Content is king. SEO is dead. Relevance, relevance, relevance.
You’ve heard it all before, the buzzwords, sweeping assertions, and half-truths. We’d wager you’re just as tired of it as we are.
See, although content is important, it’s only part of the equation. You still need a strategy—something to inform what you write and to whom you address it. The best way to achieve that, believe it or not, is still with keywords.
So with that in mind, let’s discuss what it takes to successfully target keywords in your blog posts in 2022.
What are people searching for?
That’s the first question you need to answer. Look at Google Trends, examine your own analytics data, and assess competing websites via a keyword analysis tool. The goal here is to identify keyword opportunities that fit into your brand and niche.
Generally, though, you’re not going to directly use any of the keywords you discover during this research. Most of them are going to be too broad in scope, too competitive, or both. Your next step will be to narrow things down.
Once you’ve established a few broad keyword opportunities, it’s time to narrow things down to come up with topics that are a bit more focused. Consider what you know about your audience. Not just the search terms they’re using, but the intent behind those terms and why they chose to visit your site specifically.
Drawing on this knowledge, your goal is to generate a list of topics that align simultaneously with your brand, their interests, and their intent.
Topic Keyword Research
Next, for each of the topics you came up with in the previous step, you’re going to drill down a little further. The goal here is to come up with subtopics and related keywords for each. In particular, pay attention to the questions people are asking on search—these are all questions you will likely want to answer in your content.
Optionally, you can check out Q&A communities such as Quora for both inspiration and information.
Content Creation & Optimization
Finally, it’s time to start creating. By now, you have both your topic and a general outline in place. All that remains is creation. To that end, there are a few best practices you’ll want to follow:
- Make sure to identify whether you want to create Horizontal or Vertical content before you put the pen to the paper. This is the true measure of whether you understand the searchers intent.
- Make sure your URL and meta title both contain your core keyword. It’s recommended that your meta description does as well, but that won’t directly influence how you rank.
- Add internal links to any other relevant blog posts or pages on your website. Ideally, you’ll want to anchor those links to relevant keywords.
- Once you’ve finished creating and your post goes live, promote it. Share it to every social network on which you’re active.