Keywords are the main instrument of a search. These are terms composed of one or more words. They are the way a user types their query in search engines to get answers and solve their problems.
If you got this far in this article, I’m sure you want to understand what these so-called keywords are. Right?
When we start studying what SEO (search engine optimization) is one of the most talked-about points is about the keywords, their choice and the real importance of these terms that dictate optimizations.
Without further ado, now you will learn – once and for all – what that means. Let’s go to what matters!
What are keywords?
Keywords are the main instrument of a search. These are terms composed of one or more words. They are the way a user types their query in search engines to get answers and solve their problems.
As much as the term itself is self-explanatory, it costs nothing to explain in detail what that means. After all, it was this doubt that brought you here.
Basically, keywords are the main search engines.
Think that every search comes from one word or more used to present this problem to the searcher. Keywords can be defined as the terms users use to get answers and solve their problems.
If you’re a marketer, keywords are the terms we use to guide you when creating our pages, blog posts, and websites.
That is, by setting a keyword for a certain page, you are passing the message to Google, for example, that your content is about the subject of that particular term. If all goes well and you make the right choice, your content will be displayed exactly to the person who searched for that keyword.
In practice, how does this work:
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Keywords are used by users (as you can see the word in the Google search box) and are also used by websites that want to be accessed that have the “answers” to that search.
Why are keywords so important to your business?
No wonder they are keywords.
They are the ones that, when perfectly fitted, open the doors of your content to the internet world.
For your business, it means the difference between being found, read, shared, and liked or simply not being accessed through complete ignorance or ignorance.
And that is exactly why keywords are tools that help (and much!) Content marketing.
When designing your investment plan, one of the main goals of your company is to increase leads and customers, and consequently your sales.
On the Internet, your content will face much greater competition than your area, no matter how crowded it may be.
In search engines, the borders are smaller and the results in each search, thousands, millions of possibilities within the reach of the public.
This means it’s not enough to pick a handful of keywords and pepper them in the middle of your posts.
Thought needs to be more strategic and careful about them to make your business stand out.
So start by wondering why you need to use your keywords.
The answer must come quickly and obviously in your mind: “because I need to help my audience find me on the internet.”
Only the answer can’t stop there.
You have a conversion funnel with defined steps, which means there are different types of audiences with different types of questions.
Those who started the shopping journey are still wondering about basic items that pertain to the universe in which their product or service belongs.
But those who are in the middle of the funnel are probably doing a cross-brand search to decide on the benefits of one over the other.
And who is deep down, almost determined to buy, needs the security that is making the right decision when choosing your company to close a deal.
And each of these groups has a very specific group of keywords that they choose to type in search engines.
Therefore, your company needs to recognize them to make the best use of them when producing each material.
Do you know why?
Because they will be the first contact between brand and audience and will likely decide if that visitor will close the window and move on in search results or continue on your site.
Each keyword should be considered as a question that needs clear and objective clarification without half words.
And the role of your company’s content is to focus on offering them so that they will be enchanted by your ability to answer questions and build on a trusting relationship with your company.
That is: unlock the locks from the keywords, inform and turn visitors into potential customers.
Negative Keywords: What is this?
Not everything that is negative is, in fact, bad.
In fact, when we know how to use them, they can be a very important part of the success of your content marketing.
Negative keywords are keywords that tell Google – in an AdWords campaign or ad group – which search terms you don’t want to be tied to your business.
For example, you sell sporting goods produced in Brazil only.
Then you can include the term “imported” among your negative keywords, so your ads won’t show from searches containing that word.
But then you might wonder why this is so important to your business.
In fact, it helps you invest with more quality, meaning it increases your chances of return.
Like? Once you know what your audience won’t find when you click on your ad, you stop paying for clicks on your ad that are unlikely to result in lead generation or even closing a sale.
That means, in practice, it means bringing in more customers who are really interested in your product or service, rather than visitors and onlookers who will click ( remember that clicking on your ad pays Google ), spend a few seconds scanning the page content, do not find what they are looking for and will return to the results page.
How to find negative keywords?
Let’s be a little malicious among us: Google won’t really care if you have some unnecessary paid clicks on your page.
After all, a good chunk of their income comes from them.
So you have to think about how to use the tools that Google itself offers to your advantage.
