SEO · Content marketing

Best Marriage between Content and Keywords?

Asad Shaikh AWS/NoSQL/Big Data Architect at Capital One

February 6th, 2015

I would like to know how to find keywords that are being used by my target market on search engines.  So, we did some research initially by talking to many from our target market and asked them about the phrases/keywords used by them to find services that are offered by vendors like us and later we looked at the ranking of those keywords.  We went with the approach to target our content (on-site and off-site) based on the top 10-20 keywords.  We observed traffic increase, however, not a whole lot, conversion is a different topic altogether, my concern is around bringing in traffic.  I am not sure if our approach is wrong or the execution has problems.

Also, how to find content creators who can arrange best organic marriage between the keywords and the content on the site and off-site or use some other approach to bring in organic traffic to the site.  What is a typical strategy that works well without being resource hog and too expensive?

Roy Gonzales CEO at Zobily

February 6th, 2015

Asad,

At the end of the day you are looking for new customers and that is the black hole! SEO will help a little but the 800lb Gorillas have huge budgets to acquire consumers. The key for little guys is to first always realize how much it costs to acquire a consumer period! Than you can find publishers that you can negotiate a deal for customers if it makes sense for them and you. If not your grasping at straws like everyone else.

Lane Campbell Lifelong Entrepreneur

February 6th, 2015

SEO often requires big spends in competitive markets.  Depends on what you are trying to achieve but it might be more cost effective to do PPC and know your cost of customer acquisition than try to ramp up an SEO program.  As for keyword research, Hubspot is great at that.  They analyze and report keywords your competitors are using.

Tom Maiaroto Full Stack Consultant

February 6th, 2015

Roy brings up a great point. I would also add that SEO is not a requirement for obtaining customers. It is a help, but your business will not fail if you don't have SEO. It's never the single reason. Conversely, you can succeed without SEO.

I've seen far too many people spend far too much time (and more importantly - money) in SEO for very small returns. Then go on to blame SEO for their problems.

BigDataBOS

February 6th, 2015

Lane,

Very good point -- for a startup it's much faster to start w/ PPC (and maybe Twitter or FB ads, depending on your market) and test the waters to refine your messaging. Outbound sales (i.e. cold calling) can help with this too. If people don't call back, you need to refine your value prop. :)

We've been around for well over a year, work in the business of content marketing, and yet we ourselves are just starting to think about a content marketing/SEO strategy. It's a bit embarrassing but that's the reality.

Aki

Eric Rogness Technical Product Manager

February 6th, 2015

Your SEO efforts' ability to increase traffic to your site will be a function of their ability to move you up the organic rankings for those keywords. I've included CTR on Google by link position. Notice how link #5 receives more clicks than 6-10 combined. And the third page links receive a third of the already miniscule number of clicks attributed to the second page. Point being, is that if despite all your best efforts, SEO isn't sufficiently moving the needle on your Google rankings, it will also have zero effect on traffic.

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BigDataBOS

February 6th, 2015

Hi Asad,

This is a step ahead of you, but once you've identified your primary keywords:

I co-founded MarketMuse (marketmuse.com) to help you build authority for the primary keywords that you've identified. MarketMuse analyzes your content and tells you what content gaps you have.

Check out our site and ping me if you have any questions, I'm happy to help.

Aki Akos (Aki) Balogh
Co-Founder, MarketMuse

Tim Kilroy Analytics - LTV - Boosting Profits - Digital Marketing

February 6th, 2015

First, generating organic search traffic is about a lot more than content - site structure, internal linking, links to you all play a part, that in aggregate, probably matter just as much as the content.

In general, a content strategy is only as good as it's distribution. You need to make sure your content get seen by folks in market - so twitter, Facebook, etc are all important, but finding somebody to share content with that is targeted to the same audience is a really great strategy (imagine that you have tax software that you are promoting, having a financial advisory firm co-release some findings that you've made can significantly amplify your content distribution, which will help in the discovery of all of your content.

If you want to know what keywords your competitors and peers are targeting for search, using a tool like www.semrush.com is really helpful/

BigDataBOS

February 6th, 2015

Hey Lane,

Not sure if you knew this, but HubSpot keyword suggestions uses the SEMRush API. (SEMRush gives you up to 10,000 keyword suggestions per query I think? Google KW Planner gives you 800 or so, for free.)

PPC is a great way to get started and see results quickly, but it's expensive at scale.

Content marketing takes time to develop, but if you build authority within a specific niche, you can get relevant traffic with purchase intent. Results can take 6-9 months or more, but if you create great evergreen content, you'll reap the benefits for years to come.

Aki

Benji Hyam

February 6th, 2015

I agree with Aki. Content marketing is more of a longer term strategy- it's important for a startup to have a mix of marketing initiatives.

My strategy for my company Thinkapps was to 1. Redo our website and go from a single page landing page to a more robust website that nails down our value prop. 2. Run SEM campaigns to test messaging and get insight to help us refine our messaging while bringing in warm leads 3. Simultaneously grow the content side of our business (long term initiative).

While we were able to grow from 0-20,000 unique visitors to our blog within a month's time, getting clients and creating a funnel from content takes more time. It's important to split time between short term wins and long term initiatives.

Asad Shaikh AWS/NoSQL/Big Data Architect at Capital One

February 6th, 2015

Tom,

The domain is old, but the content is new because no work was done on the domain for a while.  Also, there is a blog on the site, we wrote blogs for a few months.  

How are you employing the social strategy specifically how do you find the relevant keywords and how do you use them in social context?