I’m going to take some time to share with you what I’ve learned about writing and sharing content this year.
When a year winds down, I like to take a look at what the big takeaway or area of growth was for entrepreneurs and marketers. This year I think it’s pretty clear that small business owners have realized not only the importance but the necessity of using content to market their businesses in a way that engages people and inspires them to share it.
The big kahunas have figured this out and have really stepped up their games this year. For instance, let’s take a look at Coke’s home page. Coke makes several attempts to engage visitors with content. They want you to read their @DocPemberton tweets over on Twitter, watch fun YouTube videos of drinking/sharing Coke, or read some of their updates over on Facebook where they share lots of interesting Coke related photos and fun facts.
What I Learned About Keyword Research In 2012
The first element of making sure that your ideal clients and customers read your content is to make sure that you speak their language using terms that they search for on the web. The only way to make sure that you get this right is to do the research. There’s no way around this. If you don’t do this, you will be shooting in the dark and next thing you know a year has gone nothing has changed in your business.
Before Google Panda and Penguin, it use to be that you could create a piece of content, optimize it for the web, and if you followed a few basic SEO principles Google would rank you highly and send you free traffic. This year some of that changed and it affected many, many sites across the web.
One of the huge things that I learned this year behind this is that it’s much more important to create a website and its content around one central theme versus spending too much time focusing on optimizing each individual piece of content. What I mean by this is that you have to get even more niche focused than before so that search engines as well as potential customers and clients recognize you as the authority in ONE specific topic that you write about. This is going to make it much easier to do your keyword research going forward.
FIRST – For example if you write about blogging, you need to get really specific about what aspect of blogging you focus on such as: making money with a blog, building a blog from scratch, WordPress blogging, Blogger blogging, etc. Get really specific and create content around only one of those topics.
SECOND – Build a list of 5 to 10 keywords around that topic only. This will take you literally about fifteen minutes if you use a robust keyword research tool (like my favs Market Samurai or SEMRush) or a bit longer if you do it old school using Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool.
THIRD – Use these keywords and related keywords (you can find related keywords when you do your search using any keyword tool) in your titles, first paragraphs, and sprinkled naturally throughout your articles.
FOURTH – Also use the keywords as anchor text when backlinking to your site BUT be sure not to use exact matches all of the time. Enclose some of your keyword phrases with other words. For example, if your keyword is “blogging basics” be sure to use longer and varied anchor text such as “blogging basics for coaches” or “easy blogging basics”. The search engines frown upon a lot of exact term anchor text, which is why a lot of sites lost many of their rankings when the Panda, Penguin and Exact Domain Match updates hit.
FIFTH – Don’t over think your keyword research. Ultimately you need to focus on creating content that your readers will read and share!
Here are a few additional articles I wrote in 2012 that discuss keyword research:
Five Reasons Why I Won’t Read Your Blog
How My Blog Traffic Increased By 33%
My Keyword Research SEMRush Review & Tutorial