If you’ve been searching – or have long known – Adwords, you’ve noticed that you have a real arsenal in your favor to get the most value from each click.
There is a specific tool, Keyword Planner (we talked about it here in the article), which can be of great value when it comes to finding negative keywords.
To explain its operation for this specific purpose, I will try to exemplify simply and directly.
If you have a company that sells umbrellas, you will put that word in the Keyword Ideas tab and click on the search.
In the results listing you will see various search terms related to the word with some basic information.
In this listing, you will mark all those ideas that do not concern your universe.
In our example, it could be “umbrella designs”, “new spelling umbrella” and “custom umbrella”.
From the moment you recognize the research elements that clearly do not relate to your industry, that’s it!
The answer has already been given.
You can create your negative keyword list by including exactly those selected terms – for example, “drawing”, “spelling” and “custom”.
Another way to make a great selection of negative keywords (and also find positive ones for your repertoire!) Is to put yourself in the user’s shoes and use your keyword list.
Going back to the umbrella example as your product.
Research this term and the like, which would be used to produce content on your page, such as “imported umbrella” or “umbrella”.
You will probably see on the front pages links to things that have nothing to do with this business, which could be the name of a book, the lyrics of a song, or an article about the Umbrella Uprising in China.
This way, you will be able to become more and more aware of the universe of words that should be contained in your content, helping your customers reach you much more easily and without wasting time getting links that little – or nothing – have to offer. do with what they want and need.
How do I define which keywords to use in my content?
Once you have a seed keyword list, it’s time to include more data in your analysis.
To define the keywords that will bring the most results to your business, you must consider some other factors. Check out some of them below:
One of the most important factors in choosing keywords for a blog is the suitability to the persona’s needs.
I am sure that when you are going to produce content for the blog you created, you have in mind that the material should answer the questions and doubts of those reading the content, right?
In order for your content to be seen as useful and valuable to anyone searching for that particular keyword, you should always think about your persona.
How would your audience search the internet when they would like to find your text in response? This is a great way to find efficient keywords.
This is very important information when it comes to finding and defining the best keywords for your business. The goal that is set for your strategy should be taken as a guide for all actions taken to achieve it.
That is, if your business aims to increase the number of sales of your products, for example, you can direct keyword search to terms that drive purchases.
Therefore, one should invest in terms that contain “buy”, “review”, “the advantages” of the product and others in this sense. Thus, it is possible to lead the public to the purchase through the texts produced for the blog.
This is another very interesting way to define the keywords that should be used for your business.
If you have big competitors who are also investing in a content marketing strategy, it will definitely be interesting to look at how they are addressing product and service issues to the public.
Another interesting tip is to research large players in the market, even if they are not direct competitors. These companies are likely to have interesting approaches to how to handle their content production, either in innovative language or in producing complete pieces that solve all the public’s doubts.
Competitor research can be as effective at finding out what is not being done for them and can be attacked by your business as an opportunity, as well as a way to identify competitive forces by joining efforts to overcome these points.
If you don’t have a tool like SEMrush that lets you analyze this much more clearly and simply, a great way to identify what your competitors are doing is by tracking their organic search engine results as well as keeping an eye on their social networks and Newsletters
Use practical tools
There are dozens of tools aimed at finding relevant keywords, but the main ones you’ll find on a daily basis are:
- Google Keyword Planner – Google’s own “keyword planner” is ideal for creating optimized Google Adwords campaigns. This tool is ideal for diagnosing your strategy, identifying what’s working or not working to correct or maintain. Data can be exported in spreadsheets, which facilitates their analysis.
- Semrush – This tool does not give you accurate blog navigation, traffic, and keyword data, but it does provide you with a trend report and consequently gives you hints on which paths you should take towards your content success. It is worth analyzing your own site as well as the pages of your competitors and who you consider the reference in quality and results. The free version gives you a more overview, but the paid version is ideal for more complete planning.
- Keywordtool.io – Analyzing Google’s auto-complete feature gives you even more insights by offering a variety of keyword variation options, especially long tails, let’s talk about that later.
- Other tools worth checking out are Wordtracker, Keyword Discovery, Majestic, Keyword Spy.
