The Easy, Quick-Start Keyword Research Tutorial
January 22, 2015
By Dolly Howard
Have you used keywords before to generate blog post ideas or premium content like ebooks, white papers, or infographics? Keywords are instrumental in the content creation process because they help determine words and phrases that target customers are searching for online. Based on attainable keywords for your company, you should create content with these types of keywords to show up in relevant search results. Not only does proper keyword research help increase your organic traffic if executed properly through published content, it will also influence your decisions about inbound marketing campaigns.
Here are four steps for an easy, quick-start keyword research tutorial:
1. Make a list of important topics
Generally consider what you know about your business and brainstorm a handful of topics that you want to rank for. Some questions you should ask are:
- What products or services do I offer?
- What problems do my leads have that my company can help solve?
- How would I describe my business to someone who has never heard of my company before?
- What common questions do my leads ask?
So, if you were a marketing agency like SmartBug Media - you might have a few general topic buckets like “inbound marketing,” “marketing automation,” and “website redesign.” These will help you come up with specific keywords later in the process.
2. Create long-tail (specific) keywords
Once you have a few main topics to focus on, it’s time to identify specific keywords. When creating phrases based on what you think your target customer is searching for, it’s also important to consider how these will rank in search engine results. For example, if SmartBug Media wanted to create more specific keywords based on “website redesign” for an inbound marketing agency, we would create some keywords phrases that we think people would type in related to that topic.
Some of these might include:
- Inbound marketing website redesign
- HubSpot COS website redesign
- Good examples of website redesign
- Website redesign agency
- Website redesign services
3. Research related terms
If you’re struggling to think of more keywords people might be searching for, this is a great step to try. Go to Google and look at related search terms that appear at the bottom of the results. See what comes up and add anything relevant into your keyword tool. Here's an example below:
Another method to use for generating keyword ideas is utilizing free tools that are available to you online. For instance, a tool like Ubersuggest or WordStream allows your to write a search term in a box and then it gives you further suggestions based on that term. It's a great way to instantly get numerous ideas from real search queries.
4. Narrow down the list with tools
Now it’s time to narrow down the long list of keywords by plugging them into a keyword tool. A few quality keyword tools available are Google Tools, Moz, or SmartBug Media’s personal favorite, HubSpot. These tools will track keywords based on useful data such as monthly searches, ranking, difficulty, historical performance, and even how competitors are performing
Be sure to re-evaluate these keywords in your inbound marketing monthly reviews or every few months to see how they are performing. The goal is to maintain your current presence and authority in search engines and then build from there. Based on how keywords are performing and what opportunities you see, this might influence your next premium content offer or series of blog posts.
Have you used a keyword tool before? If you would like more information about HubSpot’s keyword tool or how to create a keyword strategy for your inbound marketing efforts, please contact our team at SmartBug Media.
About the author
Dolly Howard was formerly Director of Marketing for SmartBug Media. Previously she worked as a senior marketing consultant leading SmartBug Media clients in strategy for lead conversion improvement and total marketing ROI. As a past HubSpot employee, Dolly is excited to share her knowledge and help enterprise companies grow their business. Read more articles by Dolly Howard.