You already know that creating informative and engaging content is an important part of building your digital presence.
But what happens if you’re churning out tons of great pieces and nobody is reading them?
The truth is that successful content marketing doesn’t happen overnight.
Success with this type of media is equal parts luck and strategy — with a huge emphasis on the latter.
Sprinkling in a few keywords that you think will bring in traffic simply does not work, which means it is incredibly important to have a plan about the content you publish and who it will reach.
By doing this, you can focus your efforts around a specific topic and really dive into what your audience and target customers want to see, without having to guess that what you’re creating could somehow resonate with them in the future.
Ready to learn more about why your business needs a keyword strategy and how to make this happen?
Let’s get started.
What is a Keyword Strategy?
A keyword strategy is simply the planned process of how you will discover which keywords to target and what you do after you’ve narrowed them down.
It includes finding the verifiable data behind what people are actually searching for.
It also involves deciding which keywords are the best choice for the specific piece of content you’re creating.
In addition, your keyword strategy deals with tracking specific phrases over time to determine whether they are worth pursuing or if you should edit your content to include different ones.
And it isn’t just written content that you need this type of plan for, either.
In fact, the more detailed a keyword strategy you have, the easier it is to create cohesive content pieces that span across all of your channels accordingly.
Keyword Strategy vs Keyword Research: What’s the Difference?
Let’s clear something up.
A keyword strategy is not just looking up various keywords and deciding whether or not to use them.
While keyword research is a big part of the process, creating a full strategy requires a bit more forward-thinking and planning.
➤ With a keyword strategy, you’ll know what types of content to target and when.
➤ You’ll also have a good understanding of what your audience wants to see and their reaction to various forms of content, such as written versus video marketing materials.
➤ And you’ll have a benchmark when approaching a new topic or angle.
With a keyword strategy, you can ask whether or not an idea fits in with that plan. If it doesn’t, it might be best to skip it in favor of another one that does.
The Importance of a Keyword Strategy
So, why is having a strong keyword strategy for your content important?
Let’s use an analogy. Pretend you’re going on a road trip across the country.
You know you want to start in New York and end up in Los Angeles. But how are you going to get there?
You’ll need a map, of course.
A good keyword strategy is important because it acts like a roadmap of where your content marketing should go.
Just like the road trip, you might stray off course occasionally to see or do something unique. But, in most cases, you’re going to stick to the plan and stay focused.
Another reason a good keyword strategy is so vital to your business success is that it keeps you looking forward to your goals instead of getting stuck in the momentary of one project.
For example, let’s say you spend all your time and effort getting out a single long blog post. But, instead of instantly going viral, it’s a total flop.
Without a strategy to help you move forward, you might feel frustrated and stuck — only to not produce any more content of that type in the future.
However, with a strategy, you can move forward confidently knowing that with a little bit of adjustment, the next one you write can be a total success.
How to Create a Smart Keyword Strategy for SEO?
Now that we’ve covered why a keyword strategy is so important, let’s go over how to plan one.
This is an area where a lot of entrepreneurs struggle, mostly because they get so wrapped up in the keyword research portion that they cannot think about anything else.
Creating a smart strategy for better search rankings usually starts with a few key steps.
1. Think about your audience
Before you dive headfirst into your keyword strategy, the first step is to really think about your audience.
If you have a buyer persona, use it to brainstorm who you really want reading your blog posts and watching your videos.
Try to have an idea of what they look for in a post.
Are they voracious readers who have a ton of time to digest a long piece of content?
Or would it be better to come up with a keyword strategy that breaks it down into multiple shorter posts and a couple of videos?
While this doesn’t sound like it has a direct relation to keyword strategy, it really does.
The more you know about the audience you’re trying to attract, the easier it becomes to pick keywords for a series of content pieces.
2. Have a plan for tracking data
The next step is to have a plan for tracking data.
This can be something as simple as making sure your website is configured correctly for Google Analytics.
Or you might want to invest in additional software tools, like SEM Rush.
The depth that you’ll want to be able to track data from published content really depends on the size of your team and your overall keyword strategy.
