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How to Use Google AdWords Tools to Research Content Marketing Keywords

August 21, 2013

By Ryan Malone

As a business owner, you may already be familiar with your website's top keywords for organic search traffic or Pay-Per-Click advertising conversion.

However, depending on what your competition is doing to optimize their websites, your site's search rank for certain words will fluctuate on a daily basis. That's why it pays to continue experimenting and testing new words and phrases to use in content campaigns.

Below we'll walk through using Google's AdWords tool to research keywords and describe how those keywords can create a successful content marketing strategy.

How to Use Google AdWords Keyword Ideas Tool

This tip requires setting up a Google AdWords account.

Once you are logged in to AdWords, go to Keyword Tools, then Keyword Ideas. Input one of your main keywords, your website URL, category and location.  The keyword tool will use these inputs to generate a list of related phrases. Putting in your website and category are important because Google uses this information to provide a list of ideas focused on your business.

For example, we put in the website URL of a leading online footwear retailer and the keyword shoes and got phrases such as shoes with free shipping and ladies running shoes. For many queries, Google will return dozens of results. To comb through the ideas and find the best keywords for your business, here's what to look for:

Medium Search Volume: Look for keywords with medium to high global and local search volume. The global search volume number represents the number of searches in the past year for each word or phrase across all locations. Local search volume represents the same data, but filtered for the location you selected at the beginning of the query.

Low or Medium Search Competition: Look for words that have low or medium competition. If the keywords have too many other websites in competition, then these words may not be worth the time and content marketing effort.

Keywords That Align With Your Products and Services: Focus only on the keywords that relate to your products or services. If you sell shoes online, but you do not offer free shipping, then the phrases shoes with free shipping is obviously not a good keyword to focus on.   

How to Translate Keywords into Content

A content marketing strategy uses keyword-optimized blogs and long form content to increase a website's online visibility and drive more clicks and eyeballs to the site. When evaluating keywords look for phrases that are questions or needs your business can answer.

For example, lets say the online footwear retailer sells a variety of hiking boots and the Keyword Ideas tool comes up with a frequently searched phrase best hiking boots for snow. To turn this keyword into a piece of content, the footwear company can craft a blog post that uses the keyword query to effectively answer the searcher's question. The blog's title might be How to Choose The Best Hiking Boots for Snow, and the content could describe specifications for winter hiking boots with links to the shoe retailer's product pages. Online searchers will appreciate the company's blog post, which answers their question. This blog also helps the online shoe store to attract warm leads are likely ready to make a purchase.

The AdWords tool is an excellent resource for finding new keywords for content marketing. At SmartBug Media, in addition to AdWords, we use HubSpot's inbound marketing software, which offers extensive keyword research and content marketing tools.

How frequently do you update your business website or blog with fresh keyword-optimized content? 


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Topics: Content Marketing, SEO, Inbound Marketing