- Google Trends – a great free tool from this information giant. The trend is an English word that could be translated as fashion, or “of the moment.” Google Trends then helps you find out from one term what related searches users have been doing. Best of all, results can be filtered (country, state), time period and sources within the search areas of the page.
- UberSuggest – Another free way to get keyword suggestions. Just enter the desired term in the search area, select the language and search area (web, images, news, shopping, video and even recipes). You can still click on term suggestions and get other related words.
Your “seed” keywords will be helpful, but not always the best options to work with.
Keep in mind that the most general keywords – usually one or two words only – are very disputed and you will hardly be able to rank well for them in the short term. But if you still have some questions about it, let’s understand what the main types of keywords are.
Head tail keywords
We have already defined the keywords “seed” earlier, right? The head-tail keywords represent exactly this concept.
Typically, these terms define your company’s core business. It is through these terms that both you and your audience should be able to summarize your business and the services provided.
Most head tail keywords are one or two words long and represent a whole business segment and can be broken down into numerous content.
Because they are very generic, these terms have very large search volumes. At first, it may seem that they must be the most worked on the blog to be able to capture this high volume of people too, right?
Imagine how many people and companies, just like you, want to rank for these high volume words. So, along with the volume, there is great competition around these keywords.
To rank well for them, it takes intense and strategic marketing work, relying on techniques other than keyword research. Check out our post and see how Rock Content is continually working to rank for the head-tail keywords in your market.
Long tail keywords
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The long tail is a term coined by Chris Anderson that refers to how the number of searches/purchases for thousands of specific items can exceed the number of searches made for generic and famous items.
Let’s look at these two types of keywords comparatively. Some good examples of seed keywords, also called “head”, would be a content, blog, marketing.
On the other hand, good examples of long-tail keywords would be: “blog content”, “corporate blog” or “content marketing”.
To define them, here are some tips:
Put yourself in your audience’s shoes
As stated earlier, it is important to think about personas to define keywords relevant to the business. If you have not done a job of identifying your personas, find out what they are and how you should create them.
It is important to identify what would be the most sought-after terms I ask your audience from the moment you start looking for information on the subject.
Think like your audience, not how knowledgeable and expert you are about your product or service. Ponder: How would he look for your product or service on the internet?
There are several possible variations of the search for a particular subject and this research in relation to the public is efficient precisely to bring the results that would be most consistent with the attitude of this public.
A good tip for identifying these opportunities is to try talking to some people who fit your audience, whether they are customers or prospects, and ask this question to find out.
Consider the stage in the sales funnel
Keep in mind that your reader will search in different ways as well, depending on what stage he is in the funnel. In practice, remember that if he is looking for alternatives to solve a problem, you should focus on the problem, including as a keyword.
Good content options for this stage are concept definition and tips for doing something, for example.
However, if he is already starting to find your solution interesting to him, you should talk to him about why he might choose to do so.
A good list of reasons for choosing a plausible solution to the problem, or even the advantages of such a solution for those who purchase it, maybe good content choices.
If he’s already evaluating and about to act, be straightforward, talk about yourself and your differences. Successful client case texts or comparisons of market solutions, for example, are best suited for this stage of the funnel.
Keywords and SEO
The use of keywords is recurring, and highly efficient when we talk about optimization so that your site is well positioned in search. As an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) technique keywords should be used strategically, thought out and defined within effective planning of your marketing strategy.
When we talk about website optimization we need to remember and give due importance to meta descriptions. Do you know what they are?
Well, the meta description is nothing more than the description that appears to Google (you know that short summary that appears just below the title that appears in blue? That’s exactly it!).
It should be done directly, but nonetheless stimulating for people to visit the pages. Including the keyword content in the meta description is essential!
In addition to always thinking about the user experience and creating friendly URLs, another very important point for content optimization is the page address itself.
Try to create an address that is simple and self-explanatory. The best way to use the URL is to include the keyword in this area.
It is not just the title of your blog that should count the previously defined keyword.
Unlike the page title, the SEO title is what will appear when your content appears on Google searches as well as social sharing. At this point, it is also essential that the keyword be present.
Keywords also need to be used in the internal titles of your articles. Depending on the format of your blog, possibly the title tag will be the same as H1.
Regardless of whether or not it is your blog’s H1, the rule is that the keyword should always be present. Unlike the SEO title that aims to get someone off the search page, the Title Tag is the title that aims to ensure that a reader stays on your page and continues reading your article.
