Thinking of a topic for your next blog isn’t always straightforward. Any writer specialising in content marketing knows that in order for a blog to be successful it has to stand a decent chance of competing for keywords. There’s no point writing a brilliant article on a subject that has saturated the market. Then again, it’s not worth targeting obscure long-tail keywords in your content marketing. A fine line has to be drawn between competitiveness and readability. In this article, we’re going to share how to strategically evaluate your blog ideas and research keywords for content marketing that are successful every time.
How to research keywords: 3 steps to follow
Step 1: Define the desired outcome of your keywords
It doesn’t help trying to rank for a keyword if you aren’t clear on what your desired outcome is. Are you attempting to sell a product? Are you trying to get more email subscribers? Are you aiming to become an authority site on the subject? When traffic lands on your site, you must be absolutely clear on where you are directing that traffic to and what action you wish that traffic to take.
Step 2: Bring out the keyword tools
Google’s Keyword Tool is useful for beginners, but serious content marketers should use more advanced keyword tools like the HubSpot Keywords tool to research competitive keywords and their search volume, which is hugely valuable. It gives a detailed breakdown on the competitiveness of your keywords, and the keyword alternatives generated are beneficial for brainstorming new ideas and uncovering possible keyword opportunities.
A good tip is to enter your proposed blog title and see if other sites are already ranking for it. Even if a site already ranks for that title, check out the backlinks to the article. It may be that the article only has a few backlinks and a well-written piece could bump that article off the top spot in the search rankings.
Step 3: Take a look at what your competitors are doing before writing
If you’re competing for a keyword, visit your competitors’ sites to find out where they’re falling short and whether you can upstage them. Consider these criteria: did their post have a lot of interactions? Are they linking internally to other high-ranking posts? Take similar posts into account before writing your own – what can you offer that is different?
There you have it – a basic guide to keyword research and competitiveness. Remember, don’t be deterred by healthy competition, especially if you feel you have a voice to add to the debate.