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What are keywords & how do they impact your inbound marketing?

Posted by Abby Pearson on 7/5/17 2:24 PM
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Launching a successful inbound marketing strategy involves a lot of planning. Before you start creating any content, you need to decide upon your main keywords.

It's no use simply deciding that you want to show up in search; you need to show up in search for the right keywords so your target customers find your content and enter your sales funnel.

But what exactly are keywords, and why do they matter?

Keywords are what people use to get information

When a person visits a search engine like Google and types in a query, they are using a keyword to find what they are looking for.

If someone is searching for our agency, they might start their search by typing in 'marketing agencies', so this will be the keyword.

Keywords and inbound marketing

There are two main types of keywords you need to know about: primary keywords and long tail keywords.

A head keyword is defined as being shorter, less specific and more competitive. The search volume for these is higher, but the traffic is less targeted.

A long tail keyword comprises more words, usually four or more. It is also less competitive and easier to rank for. Because it is more specific, the searcher is more targeted. However, the search volume is usually lower.

In the example above, ‘marketing agencies’ is a head keyword. It could apply to any marketing agency of any kind, and it is therefore likely to be very competitive. But we can use it as a starting point to find more relevant keywords.

For example, people might search for something more specific like 'marketing agencies in Cheltenham' or 'inbound marketing agencies in Cheltenham'.

Why are keywords important?

As a marketer, you want your content to show up in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for searches related to your business and solutions.

Using specific keywords in your content helps to tell the search engines what your content is about. So when someone searches for a keyword, if you use that same keyword in your content, there is more chance of your web page showing up.

And while there is much more to SEO than keywords, these are always the starting point.

If you create a high-quality piece of content around a keyword phrase, and that content gets social shares and backlinks from authority sources, there's a good chance it will show up for specific keyword searches.

Keywords also guide your content creation because you can create the type of content that will interest the people who are searching for that keyword and then draw the searchers into your funnel.

In short, using keywords helps you to get found more easily by people searching for topics related to the solutions you provide. This generates more targeted traffic, and that means you have more chance of converting that traffic into leads.

For more on why keywords are critical to your inbound marketing strategy, read our blog here.

Keywords and inbound marketing

How to use keywords in your content

While choosing relevant keywords in your content is essential, you should never simply cram in as many as you can – this is called keyword stuffing, and it doesn’t work.

So the first rule of keywords is to use them naturally and only where it makes sense to do so.

However, there are a few places where you should attempt to use them if you can:

You can also use them as anchor text when creating links back to your website. But be careful about always using the same keywords because this does not look natural.

Should you use more than one keyword per piece of content? It depends.

If you are creating a 3,000-word guide on a topic, you could break it up into sections using long tail keywords as the subheadings.

But for shorter pieces, you should mainly focus on one keyword per piece. If other keywords naturally fit in the content, you can use these without deliberately trying to rank for them.

Keywords are crucial for successful inbound marketing

If you are planning your inbound strategy, keywords are a great starting point. You don't want to get months into your strategy and then find out you should have focused on more relevant keywords.

Carry out some detailed keyword research at the start to get a list of keywords to focus on, and use this as your base. You can always update your list over time to reflect changes in search trends.

Are you interested in learning more about keywords? Download our guide to keywords now!

Beginner's Guide to Keywords

Topics: SEO

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