies and Infographics are only valuable if they are packed with the key words that your prospects are using to find you online. So how do you identify those key words?
Finding your Key Words
If you've never conducted a Key Word analysis for your business, here are some simple steps you can take to kick off your key word strategy and start driving the "right" traffic to your Website.
Start by making a list of your competitor's Websites. Check as many competitor sites as you can find. Look at their source code and start a list of their Page Titles, Meta Descriptions and Tags. Some will be shorter, more generic terms and some will be a bit longer.
Next, look at their Web pages and find words that appear in the titles, headings and first paragraph, and for words that are hyperlinked. These could be anywhere on their sites but the best key words are likely on the home page, the service description pages and any landing pages (with contact us Forms). By the time you're finished, you should have a few dozen or more key words which you should copy into Word or Excel so you can alphabetize them easily, remove duplicates, etc.
In addition to the competitive research, you should also use an online Keyword generation tool. Just Google "Keyword generation tool" or "free keyword list generator" or something along those lines, and you'll find a variety of free tools available. If you are using Google Analytics, which hopefully you have integrated with your Website, you can use their tools to help you identify more key words.
Now you need to shorten the list to a manageable number of key words/phrases. First, you can delete any which are either very generic (e.g., "find a store" is too generic where "find a pet store in San Francisco" is more specific.) Then you can obviously delete any words which are not relevant to your business or service offering. After that, take the list that remains and do some more research to see how much traffic these phrases could potentially drive to your Website.
Google Analytics, and other online tools, will help you evaluate potential Website traffic. This is a critical step because oftentimes, key words are used that seem very obvious but when they are tested in Google Analytics, they turn out to have very low search activity. These online tools also enable you to test the Key words in different geographic searching areas, so for example, "soda" in the Northern U.S. may be "pop" in the South or "color" in the U.S. vs. "colour" in the U.K.
This whole process may sound complicated but it's actually not hard at all. It's a "make or break" strategy for any digital marketing strategy and all of your content and social media strategies will fail if they are not built on a solid key word foundation and comprised of strategic and relevant Key Words.
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