But, by having a pretty solid analytics program, you can make sure the topics you’re focusing on are still the best for your industry or niche.
3. Research and analyze keywords
Eventually, you’ll get to a point where the research and analysis of keywords are important.
This is where coming up with a topic that you want to write about and selecting several coordinating keywords is vital to your overall marketing strategy.
Try to come up with lists of several hundred keywords that your target audience might be receptive to.
Look for elements like monthly search volume, but also pay attention to the competition.
If the first page for a particular keyword is filled with major corporations with huge ad budgets, then you might want to skip it in lieu of a different one.
Likewise, don’t be afraid to throw a few longtail or descriptive keyword phrases into your research, as well.
Many businesses find great success by using very specific search terms in a manner that attracts customers ready to take action.
Having trouble finding keywords that fit together?
In our blog post about SEO strategy, we explain how to use Google Ads Keyword Planner, a free tool that includes the option to see suggestions for other related keywords.
Often, this can be an excellent way to pick up phrases or wording that you might have otherwise missed to include in your list of chosen search terms.
4. Choose topic clusters to create content about
After you have a solid list of keywords that you’ve researched and tracked, it is time to create what’s called topic clusters.
In short, these are groups of content that connect around a similar theme.
Imagine an SEO cluster. In it, you can find content about related topics like:
It goes on and on.
And it’s okay if certain keywords cross between your keyword clusters.
The whole point of adding these to your strategy is that it makes it easy to choose one and then come up with content around that key topic using those search words and phrases.
Once you’ve come up with several of these lists, decide how you plan to fit them together and the type of media you want to use.
Maybe it makes sense to have a landing page and two blog posts, for example.
5. Create and publish good content
Finally, you want to create and publish good content.
While it is great to do a ton of keyword research and have a solid strategy, the most important part is still creating quality posts, videos, infographics, or whatever else you’re doing on a regular basis.
Likewise, consistency is key.
When it comes to SEO, you’ll want to ensure you’re putting out new and engaging posts on a fairly regular basis.
By doing this, you’re letting your audience know that you’re a committed expert in your field, while it also reminds the search engines that they need to check your website more often to discover that juicy new content.
6. See how far you’ve come
After your content has been out in the world for a few weeks or months, take time to circle back and analyze data from it.
- Are the keywords you’ve chosen starting to rank?
- Or is the competition still too fierce to really gain traction?
The beauty of having a solid keyword plan is that you don’t have to remain locked in your keywords forever.
In fact, you can always go back and rework sections of your content to include new keywords that have better traffic than the first ones you’ve chosen.
Just be sure to leave your existing keywords in the piece, as removing them could cause issues with anything that’s close to giving you a fair amount of traffic.
But our main point is that there’s no rule saying you can’t update your keyword strategy as you go, even if that means making a few edits in the future.
Beginning with the End in Mind
This is such an important part of building a keyword strategy that we decided to devote an entire section to it.
While the above steps are important, there’s still one thing you must always do in order to have a successful keyword strategy: have the end in mind.
What does this mean and why is it so important?
➤ It means always knowing what you want your audience to do once they’ve interacted with your content.
This means that if your goal is to book more appointments for your home service business, then you would want to use keywords that match what someone looking for that type of provider would search for.
It also means skipping keywords that would teach someone how to do the job themselves, which would eliminate the whole option of hiring your business to do it.
By keeping an eye on what you ultimately want a reader or viewer to do, you can tailor your keyword clusters to create content that is super actionable and makes a difference in your bottom line from the very start.
Wrap Up: Creating a Keyword Strategy for Your Business is Critical
Without this type of roadmap to guide your content creation process, it can be fairly easy to get lost in the details or get stuck along the way.
But when you have a plan and are tracking your results along the way, it can be easier to consistently create blog posts people want to read and videos they want to watch.
And if the content doesn’t work out? You can always make edits accordingly.
Ready to learn more about how a solid keyword strategy can help improve website traffic and increase your presence on SERPs?
Our SEO eBook provides tips, tricks, and best practices for improving your own strategy!