Keyword-content-plan

How to use keywords in content to improve your SEO

In 2019 content should be all about one thing: your audience.

To drive real returns from your content marketing you need to be implementing practices that will benefit your audience.

After all, highly ranking content is always user-focused, and it’s the very content that drives traffic and leads.

That’s all well and good, but how do you get your content into the hands of your audience? Keywords.

Amongst other SEO practices, using keywords in your content correctly will help sky rocket your content, getting it to a targeted audience of people that will become your customers.

If you’re not using relevant keywords in content right then chances are that you’re losing business – missing out on traffic, getting fewer leads and fewer sales.

After all, there are a whopping 5.4 billion searches carried out every single day on Google. Yet, a whopping 95% of all searchers only look at the first page of search results and half of all clicks go to the first 3 results. What’s more, 70-80% of users ignore paid search in favour of organic results.

What this means is that if you want to reach your target market, you’ve got to use the right keywords in your content to rank for their search queries and stand head and shoulders above the competition.

It’s no surprise that 61% of marketers say that improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority.

In this guide, we’ll explain exactly how to use keywords in your content to improve your SEO, in turn gaining more traffic, conversions and leads. Ready to sky rocket your SEO strategy?

Create Smarter Content for a targeted audience

 

Whereas once upon a time keyword stuffing was all the rage, your content has got to be a lot smarter in 2019.

Content needs to be written for your audience. After all, Google wants to deliver value to its searchers through amazing content.

What’s the one thing that highly ranking content always has in common? It drives traffic, leads and is always user-focused.

Long gone are the days of creating content merely for the search engine. You’ve got to write content that offers real value.

To do this, you’ve got to determine who your audience is. Only then can you establish what content they want, what they’re searching for and which keywords they’re using to do this.

 

To do this you need to create a buyer persona. This will allow you to really get to know your audience and hone in your content offering and keyword research accordingly.

You will need to explore the following areas:

  • Who your audience is
  • Where they come from
  • Their problems
  • How you can solve these problems
  • Their job roles
  • Their industry
  • What challenges they face on a daily basis
  • Their daily frustrations
  • Their Goals
  • Their interests
  • Their passions and hobbies

For more help with creating awesome buyer personas check out our step by step guide to create buyer personas that rock.

Now, we’re ready to find the keywords are audience are using.

Finding the right keywords for the right audience

Now you know who your audience is, what questions they’re asking and what they’re interested in, you’ll need to figure out what keywords they’re using to address their questions, interests or frustrations.

This requires a little thing called keyword research.

 

In 2019 and beyond keyword research is all about intent. You’ve got to get smarter than creating content around a few keywords and hoping the traffic will pile in. These days you’ve got to consider the intent behind your keywords in order to rank.

What this means is that behind every search and keyword are multiple intents. A search for ‘Digital Marketing’ could be looking for several things:

  • Looking to learn more about digital marketing
  • Looking for digital marketing services
  • Seeking a definition of the term

And the list goes on.

Google wants to learn what the intent behind searches really is in order to give users the most relevant results possible. And this is where keyword research comes in.

For killer keyword research tips, check out our handy guide on how to do keyword research for SEO in 2019 which you’ll find here.

Once you’ve whittled down a list of the best keywords to target your audience, you can begin using them in your content.

Create content that delves a little deeper

When it comes to content creation, a huge trend for SEO in 2019 is creating content that digs deeper and further into a particular topic or subject.

With over 1 billion live blogs on the web right now, you can no longer get away with writing tons of blog posts because your competitors rank for those terms – that won’t cut it in 2019.

Instead, concentrate on being laser-focused on your audiences’ search intent.  Produce content that addresses their questions, pain points, frustrations or interests and ensure that it is in-depth and covers the entirety of the topic.

The great thing about longer content that looks at a whole topic is that it’s far easier to naturally include your keywords, without having to force them.

So how can you go about creating content that delves a little deeper?

  • Produce long-form content: the average first-page result on Google contains 1,890 Studies consistently show that content with at least 2,000 words or more that covers an entire topic ranks better. What’s more, content over 1,000 words consistently receives more shares and links.
  • Create content that is useful and valuable to your audience: think ultimate guides, top tips, how to’s, complete overviews and content that answers your audiences’ questions or addresses their frustrations.
  • Write content based on original research: if you have some exciting new research, share it! It might be there right at your fingertips – look out for data from your own business that you could draw insights from. Original research is great for SEO, with 74% reporting increased website traffic due to original research.

 

Remember, as well as length and form, never compromise on quality. High-quality content is one of the most important signals used by Google to rank your site.

For further help with creating content for SEO as well as other on-page SEO top tips, check out our handy guide.

What type of keywords should you be using?

 

Optimising your content with keywords is not about packing in as many keywords as possible. This will actually hurt your SEO efforts because Google considers this keyword stuffing, e.g. spam.

It also doesn’t make for good user experience – a ranking factor that Google now prioritises to ensure that you are answering the intent of your visitors. In fact, Google has declared that user experience signals are now their 3rd most important ranking factor.

The take-away from this is to include keywords in your content in a way that is natural and unforced.

As a rule, aim to focus your content on one or two of your long-tail keywords.

Why long-tail keywords?

These longer, more specific terms will help keep your content focused on the specific goals and questions of your audience.

Targeting long-tail keywords will help you reach your target audience who are seeking the knowledge or answers your content will share. This means you will be generating the right type of traffic – the type that will convert.

What’s more, 50% of all search engine queries are 4 words or longer. Although these searches are less competitive, they’re carried out by people who are ready to convert.

For more help with using long-tail keywords in your content check out this useful guide by Neil Patel.

Be crafty with your Keyword placement

 

Now you’ve established what keywords you’re targeting, where should you placing these in your content in order to rank higher in search?

There are 4 places you should include your keyword:

  • Title tag: this is both Google’s and the readers’ first step in establishing how relevant your content is, meaning placing your keyword here is crucial. If possible, aim to include your keyword in the first 60 characters of your title. From this point Google cuts off your title on the search engine results pages.
  • Headers and body of text: Next, you’ll need to place your keywords in the headers and body of your content. As we’ve already mentioned, include your keyword as naturally as possible. Do not force it – we can’t stress this enough. Your content needs to be natural and reader-friendly. We get asked how many times you should include your keywords in your content. The truth is there’s no ideal number of times. Don’t think of it as a numbers game, instead, focus on value and
  • URL: Google looks at your URL to work out exactly what your content is about. It’s one of the first things it will crawl on a site. This means that by including your keywords here there’s a great opportunity to optimise the URL on every piece of content you publish.
  • Meta description: Finally, be sure to include your keyword in your meta description. This is what gives both Google and searchers a little more information about your content. Including your keywords will help your audience figure out if they want to read your content.

Use keywords correctly in your content and you’ll reap the benefits of more traffic, more conversions and more leads. That’s a powerful thing for every business.

Next Steps – ready to boost your search ranking?

 

There are over 67,000 Google searches carried out every single second. If you have any chance of ranking highly on Google you’ve got to be using keywords in your content correctly. Fail to do so and you’ll just get lost in the noise.

Remember, in 2019 your content has got to be all about your customer. User friendly, audience focused, high value content ranks highly and converts. It’s not stuffed to the brim with keywords but includes them in a completely natural and fitting way.

Today, SEO is a more complex and human affair. That’s why Report Central don’t just write killer content, we get Google to sit up and listen too. For help with creating great content that drives traffic and leads to more conversions, get in touch with the team today.

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