In this case, the user can be anywhere as long as it is present.
Remember that keywords and content are the perfect matches for good results.
Focus on keywords to optimize your blog content, but the number one priority should be to solve the problem and meet the expectations of your personas.
Use the keywords in your blog posts, in headlines, throughout the article and, whenever possible, in headlines, as well as in the description of images. Be sure to keep your naturalness throughout the text. It’s no use writing forced text where the keyword is tiresomely repeated and readers don’t like the content they’re reading.
If you write for Google and not for people, you probably won’t get the best results.
The production of relevant content is based on personas, their pains and problems and not thinking about search engine robots. Keep in mind that if you make content that aggregates, answers questions, and solves problems, you’ll automatically be fine on the tape with the reader, and believe me, Google also considers this when it comes to sorting your search results.
Measure keyword usage more strategically
Searchers are evolving at incredible speed. Every six months or so, we’re seeing changes in the algorithm, especially from Google, that are completely changing the way we marketers create and develop our content and websites.
After the 2016 updates that strengthened the semantic analysis of searches and the addition of RankBrain. The first innovation ensured that the searcher could interpret the user’s intention through the term used. RankBrain, on the other hand, is an artificial intelligence that has become part of Google’s algorithm and this is what is completely changing the way searches and results are being displayed.
Keywords for paid ads
Just like keyword research for organic marketing strategy, it is very important to take into consideration all the factors listed above when choosing the most important terms for paid ads.
Another factor that begins to take on some importance when it comes to paid ads is the value of each keyword. This price varies according to the volume of demand for that term, as well as the interest of people and businesses to advertise using that particular keyword.
When setting up your Google Adwords account, you can choose which type of campaign payment to make: campaign pay per click (CPC, or cost per click), an impression (CPM, or cost per thousand impressions), or conversion ( CPA, or cost per acquisition).
The value shown for each keyword represents the maximum price that can be paid for that ad. If the ad is clicked so many times that the full amount reaches the budget for the day, the ad will no longer be shown until the next day when the budget is reinstated.
But, how does this influence in choosing the right keywords?
For an initial paid ad strategy, it’s important to look for terms that have low competition and low estimated values so that your ad can show multiple times to people doing the corresponding searches, regardless of budget.
On the other hand, if we are dealing with a deeper Google Adwords strategy, it is important to make ad groups with several different keyword variations to cover persona searches and may use a larger budget to succeed.
To learn more about Google Adwords campaign creation techniques, check out our blog post on this subject.
Keywords on social networks
In addition to being great ways to disseminate published content, social networks play a very important role when defining keywords.
A good tip is to be able to find your audience on the most important networks for your business and research the ways they communicate and seek to clarify their doubts on the issues.
In addition to defining important questions about the language to choose, you may find potential questions they have about your business that could eventually become content-producing opportunities for your blog.
But, there is a concept that is becoming increasingly popular on the internet, especially in social networks that are the use of hashtags.
Since content posted on social networks, such as attachments, images, and captions, is not indexed by Google robots, the only way to do this is through hashtags. They are considered hyperlinks that bring together all posts with such a hashtag in one search.
In addition, hashtags are widely used by young people and those considered “heavy users” of social networks. Therefore, by using hashtags that are relevant to your business, you can index content while approaching the audience and creating a certain kind of relationship closer to them.
But, it is important to be careful with some attitudes when it comes to using hashtags.
It is important to know that they must be consistent with the content being published. If you simply use hashtags that have a high volume of search on social media, unrelated to your post, your audience can interpret that you’re just looking for more views for your posts, regardless of the persona’s concerns and questions. This may end up pulling you away from your audience.
Also, it is important to choose words and phrases that are valuable to anyone looking for such content. Create and strengthen institutional hashtags that talk about company customs and values.
This way, you can create a community around the use of this hashtag, encourage your audience to use it, and build rapport with people who choose to embrace your cause.
Check out our blog post about using hashtags on social media to find out more about it.
So now that you’ve learned a little more about defining and using keywords, are you ready to use these techniques in your online marketing strategy?
Tell us your experiences on this subject and if you have any further questions we will be happy to resolve it.
Continue your learning! Check out our post with 12 advanced content hacks and leverage your SEO strategy.