When it comes to search engine optimization, content is still king. Doing a little bit of keyword research to create few pillar pieces of content on your blog can double your blog traffic and sales leads over time. Which is why it’s important to build a solid content strategy—one loaded with content ideas that will interest your target audience and high-ranking keywords for your industry.
What’s the point in writing amazing content if no one is ever going to find it, right? (Your family and close friends don’t count.)
So the question becomes, how do we create a content strategy that delivers the content our readers crave and rank in search? Well, I’m glad you asked.
Last month we sat down with our super-smart friend Tommy Griffith of ClickMinded and he gave us a fail-proof method for creating a content strategy based on actual data from keyword research. Believe it or not, keyword research isn’t as hard to do as it sounds, and we’ve broken down his process for you below.
Find your keywords
If you’re going to build a content strategy for your business, you need to know which keywords you should target. And while you could channel your high school test-taking self and just start guessing, it’s better to use an online tool that will give you actual data. One of those tools is called Keyword Finder. This free tool provides actual search data to help you make more informed keyword targeting decisions.
To get started, visit KWFinder.com and insert a common keyword or keyword phrase that your typical customer would type into Google. For example, if you owned a photography business in Austin, you might use “Austin photographer” as your targeted keyword.
KWFinder.com will then deliver a list of additional keywords to consider based on your original keyword. You’ll also notice that it provides the monthly average search volume, paid ad metrics, and a keyword difficulty score. For the sake of your content keyword research, you’ll want to focus on the average search volume metrics and keyword difficulty to give yourself an idea of how many times a keyword is searched and how easy it will be to rank for that keyword.
From here, you’ll need to refine your list of keywords by selecting only the ones that pertain to your business. So, if you are a family lifestyle photographer, you’d have no business targeting “Austin wedding photography.” However, you would definitely want to include “Austin family photographer” and “Austin newborn photographer.”
You’ll want to add all of the keywords and phrases from the list that your target audience might search for. (Don’t worry about sorting and organizing, we’ll do that later.)
Narrow Down Your Keywords
After you’ve created your list of keywords in KWFinder.com, you’ll want to export that list and open it up in a spreadsheet. You can use Google Sheets, Numbers, or Excel. This is where we will start narrowing down and organizing our keywords.
The three columns in your export that you want to pay the most attention to are Keywords, Search Volume, and Keyword Difficulty.
Using those columns, you can start to organize your keywords based on content ideas. For example, there are several keywords based on “Austin newborn” and “Austin Baby photography.” You can put all the keywords that have to do with newborn photography into one group and then develop a content piece utilizing all those keywords.
As you can see in the image above, creating a content piece for Austin Baby Photography could result in 668 new visits to your website every month, assuming you captured 100% of the traffic. But because perfection is an illusion, you can use ClickMinded’s free spreadsheet to estimate the amount of traffic you actually can get depending on where you fall in Google. We know that a #1 spot on Google generally results in about 30% of the click-thrus. So if you were to create content for Austin Baby Photography and held the #1 spot, you could assume that you would get roughly 2,400 visits per year for that piece of content. Which is an amazing amount of traffic!
Look at the Data and Build Your Content Strategy
Ok, you’ve got an idea of how much traffic each of your proposed pieces of content could get. Now it’s time to add in your business metrics.
Let’s say you have a 10% opt-in rate on your website and a sales conversion rate of 2%. With these metrics, you could assume that the Austin Baby Photography content piece would bring you about 240 new leads and 5 new sales a year, which, depending on your business model, may or may not be a good return on investment. You can use this method to determine which content pieces will have the highest impact on your business and are worth creating.
Here’s a quick recap:
- Use a tool like KWFinder.com to find new keywords
- Group similar keywords into content buckets/groups
- Determine the total search volume and potential traffic for each group
- Layer in your own business statistics to determine the ROI on each piece