Words are key to customers: keyword research for content marketing
One of my blog readers has a daughter who is a marketing major in college. She encouraged her to check out one of my posts. The daughter’s reaction was that I should be teaching social media marketing because they don’t cover it in their coursework.
This surprised me for two reasons. One, because marketing grads really need to enter the workforce schooled in new media marketing. And two, because I consider myself to be an ongoing student on the subject.
Toward my continued learning, I just finished reading Lee Odden’s new book Optimize: How to attract and engage more customers by integrating SEO, social media and content marketing. If you are looking to pick up some new ideas, I recommend reading it also.
Odden champions a holistic approach to SEO that goes beyond the search engine-oriented tactics many experts teach. This perspective offers a blueprint for integrating SEO into the planning and implementation of your social media and content marketing strategy. The book is full of insights, but I especially learned a lot from the chapters on how buyer personas can guide keyword research and combine to build an optimized content plan.
Conducting keyword research
Optimize lays the groundwork for planning with tips on developing personas of desired customers based on identifying key motivators and behaviors. Customer attributes for personas are compiled from demographic data that helps to understand their responsibilities, decision-making role, social media preferences and other information that offers insight into search intent. This is augmented by getting voice-of-customer insight from frontline employees to anticipate the language prospective customers may use in searching for content.
This sets the stage for the next steps of evaluating metrics and brainstorming a keyword glossary. The baseline metrics establish keyword popularity, global monthly search volume and competitive ranking using Google AdWords and other keyword tools. The book outlines several considerations for this process, some of which include:
- Seasonality, news and search trends that could affect keyword popularity
- Search engine algorithms for geography and personalization that affect rankings
- Competitiveness of search categories
- Likelihood of ranking on page one of search results
- The sources and types of content appearing in searches
Odden sums up the process this way:
What you are building is a keyword list that will remain in place as a reference for your content optimization, social media optimization and link building for the next 6-12 months.
In this video, Lee Odden talks about ideas for a achieving an optimized state of mind outlined in his book.
This review just scratches the surface of what you will find in Optimize. To close, let me offer a few more takeaways on optimized and socialized content you will get from reading it.
6 reasons you will want to read Optimize
- It provides a clear path for assessing your website, social media, PR and other content objects to identify gaps and opportunities to improve search optimization.
- It helps you keep focused on creating relevant content for your target audience.
- It gives you an approach for integrating digital content with your other marketing, branding and PR.
- It offers numerous ideas on tactics for promoting your content on social media.
- It helps you establish a disciplined planning process to measure your business outcomes.
- It enables you to develop a big picture SEO and content strategy that allows you to adapt to rapid changes in technology that may impact the popularity of current search engine or social media platforms.
A recurring theme in the book is “whatever can be searched, can be optimized” and Odden provides plenty of advice and examples for you to apply to your business. This is a book you don’t want to keep on the shelf. Rather, you’ll want to keep it open on your desk.
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