Contextual Keyword Selection in Three Easy Steps

Your keywords are the foundations of your SEO and content marketing campaigns. Choosing the right ones involves more than just looking for the ones that are searched the most. You also have to consider your brand’s identity, your messaging context, and your direct competition as well.

Here are three of the most important steps you need to take when choosing the best keywords for your marketing campaigns.

Define Your Brand

Digital marketing director Erin Everhart says keywords are a business’ self-identifiers, and “you need to think more about how they reflect what you do rather than how much they’re searched”. Knowing where your company positions itself helps you determine how you want your users to find and identify you.

Think about your brand’s industry, and what its unique value proposition is. Describe your company’s culture and values, and define its mission-vision clearly. Identify your target market. All these details will help you choose the right keywords to represent your company.

Do Market Research

Your research shouldn’t end with the statistics you can get from keyword tools. This data is important, but you need to use other forms of research to learn more about your keywords from the searchers’ point of view.

Conducting surveys and other studies give you a more in-depth look at a searcher’s state of mind and the process they undergo to find your business online. Some of the questions you need to answer include:

  • Where are your searchers when they conduct their searches? Are they at the office, at home, or somewhere else?
  • What devices are they using?
  • Are they searching within a time limit (e.g. trying to make a last-minute reservation at a hotel because of a flight delay), or are they conducting their searches over a longer period (e.g. when taking a few hours or days to research about a product before purchasing)?
  • Are they new to web search, or are have they been relying on it for a long time?
  • What are the keywords they use to find you, or what words to they associate with your brand?
  • What kind of query do searchers use your keyword for? Do they use it to find products to buy, find more information about a topic, or simply find a specific website?

Knowing these details helps you choose better keywords that are more likely to improve your brand’s visibility to the exact market you’re targeting.

Check the Competition

Your search competitors are not necessarily your actual business competitors. Look beyond search volume and competition statistics. Scope out your business’ direct competitors, find out what keywords they use, and see how your chosen keywords stack up against them. See how they target your mutual audience and position their own brands. Researching about the competition will help you develop more effective keyword selection and content marketing strategies.

The keywords you choose should provide benefits beyond search traffic. Choosing keywords with the right context is the key to creating quality content, and with Google constantly changing its algorithms to mimic user experience, producing great content is the one of the best ways to future-proof your website.

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